1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber is part of the Cedar Cove series and thus would have been easier to follow had I read any of the earlier books, but it did not take long to acquaint myself with all the characters. I liked this novel when compared with the recent batch of Macomber Christmas books I have read. The focus is on Beth and Kent Morehouse, a divorced couple who, at the urging of their college-age daughters, decide to come together at Christmas. It is the daughters’ wish to reunite their parents yet they have to deal with other issues first, like Beth’s new boyfriend and a “friend” of Kent’s who, aside from being a drama queen, is both too young and much too high maintenance for their liking.
Macomber kept me guessing in that I wasn’t sure if Beth and Kent would make a second go of it. Typical of these novels is that they would, and by Christmas of course, yet the state of rapprochement progressed glacially, which seemed realistic. It was not a surprise to discover that they would start seeing each other again, however.
The cover depicts a basket containing puppies, and I never understood why so many of Macomber’s novels share this feature, especially when they don’t even have dogs in their storylines. Yet 1225 Christmas Tree Lane is an earlier novel from 2011 and may have been the origin of this design. Beth discovers a basket containing ten puppies outside her door shortly before Christmas, and must find homes for them. In keeping with the de rigueur rules of happy endings for Christmas novels, it is no spoiler to report that all of the puppies find new homes.
This novel incorporated many characters who seemed merely incidental–their chapters could have been excised without affecting the main plotline–and I suppose Macomber wanted to tie up some loose ends from their involvement in earlier Cedar Cove novels.