Lena Markham is ready to move on. She's recently been released from prison after serving eight years for a crime she didn't commit. She's looking to start over, and get her life back on track. While she's been in prison her parents have passed on, her husband has run off with his good name, her money and a new mistress. Lena finds herself paroled during the holidays, and she leaves prison with the clothes on her back, a one-way bus ticket to a new town, sixty-five dollars in cash, and a prearranged boardinghouse accommodation. When Lena sits down on the bus, lonely and starving she never could have guessed how her life would change. An elderly lady named Moira sits down beside her, recognizes her desperation and takes a leap of faith. Moira becomes her friend. Lena receives some clothing and a second-hand red coat from Moira that soon helps land her a job as Mrs. Clause in the local department store. Lena's life begins to starting looking up, she makes good friends, enjoys her day-to-day life but of course you can't always run from your past...
This is the third Melody Carlson Christmas book that I've read, and each one seems to get better and better. I look for certain things in a Christmas book, I want a short read, a good story and a strong message. Melody Carlson delivers each of these things flawlessly. I was rooting for Lena that whole way through, I wanted her to succeed, I wanted her to beat the system. This book was a very heartwarming, and I highly recommend it. This is a story about second changes, and the holiday spirit. Melody Carlson's Christmas books are really great.