By: Mary Kay Andrews
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publication Date: 09/28/21
My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)
From May Kay Andrews, the New York Times bestselling author of Hello, Summer, comes a novella celebrating the magic of Christmas and second chances in The Santa Suit.
When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn't bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it's a full-time job sorting through all of it.
At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it's from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?
Ivy's quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.
The most festive and enchanting Christmas Novella to get you in the holiday spirit!
The queen of Southern storytelling, Mary Kay Andrews, returns following The Newcomer with her signature witty, engaging style with a magical "must-read" holiday novella —THE SANTA SUIT! A beautiful Christmas story about a little town you'll want to visit, and a love story spanning generations you won't soon forget.
A massive fan of the author, for many years —having read all her books, I always look forward to hours of entertainment, especially with her Christmas books. After all, would it be a Christmas reading list without an appearance from MKA?
"Magical, Nostalgic, Heart-warming"—Second-chances!
Christmastime can be the most wonderful time of year, but it can be stressful for some. What a great way to unstress with this beautiful story assured to remind you of your favorite holiday times. Better than a holiday Hallmark movie!
Keenly observed, you can almost feel and smell the snow and Christmas trees and the holiday cheer. MKA transports us to a stunning setting which could even make Scrooge laugh and want to join in.
We are introduced to a newly-divorced Ivy Perkins trying to escape the big city life in Atlanta, her job, her best friend, and her cheating husband. Actually, those two she caught in the act.
It is snowing, and Ivy is excited to get to her new farmhouse with barn, located in the NC mountains in a quaint small town on the outskirts of Asheville. She purchased the charming old farmhouse (sight unseen) over the internet. Of course, it does not look like the beautiful photos on the internet upon arrival, and her list is adding up with repairs to be done.
It is called The Four Roses (named from past owners). She is ready for a change, and upon arrival, meets the realtor, Ezra. A nice-looking guy, but she has no time for guys. She just wants to get into her new home and start her new life with her dog Punkin and her chickens. Yes, (the girls) she has brought with her.
However, there are many problems with junky furniture (when she purchased without), and numerous problems with her own furniture delivery.
When going through the stuff left in the house, she finds an old Santa suit with a letter in the pocket from a young girl, Carlette asking to bring her father home from the war. Why did he save this one letter?
She is intrigued (obsessed) and starts sleuthing around town to find this family. She really wants to hide away; however, fate has something else in mind. Instead of fixing up the house, she gets caught up in the town, the Christmas lights, its history, and a link to a mysterious older gentleman who may connect all the dots.
In her quest for answers about the note, she meets some interesting characters and new friends for a new beginning. She brings life to a failing business, serves as cupid for her new friend, reunites a generation of family, and possibly a new love interest.
In the spirit of the season, the Santa suit and the note may unite generations at the Four Roses farmhouse.
THE SANTA SUIT is an enchanting story about finding love, home, and friendship when you're not even looking. Cozy up and settle in with a charming tale that will simply capture your holiday heart. Ideal for gift-giving.
I adored Ivy and I too, have moved to places where I did not know a soul. What great characters. Lawrence, Ezra, Phoebe, Cody, Carlette, Nancy, Bob, and Betty Rae Rose. I read this on my birthday and such a treat.
Half the joy of Christmas is curling up next to the hearth and snow with a good book in hand (even though I am in S. Florida and no snow and no fire), but I can escape through THE SANTA SUIT.
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press for a stunning hardcover with a beautiful holiday signed bookplate from MKA! It is stunning. And a digital copy from #NetGalley.
My Rating: 🎅🎅🎅🎅🎅
Pub Date: 09/28/2021
On a personal note: This story resonates with me. Years ago, when traveling to Mt. Dora, Florida (the antique capital and New England of the South; MKA, you would LOVE Donnelly Park-two million lights) and this magical little town, reminiscent of the town in the novella. I had a client located there, and always enjoyed the month of December during the holidays at Mt. Dora. They know how to do "Christmas!"
One year when my normal place was booked, I found one room left upstairs with a shared bath at this charming old historical B&B (built 1893) owned and managed by a beautiful elderly couple (which reminded me of Roses in the book that could be Mr. and Mrs. Santa). The entire town was lit up with Christmas events, vendors, boat parade, quaint restaurants, and lights- (like the novel) enchanting! The owner elderly gentleman owner dropped me off and picked me up at the event, telling me all about the town, so I did not have to drive and find parking or walk at night back to the inn. The following day, I met the most interesting folks at the country breakfast table and the elderly couple sat down with us, laughing and sharing stories of the past. Some of the most cherished memories and one of the best solo trips. I would love to return.
My other favorite during Christmas is Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC.
About the Author
Photo: Bill Miles
MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels (including Hello, Summer; Sunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The Weekenders; Beach Town; Save the Date; Ladies’ Night; Christmas Bliss; Spring Fever; Summer Rental; The Fixer Upper; Deep Dish; Blue Christmas; Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues), and one cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook.
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia. After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.
Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by twelve more New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.
She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide—both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels, and both available to rent through Tybee Vacation Rentals. In between cooking, spoiling her grandkids, and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses.