Book Review: The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

It’s Thursday! Happy nearly the weekend my lovely peeps🐥! Wanna know something? I usually write these reviews on a Sunday (the day I finish my books) and draft the actual and formatted review posts on Wednesday night, but I ended up spending yesterday evening reading and playing SimCity on my iPad that I never got around to it. Hey, I can’t help it. The mayor contests opened back up and I needed to hold a decent place for a prize. It’s a cutthroat contest! So for the first time, in maybe ever, I’m writing and scheduling this review to be posted in the same morning. Heck, by the time I’m done formatting, adding links, and proofreading this tiny little intro section, it’ll be time for work and before you know it, the review’ll be up!

So for this week’s book review, I’ll be featuring The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews! I really enjoyed this one and hope my review reflects so!

Title: The Santa Suit
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Chick-Lit, Holiday
Edition: Ebook > Kindle
Length: 213 Pages (Kindle)
Published: 28 Sept 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

LINKS:
Amazon
: [Link]
Goodreads: [Link]

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.

When Ivy and her dog, Punkin, moves into that run down looking house that she threw her life savings and hopes into, her divorce was still painfully fresh. But, she’s trying to build a new life and put her ex behind her. It’s just her, her dog, and her box of baby chicks against the old looking house that she didn’t even personally look in before closing the deal. She’s got a good feeling about this house and going into the book, I didn’t share her optimism right away. I’ve moved (a LOT) through life and each time, moving meant lots of inspections and walking through the house, so to miss that important step was eyebrow raising.

BUT! My hesitation and negativity stops there because ohhh, I did shed a few tears here and there. This was such a nice read and coming out of an action and battle filled book, this was the perfect breather and palate cleanser. It felt like the perfect wintery, hot coco and fireplace, Christmas kind of book and it sure felt like that the whole way through. I smiled, I shed a few tears, and it was MAGICAL. 

I really enjoyed the writing, going into the book. It was easy to read and I could quickly digest it. I made my way through those chapters like they were nothing! I spread it out over the course of a week (10 – 30 minutes a night), but I could certainly see myself just curling up and inhaling this entire book in a single day, maybe even an entire sitting! 

The best part about this was the plot/storyline and the characters. We have Ivy, trying to start her life anew. A city girl and her dog and future chickens alone on a giant patch of farmland in a house she didn’t even visit before buying. She took a massive leap of fate, it was almost like the house was calling for her. She mets her real estate agent and eventual lover. Relatively new to town himself, Ezra lives down the road from her new house and, unlike any real estate agent out there, at least to Ivy, her friends, or my knowledge, he goes above and beyond and beyond even that for her! She needed someone to remove the furniture the old owner left her? He had a contact for that. She needs those furniture back? That same guy owes him a favor so he’ll cart it back in for her. She needs some stuff fixed up? He’s quite handy himself. She needs a plumber? He’s got a contact for that too and he too has some behind the scene deal with Ezra so to arrive at Ivy’s door ASAP. I thought that he was a really helpful and caring guy and honestly the two of them were so sweet. All of Ivy’s new friends were immediately rooting for them to just get together already. The only “hmm” moment I had was, this man literally had answers to EVERY SITUATION that Ivy found herself in. He’s got contacts like nobody knows and if he can’t find someone to fix her stuff, well, he’s a handyman himself. He’s charming and while I wouldn’t throw “unrealistic” out there right away, I did chuckle and note it down after he saves Ivy for the umpteenth time.

“You were expecting some old geezer, right? Nobody under the age of seventy is named Ezra these days. What can I say? My mom thought she was birthing a sea captain.”

The story and plot was my favorite part. Ivy’s new to town and upon her arrival, of course she goes around meeting her new neighbors and trying to empty out the house (while fixing it up a little). The original owners of this house (called The Four Roses House) were very VERY well known in the community for being stellar citizens, amazing folks, and were the local Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Now, Ivy, she’s hurt from her divorce and, not to mention Christmas was never really a happy holiday for her, isn’t so keen on continuing their legacy or even decorate or string some lights up (maybe next year she says), but one thing leads to another and Ivy eventually brings a little Christmas back into the old and forgotten house. OK, a lot of Christmas.

While going through the stuff in the house, she finds a note stuff into a suit. It’s one of the letters from the children that “Mr. and “Mrs. Claus” send gifts too and it’s a touching note. From there, it leads her to an old man who hasn’t seen his grandchild since she was just a child. That leads her to helping out a beloved candy shop on the absolute brink of shutting down. Along the way, she helps out a new friend and her love troubles. All the while she’s trying to deal with the house needing some massive repairs, trying to house her quickly growing chickens, and juggle whatever’s this not-so-bad deal with her very-much-helpful real estate agent is.

“I guess I just like the taste of peppermint. It reminds me of Christmas. And hope.”

All in all, I absolutely adored this book. There wasn’t even a real moment where Ivy faced with some great challenge (other than a majorly packed schedule at one point). There’s no side chick coming in. Her ex stays an ex and isn’t trying to make her life worse (hell yeah, stay out of her life). There’s no angry jealous person or mean nasty neighbor. It’s just tooth-rotting fluff from beginning to end and made me tingle with how warm it left me. A wonderful book that left me with only one regret. I wish I read during December instead.

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