The Christmas Cat By Melody Carlson

I like nothing better during the winter holidays to curl up with a good Christmas story. It makes everything extra cozy and special. So much for waiting till December! The precious kitty on the front of the cover drew me into reading it right away!
Garrison Brown had been working in Uganda for the past 9 years digging wells to help the poor. He is forced to return home due to health problems. Not long after he arrives and just 2 weeks before Christmas, he is contacted that his grandmother has passed way. She took him in when his parents died and saw him through his “terrible” teens to adulthood. She meant the world to him.
Upon meeting with the attorney he finds she has left everything to him, including her six cherished cats. The only problem is Garrison is SEVERELY allergic to felines! Before the estate can be settled, he is to find all of them good homes. Which should be easy, except his grandmother left some very eccentric, detailed instructions about what homes they could go to. It was almost as if he was adopting out children! This glitch in the will greatly complicates his duty. Another surprising twist is that each person who takes a cat will receive $10,000, but they cannot know about it until the feline’s homes are finalized. The guidelines seem impossible, but he loved her so much that he will do whatever it takes to carry out her last wishes.
He is forced to stay in the house with his charges, not only to care for them but also carry out his objective of placing them with the right families. With lots of sneezing and allergy medication, he soldiers forward in his task. Through this he becomes familiar with the house he grew up in and his old neighborhood. He meets a beautiful young woman named Cara that has fallen in love one of the cats (the one that Garrison is becoming attached to). She would be a perfect owner but doesn’t qualify according to his Grans conditions. This causes a bit of a wrinkle in the new friendship.
As the story unfolds Garrison is faced with many sticky situations, some very sad and some very humorous. It seems every tactic he tries backfires, yet one by one, in unexpected ways the cats find their forever homes. Instead of hurrying through his task and moving on, Garrison finds himself connecting with his roots, his hometown, and falling in love.
I once again enjoyed Ms. Carlson’s unique storyline and her wonderful sense of humor shown throughout the book. It was very easy to get into the characters and experience their feelings and situations. I could clearly see God working through Garrison’s sweet grandmother’s plans, even after her death. We can run around and try to “fix” things but the Lord always has the best plan. It was also a story of faith in unusual circumstances. I will probably read this book again next year. Hopefully I can wait until December, but this book would be great to read any time of year. Now I want to read all of Ms. Carlson’s Christmas books!
I received this book free from Revell Publishers, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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