Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Trading Christmas - Holiday Fiction Review

Goodreads:  Trading Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Rating: Liked It
Source: Purchased (Audible)

Description:  Emily Springer, widowed mother of one, decides to leave Leavenworth, Washington, to spend Christmas with her daughter in Boston.
Charles Brewster, history professor, curmudgeon and resident of Boston, wants to avoid Christmas altogether. He figures a prison town should be nice and quiet over the holidays — except he’s thinking of the wrong Leavenworth!

Through an internet site, Charles and Emily arrange to swap houses for the holiday. So Emily goes to Boston—and discovers that her daughter has gone to Florida. And Charles arrives in Leavenworth to discover that it’s not the prison town — it’s Santa’s village! The place is full of Christmas trees, Christmas music and...elves.
Meanwhile, Emily’s friend Faith Kerrigan travels to Leavenworth to visit her and instead finds Charles the grinch. Then Charles’s brother, Ray, shows up at his home in Boston to discover that he isn’t there — but Emily is.

Through all the mix-ups and misunderstandings, amid the chaos and confusion, romance begins to emerge in unexpected ways. Because everything changes at Christmas!

Genre: Fiction - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I loved the Hallmark movie based on this book and I've been wanting to read a Debbie Macomber Christmas book so this seemed perfect.

My Impression:  I have surprisingly mixed feelings about the book.  I loved Faith and Charles's story - especially the part involving Santa and the elves.  And really I loved Emily and Ray's story.  All four are really delightful people (well it does take a bit to warm up to Charles) who for various reasons have been single for quite awhile.  They're all nice people and it was equally nice to see them find people who really seemed to appreciate them.  I love the house swap trope and this was very well done.  I especially enjoyed Charles original thoughts on Leavenworth and Ray's absolute glee in learning that his brother has essentially landed in a Winter Wonderland. 

So what didn't I like?  Emily's daughter Heather.  After some thinking about it I think I just don't like Macomber's young adult children.  To me they always come off as whiny brats and Heather was no different.  She does redeem herself but I didn't enjoy her page time.  As well, I didn't care for the narration done by Renee Raudman.  I can't quite put my finger on what was wrong - maybe over-enunciation?  - but it just didn't work for me.  I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had just read it.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Yes.  I don't love her books as much as I want to but I do want to try more from her.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Yes, though honestly I prefer the Hallmark movie.


  1. I have done more Christmas reading this year than I have in a lifetime, I think. Quarantine has really gotten to me. 😇

  2. I've promised myself to watch more Hallmark movies this year. Not even one yet... !! Rain is predicted for the weekend, hopefully I'll get cozy in front of the tv then.

    This one does seem sweet. I'll most probably only watch the movie!

    Elza Reads

  3. I love that movie and really need to read the book version!! Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Hmm, went down a rabbit hole because when I was in the USA many many moons ago we did visit Leavenworth Washington for a day, so would be interested to see how Charles dealt with it. Debbie Macomber books are a bit hit and miss with me, the ones I liked best are her knitting series, they're good as I remember. I have put this one into my wishlist at Audible as a maybe.

  5. I've read two Christmas books this season---In a Holidaze and The Twelve Dates of Christmas---and I liked both of them.

  6. Yeah, after a while I have found her books to be a bit simple for my preferences.