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Reviewed by Scherry Jenkins for Readers' Favorite
A Shangri-La Christmas by Elizabeth Player starts out with Beth getting a phone call from Tina, her mother's neighbor, telling Beth that her mum had taken a fall and was in the hospital. Beth immediately packed a bag and jumped on the sleeper train to go make sure her mother was okay. Being a good daughter, Beth takes care of Minty, her mum's dog, and then gets roped into taking on some of her church duties, like singing in the choir, baking cakes, and helping at the local bazaar while her mum is laid up with her broken knee cap. Those duties do not seem too bad though once she gets a look at Stuart, the handsome vicar. Beth is cautious, however, as she's barely out of a relationship with an equally handsome man in the city … yet a sweet romance begins to develop.
With the Christmas carols being sung and the Christingles being made, this story is a real holiday delight. I especially enjoyed reading about the intriguing tradition of the Christingle. My church does not share this custom, but I found it quite delightful and the images Elizabeth Player described made me want to go out and buy a bag of oranges! A Shangri-La Christmas was a delightful quick read. Within those pages, however, I found some great Christmas spirit. Elizabeth Player did a wonderful job of describing each scene, from the clothes Beth wore to the food they ate. Short stories like this make it difficult to fully develop the characters and build a plot, nonetheless, this story was a sweet read.