Review: Journey Back to Christmas – Leigh Duncan

Review: Journey Back to Christmas – Leigh DuncanJourney Back to Christmas
by Leigh Duncan
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Genres: Romance
Pages: 154
Source: NetGalley

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Treat yourself to ebooks inspired by Hallmark Christmas movies. Enjoy a heartwarming, feel-good story…and find out what happens after the movie ends.

WWII is finally over, but Hanna’s husband, Chet, didn't return home. She puts on a brave smile during the day while nursing her hospital patients, but at night, she grieves the loss of her love.

Then the Christmas Comet appears for the first time in over seventy years, and Hanna's caught in a snowstorm and knocked unconscious. She wakes up in modern times, and much to her confusion, her small town has changed. A local cop takes pity on her and invites her to stay with his family over the holiday.

As she searches for her place in this familiar yet different town, Hanna discovers that even small acts of kindness impact lives…and that the true meaning of Christmas is timeless. Now, she hopes to find her way back to her own time…and this year's comet may lead her to a Christmas miracle.

This sweet story includes a free original recipe for Gingerbread Cupcakes with Christmas Comet Cookies.

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When you think of a Hallmark movie, you think of something heartwarming, sweet, and a bit sappy. Apparently, that also applies to Hallmark books as well! I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t say how true the book is to the movie (ha, it’s funny saying it that way for a change!).

Hanna was quite sweet and positive, even when dealing with the overwhelming grief of her first Christmas as a war widow. But, as she tells her friend, “Nothing ever gets solved by blubbering” – I’m guessing this sort of attitude was very prominent during the war years. Though she works as a nurse at the local hospital, with her husband dead and her hopes of starting a family gone, she feels lost and without a purpose in life. Of course, as the blurb says, events happen that lead to her waking up in 2016. Even having jumped 71 years in the future, Hanna still manages to be upbeat, and in trying to be kind and helpful to the family of the cop who takes her in, ends up spreading even more cheer than she realizes.

“You know what I do when I’m sad?… I try to help somebody else who’s sad.”

As for cons, it’s very predictable, and the characterizations, besides Hanna, are cardboard cutouts. Loving parents, cute niece, suspicious divorced sister – that’s basically what they are. All the conflict, including the “will Hanna ever get home or not?” plot, is quite tame. But honestly, this is a lovely bit of escapist fluff, so it seems disingenuous to judge it too harshly for not pretending to be anything else.

Overall, heartwarming and sweet, with a lovely reminder that acts of kindness can have more far-reaching consequences than you’d think possible. Perfect for curling up with some hot cocoa and gingerbread on a lazy holiday afternoon.








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