A single, 34 year-old man, with an aversion and allergy to cats, is faced with the methodical task of finding suitable homes for six precious felines in The Christmas Cat, a heartwarming novel by Melody Carlson (The Christmas Dog). Garrison Brown—trying to build a new life in Seattle after spending nine years doing missionary work in Uganda, battling malaria and nursing a broken heart in romance—receives word, near Christmas, that his widowed grandmother has died of a heart attack.
Summoned to Vancouver, Washington to settle her affairs, Garrison is surprised to learn that his frugal "Gram"—who raised him after his parents died in a car crash when he was 12 years-old—left behind her house, fully paid off, along with a substantial nest egg. Before Garrison can claim his inheritance, however, he is designated as "the keeper of the cats," responsible for following Gram's detailed, stringent criteria to match each cat's unique personality to his or her prospective new owner. Once Garrison can prove each cat is happily settled, the selected adoptive families will each receive $10,000. Where does this leave Garrison—especially with his feelings about cats? And just how should he roll out the plan in order to sift through suitable adoptive homes from mere gold diggers?
What ensues is a lighthearted story of Garrison's reconnection to his old neighborhood, his interacting with strangers who may become friends—or even something more—and his rekindling old hopes and dreams. Carlson, prolific in feel-good, faith-based fiction, once again delivers an affirming tale brimming with compassion and charm.
The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson
Fleming H. Revell Company, $15.99 Hardcover, 9780800719661, 169 pp
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (9/12/14), click HERE