By: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: November 2018
Reviewed by: Gina Montanha
Two post-doctorate scientists are sent out on a grant from the University of Chicago, to conduct some interesting research in Good Shepherd, North Carolina. Drs. Delilah “Spunky” Spunk and Elyon Dewey are an unlikely pair of opposites, but each has a skill set that will positively contribute to the completion of their genetic studies.
Good Shepherd, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, is a lively little town with a population of only 10,000. Spunky & Elyon are expected to sample 100% of them, over the course of a few months. A seemingly daunting and impossible task, the two PhD’s assimilate into the quaint town quite quickly and easily. They befriend the eighth term alderman of Good Shepherd, Eggie Loft, who has been unable to get anyone to run for mayor or even another alderman seat in all that time. The town is chock full of odd dynamics and strange relationships among its residents.
Throughout the weeks spent studying their subjects in Good Shepherd, Spunky and Elyon are entertained by an amusing mix of fun names, mysterious church rivalries and odd historical nostalgia. Spunky becomes intrigued by Eggie Loft and even the socially challenged Elyon develops his own romantic interest. As Christmas approaches, there’s a few actual references to a “Hallmark Christmas movie” in the making.
Even though the romances are a bit predictable, this is a cute little story to be enjoyed around the holidays. And while you may figure out who’s kissing who, you may not expect the surprising ending, which reveals the real reason behind the mysterious dueling nativities.
Quill says: A Town Divided by Christmas will warm your heart, so enjoy it by the fire with a steaming cup of cocoa. It’s a quick read sprinkled with romance, mystery and an unexpected twist of an ending.