A Christmas by the Sea

A Christmas by the Sea

by Melody Carlson


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A Christmas by the Sea 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the book but the ending was to much of a fairy tail
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Probably my favorite Melody Carlson holiday book that I have read and I think I have read them all! Wendy Harper inherits a family beach cottage at just the right moment in her life when she and her son need it the most. Right before the holidays they move to this cottage to reinvent it and sell it and go back to their lives, but plans don't always go as they may.
4GranJan More than 1 year ago
Sweet Seaside Romance This is a sweet and clean romance that takes place in a small coastal Maine town. There are elements of faith throughout the story, but it's not overwhelming. This story could lead to a series. The plot is simple, yet well done. The characters are totally believable, but somewhat one dimensional. The story is good enough for me to keep and re-read again later. I will also be looking for more of this author's work. I received this book for free and this is my honest review.
mysteryreader22 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this heartwarming Christmas story about a widowed mom who inherits a beach house and has to decide to sell it and pay her bills or keep it and start fresh in a new town. Sweet charming story, but I felt that the ending was just a little too rushed and implausible. Perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber who are looking for some Christmas cheer. Thank you, Negalley for the advance read of this title.
Butterflyblogger More than 1 year ago
When Wendy Harper inherits her family's beachside cottage in Seaside, Maine, she sees it as a way to finally pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband died. But before it can be sold, the neglected property must be renovated. She and her 12-year-old son Jackson move in--temporarily, she reminds him--in order to do the work themselves, even though Christmas is coming. The charming town, along with local craftsman Caleb Colton, pulls on both Wendy and Jackson, who even registers himself for school in a bid to get his mom to move them there permanently. Wendy knows that the most responsible thing to do is to sell the cottage and return to Ohio, but the lure of the sea is hard to resist. This is a very heartwarming story about a single mother, Wendy, trying to survive the aftermath of her husbands death. All she wants to do is whats best for her son. She thinks its fixing up the cottage and selling it. Jackson, her son, has other ideas. He wants to stay and does everything in his power to make it happen. Then there's Caleb. He also wants Wendy to stay. I could see this as a Hallmark Christmas movie. It's a feel good book with a happy ending. I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.
Pattistep More than 1 year ago
Pattistep More than 1 year ago
PrincessGlor More than 1 year ago
I was completely charmed by this short, sweet Christmas novella. Melody weaves wonderful Christmas stories and this is without a doubt my favorite of all of them! Sweet characters(I adored Jackson!), a lovely setting and a great story line make this a great read. Definitely one for my keeper shelf! I received this book from the publisher, and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
PinkGranny More than 1 year ago
I've gotten a jump on Christmas reading list and so far they have been wonderful! A Christmas by the Sea is no exception. A Few years ago I was introduced to Melody Carlson and every year since I look forward to her annual Christmas book. I couldn't help but get hooked into the story of their plight and cheered when Wendy and Jackson seemed to fit right into life in Seaside. When it seems like life doesn't seem to have any more chances, being in the right place at the right time can give you a little boost. Sometimes even a mom can learn to have a little faith from her child. A Christmas by the Sea is for the reader who wants to be inspired by some Christmas cheer spurred on by the hopes and dreams of a boy like Jackson. I enjoyed watching this story unfold better than any cookie cutter themed movie laden with commercials! Each character in the book, like the people in our own lives, serves a purpose. When Wendy started digging into the repairs of the cottage she found so much more than what waited back in Ohio. Many thanks to Revell Books for the opportunity to receive a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I recommend you pick up a copy of this book and discover Melody Carlson's gift for putting the spirit back into Christmas.
JLYoung More than 1 year ago
I love the cover of this book. It's so quaint and inviting. I found myself wanting to visit that little cottage. The author has exceptional attention to detail. I can picture scenes in my head, hear the dialogue and feel what the characters are feeling. I loved this about this book. What was more of a struggle for me was how descriptive everything was. I felt like the beginning of the book moved so slowly. I wanted the ride in the car at the beginning to be done much quicker than it was. I felt the details were great but it slowed down the story. Especially at the beginning of the story, when the reader is trying to get the pace and understand the characters and what's going on in the plot, a bit faster moving would have been more interesting in my opinion. I kept going and the story fell into a nice rhythm. I enjoyed it. Great book for reading on a cold night with a blanket and a cup of something warm. Love these shorter Christmas books. They don't take a super long time to read and are just fun stories. I would love to read Ms. Carlson's other works. I received a copy of this book as a member of the Revell bloggers program. This has in no way influenced my review. All thoughts are my own.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson takes us to Seaside, Maine. Wendy Harper is traveling with her son, Jackson from Ohio to Seaside just before Thanksgiving. Wendy inherited a beach cottage from her grandfather. It is an answer to her prayers since she has a slew of debts incurred from her deceased husband’s battle with cancer along with student loans. Wendy has managed to get a month off to renovate the cottage and get it listed for sale. Jackson is excited about the trip and wants to relocate to Seaside permanently. The cottage is in better condition than Wendy expected, but it still needs some work. She hires Gordon, the local handyman, to help with the repairs. Jackson is thriving in the new environment. He makes a friend, finds a dog and enrolls himself in school. One day Wendy is at the hardware store and meets Caleb Colton, a furniture craftsman. She is surprised by what she feels when near Caleb. Wendy admires his beautiful furniture (works of art) and his Christian values. Wendy knows she should do the responsible thing and sell the cottage. However, she is drawn to the town, the cottage and a certain woodworker. To stay in Seaside, though, she needs a steady income stream. Christmas is rapidly approaching, and miracles have been known to happen. A Christmas by the Sea is a charming Christmas story. I thought it was well-written with steady pacing. It is a wholesome story with a light Christian element. The Christian themes include the importance of having a strong faith in God, prayer, reading the Bible, trust in God, and know that He will answer your prayers but not always in the way you expect. I liked the characters with Jackson being my favorite. He is delightful with his infectious joy. I like how he learned to complete certain repairs courtesy of online videos (they are helpful). I enjoyed the descriptions of Seaside and the ocean. There is a wonderful scene where Jackson and Wendy are finding sand dollars on the beach (they are not easy to find). Colton’s furniture sounded beautiful along with the seashell creations made by Wendy. My one complaint is the ending was rushed along with the romance between Wendy and Caleb. An epilogue would have been appreciated (a year or two later). A Christmas by the Sea is a short book at only 167 pages. One of my favorite sentences is “God takes care of us and He will provide what we need.” My rating for A Christmas by the Sea is 4 out of 5 stars. Melody Carlson has given us another lovely Christmas story filled with love, hope, faith, family and joy.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
Every Christmas season I look forward to Melody Carlson's newest holiday book. It was a quick story (only 167 pages) but it was packed with emotion, family love, and second chances. Wendy and her son are struggling financially after her husband died several years ago from cancer. Left with medical bills and student loans, finding out that she had inherited her grandparent's beach house seems like a true blessing. Heading to the small town of Seaside, Wendy plans on fixing it up the cottage and quickly selling it and moving back to Ohio. What she doesn't plan on is that her son Jackson will fall in love with the cottage, the town and the people. A friendly and slobbery dog rounds out the picture of the new home that Jackson is hoping will be theirs. With the help of local craftsman, Caleb, Wendy tries to make a living using her craft skills and shells she and Jackson find so she can remain in Seaside. When Jackson finds out that his mother wants to move back to Ohio, he does what an adolescent does, he tries to force his mother's hand. Will Wendy be able to financially support her small family with the crafts she makes or will she and her heartbroken son have to return to Ohio? This is a sweet story of family, second chances, independence and romance. What could be better than spending the holiday season in a gorgeous beach town that feels like home and the bonus of a new possible romance for Wendy. Can God answer their prayers to be able to start a new life in this small town that feels more like home than Ohio ever did. The story flows beautifully and is well paced. The characters in the story are all helpful in trying to get Wendy and Jackson to stay, all except for the pretty Crystal, who seems to have her own feelings for Caleb. This is a beautiful story about spiritual and personal growth. A magical Christmas story that can be read in a day by a warm fire. The publisher, Revell, provided me with a copy of this book to read. The rating, opinions and ideas are my own.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the setting of this book. I could picture the town and it felt very Hallmark like. I did struggle with Wendy constantly going back and forth in her mind about telling her son the truth. If felt wrong and not what most parents would do. I also felt the ending was rushed and a bit to unrealistic. I didn’t buy it. This wasn’t my favorite Melody Carlson book, but it was a very quick read. A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
Hooray! A new Christmas book from Melody Carlson! It has become a holiday tradition for me! I love them! Each one stirs up Christmas nostalgia and those warm feelings the season brings. Wendy is struggling financially after her husband’s death and trying to keep her life has she has known it afloat, not only for her but for her son Jackson. She can’t see past putting one foot in front of another and maintaining her job. She gets word she has inherited her grandparent’s beach cottage in Maine. Wendy sees it as a way to pay off her bills by fixing it up and selling it in the 3 weeks they are there. This will enable them to be home by Christmas. As she enters the little town that held so many happy childhood memories her emotions are in turmoil. Her 12 year old son has other plans. He wants a fresh start in a new place, as he has been miserable since his Dad’s death. The town isn’t as small and dead as it used to be. It has grown with new people and businesses. With each reminiscence, she wards off the tugs at her heart to love the town, house and people. She has blinders on envisioning their life in Ohio as the only way they can live. Jackson barrels ahead embracing every experience and moment, and appears to think they are moving there. Wendy, not wanting to burst his bubble, makes it harder on herself by not telling him the truth. His enthusiasm and joy draws her in. When we are adults and suffer tragedy, we cling to what is familiar, unable to realize new opportunities in front of us. Children’s eyes and hearts are clear to comprehend and embrace the joyfulness of new beginnings. I saw this in Wendy and Jackson. I can relate as after my husband died I too wanted to cling to what I had known, changes were frightening and sometimes still are. I have grown to realize that I cannot continue to in the life I had because a vital part of it is no longer there. Thank you Ms. Carlson for another wonderful and touching book to warm my heart! I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy reading a novella or two focused on Christmas time. Most are joyful, uplifting, sweet reads. Not too long--just right to immerse oneself in for a bit of relaxing reading, enjoying a good cup of tea or coffee.Author Melody Carlson has written several and doesn't disappoint. In A Christmas by the Sea we meet a single mom with a young teenage son. They have lost a beloved husband and father to the ravages of cancer and are trying to make it on their own. The story begins with them traveling to the coast of Maine to Wendy's grandparent's cottage home that has been left to Wendy as an inheritance. Her plan is to put it on the market and glean enough to pay her husband's medical bills and get on with the task of living. Her son, Jackson, is all excited and looking forward to a new beginning. He sees everything through the lens of excitement and newness. Jackson is truly a character to love and appreciate his outlook and his ability to step up to the multitude of tasks and chores that come with making the cottage marketable. Only Jackson doesn't realize Wendy is planning to sell. He wants to make it his forever home. Gracing the pages of this sweet story are several other characters that win the reader's heart. The chemistry that sparks interest in each other is slow to be acknowledged by Wendy and Caleb, a handsome merchant and resident. You don't want to miss this sweet read. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy from Revell a division of Baker Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.
D-does-reviews More than 1 year ago
Welcome to November in Maine, where widow Wendy Harper and her 12 year old son Jackson have inherited a tiny cottage on the shores of the Atlantic in a tiny town called Seaside where Wendy vacationed with her grandparents as a child. Wendy’s plan is to spruce up the cottage and put it on the market to help with the debt incurred during her husband’s battle with cancer but she knows doing so will break her son’s heart. I really enjoyed the beach atmosphere because it was so easy to imagine the sun on my face and the sand and water between my toes and I wanted to search for sea shells and sand dollars at low tide right along with the characters. I just wish the author had included another chapter about the romance between Wendy and town native, Caleb, which would have remedied what I felt was an abrupt ending to the story. I read an early copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group through NetGalley and all opinions expressed in my voluntary review are completely my own.
FHlady More than 1 year ago
Another sweet Christmas read by Melody Carlson. I enjoyed seeing Wendy work with her son, Jackson, to restore the summer cottage that had belonged to her grandparents and where she had such fond memories. Caleb was a warm hearted, caring hero who cared a lot about both Wendy and Jackson. A very predictable ending which was a bit rushed just to wind up this novella as she had only know Caleb for two weeks, so this felt a bit unrealistic and financially unsound. Focus was God's provision. A sweet, quick read for a curl up in front of the fireplace on a cold day. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
HelenM0 More than 1 year ago
A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson takes place in Seaside Maine. Wendy Harper is barely making ends meet after the death of her husband. Her grandfather has past away and has left his beach cottage to her. She takes her son to the cottage with plans to renovate it and sell it to help out her financial situation. Her son has different ideas, he wants to stay there to live. Her goal is to be done with the cottage by Christmas. This is a very touching story. I enjoyed reading how her son helped her so much. He definitely took on the helper role with the loss of his father. For being just 12 years old, he is very mature and responsible. I enjoyed reading the part that her grandfather did not let the cottage deteriorate, he did take care of the cottage so it just needed minor work. I also enjoyed reading of the memories Wendy had of the small town and it's community members. This is a great story to read to prepare for the Christmas season. I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. I have written an honest review.
kp68 More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson's latest Christmas novella is entitled A Christmas by the Sea. The main character is Wendy Harper. She has just received the surprise of her life: her grandfather has left her his cottage along the shores of Maine! Her son, Jackson, is ready to leave Ohio and start a new life in Maine; however, Wendy is simply hoping to sell the cottage, to pay of the debts left after her husband's death! You will see how hard Wendy and her son work to restore this cottage. Along the way, they meet a local furniture builder, Caleb Colton, who helps them settle into the lifestyle of this small, coastal town! While Wendy is filled with wonderful memories of her time with her grandparents and cannot deny the beauty of this place, she cannot see a way to financially support her son in a tourist town. Hold on to see what answer God places before her by the time you reach the final page! While the ending falls on you a little too quickly, this little book was worth the read!
lolly-pops More than 1 year ago
A CHRISTMAS BY THE SEA is the 2018 Melody Carlson Christmas story we've all been waiting for. i absolutely love the cover of this novella and I want to rent the cottage for a vacation getaway myself. What a lovely place. I don't like that Wendy wasn't honest with her son from the beginning. If he was old enough to register himself in school, he was old enough to understand the trip was to get the cottage cleared out and listed on the real estate market. It would've saved a lot of drama. Caleb was a sweetheart, and so there for both Wendy and Jackson. Wendy was hurting, worried, and running scared but she still found ways to be kind to her neighbors, make friends, and do artsy crafty stuff. I greatly enjoyed this novella and look forward to reading it over again for Christmases to come. I was given a copy off netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Andrea Byers More than 1 year ago
Wendy and her son Jackson travel to Maine, where she’s inherited her grandparents cottage. Her plans are to get the cottage ready to sell and head back home to Ohio. Jackson’s plans are to convince his mom to stay in Seaside. The book weaves back and forth between the two, and new friends they make. A delightful story that is hard to put down. I loved everything about it and this author has become one who’s Christmas stories I look forward to. A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Baker Publishing Group/Revell through NetGalley. No review was required and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Reli More than 1 year ago
This is a novella written about a thirtyish widow and her son. They have inherited a beach side cottage in the town of Seaside. The mom, Wendy, has full intentions of getting the cottage ready for sale and selling it. They have a lot of debt as her husband had been very sick with cancer before he passed away and Wendy feels she must have her corporate job in Ohio to make ends meet. Jackson, her son, loves the town and feels like he is being given a fresh start. And then, of course, there is the knight in shining armor, who also lives in the town. To be honest, I didn't realize this was supposed to be a novella until I sat down to write this review. That helps my feelings with this book, because one of my biggest issues is that the story was too short. To get from start to finish, everything moved along very fast and was focused too much, I thought, on the romantic end of it. The other thing that I didn't like about this book is it feels like I read it before. The story line just reminds me of another book I have read. I have no idea what that book was, who the author was, or anything, but the plot seemed so very similar. I actually checked to make sure this wasn't an older book I was rereading. I have read other Melody Carlson books and really liked them, so I have nothing against the author. Armando's Treasure is one I remember reading and thinking it was an excellent book. I just think for me, I didn't give it a fair chance as I don't really like novellas unless they are preludes to a series of regular length books. For sure, I need to know going into the reading of it that it's a novella. That I didn't know that is nobody's fault but my own. The writing style and structure of the book was well done. I read it as an ebook and often that makes me not like the book as well. I always think there are more typos and grammar issue in ebooks or that there can be, but I did not find that to be the case. It was a well written chick flick. And the next time I might exercise more caution in finding out if it's a full length book or not. I received this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review.
Abold24 More than 1 year ago
Ms. Carlson provides another delightful story with this book. The setting is in Maine at Christmas. The book focuses on Wendy, a widow, and her son, Jackson. After inheriting a cottage on the beach in Maine, Wendy and Jackson travel for a few weeks to prepare the cottage to sale. Jackson would prefer to move there forever. Seaside is an enchanting town that really pulls at Wendy and Jackson. Together they make many friends and acquaintances including Caleb. This book is a delightful holiday story about the importance of family and friends and home being where the heart is. Ms. Carlson’s books are entertaining and refreshing. I highly recommend this book and know you will not be disappointed in the story. This is a Christian romantic story. ***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest opinion. Even though I received this copy free, this is my own opinion.
Christianfictionandmore More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson has written over two hundred books among which are many Christmas stories. All of the ones I've read, including Christmas By the Sea, are sweet, encouraging holiday stories that would make wonderful Hallmark type Christmas movies. Wendy Harper and her son Jackson are headed to Maine to see the seaside cottage she often visited while growing up, the one she had inherited from her grandfather. While Jackson dreams of making a permanent move to Maine, Wendy must face the reality that selling the cottage is the only way to pay off the debts incurred during her husband's battle with cancer. While the characters are endearing, the ending is somewhat predictable, and in true Christmas movie tradition includes a rapidly progressing romance. The main theme of the story is trusting in God's provision. If you would like a sweet, quick read, this book fits the bill. I thank NetGalley and Revell for providing me with a copy of Christmas By the Sea in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review, and received no monetary compensation.
ganderson523 More than 1 year ago
A Christmas by the Sea is a warm Christmas story like we have come to expect from Melody Carlson. Wendy Harper and her twelve year old son, Jackson, has had a rough few years. Their husband and father died after a battle with cancer leaving the family with a strained financial situation. Jackson has had a hard time at school with bullying and teasing. When Wendy inherits her grandfather's beach house in Seaside, Maine, it seems an answer to their prayers. Wendy decides they can use the trip to get away for Thanksgiving to get the cottage in shape to sell. Jackson thinks that this is a great new start for them. So, they set out from Ohio and drove to Maine. Wendy struggles to keep finances above water while she works on the cottage. Jackson won't talk about leaving. Caleb Colton is a local furniture builder and store owner that gets to know Wendy and Jackson. He befriends them and gives advice to Wendy while hiring Jackson as a helper. Jackson quickly makes a friend, rescues a dog and even enrolls himself in school. He tells Wendy to have faith that God will work things out. But Wendy knows that Jackson is a child who doesn't understand the dire straits they are in financially. This is a heartwarming story of faith and family during the special holiday time of hope and joy. I received a complimentary ARC from Revell Publishing through NetGalley. The thoughts and opinion stated are mine only.