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Karon works more homespun magic with this latest uplifting story set in sleepy Mitford, N.C. Father Timothy Kavanagh, stalwart of the Mitford series, is approaching 70 when he comes across pieces of an old English nativity scene at his friend Andrew Gregory's antique shop. The set has definitely seen better days, and Andrew is hoping that someone will volunteer to restore it. Who better than Father Tim, who seems to have reached a turning point in his life and needs a project to distract him? Inspired by memories of a manger from his childhood that was destroyed in a rainstorm, Father Tim, after much deliberation, takes up the cause, planning to surprise his artist wife, Cynthia. Meanwhile, Hope Winchester, manager of Mitford's Happy Endings bookshop, learns that the shop is in danger of closing at the end of the year and struggles to save it and make it her own. Tear-jerking moments and humorous scenes featuring Mitford's more ornery denizens make for a cozily familiar trip into town. The restoration of the creche proves to be transformative for Father Tim, and a snowy Christmas Eve brings happiness to everyone in Mitford. Steering readers far from the "craziness and commerce of Christmas," Karon stays true to the adage that all things are possible with hard work, ingenuity and a little faith. Written in light, breezy prose that shimmers with faith and good hope, Karon's story goes down like hot cocoa by the fireplace. The author's warm spirituality and vibrant holiday spirit make this heartwarming eighth series entry a welcome one.