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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It’s that special time of the year, only it doesn’t feel like it. At least not for Emilie. Her family is leaving her in charge of their thoroughbred horse farm over the holidays on her own. In Merry Little Things: Good Things Come Book 5 by Linda Shantz Emilie has never been alone at Christmas before. It’s her favorite time of the year. The thought of being alone as well as being the only one responsible for the horses’ welfare is almost too much to bear. Then the stable manager leaves and she’s really on her own. A brief respite in Florida for her sister’s wedding and then it’s back to the farm once more, taking care of the horses. That is until a special dog enters her life and cheers her up and her friends pitch in to help. It might not be the family Christmas she was used to celebrating, but as we grow up, things change.
Linda Shantz’s Merry Little Things begins with Emilie’s workout with her special horse, Reba. Everyone thinks Reba’s too small to ever amount to anything as a racehorse, but Emilie is set on proving otherwise. The story unfolds as characters are introduced through interactions and dialogue. The descriptive narrative is well-developed, giving the reader a firm sense of place. The theme addresses a very relevant topic that people tend to overlook during the holiday season: loneliness. Emilie is overwhelmed by so many things and saddened to be alone at Christmas, but as the story progresses, she realizes that she isn’t all that alone. This is a delightful little comfort read for the holiday season.