Review: The Christmas Dog, by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Dog, by Melody Carlson (Revell, 2009)

Betty Kowalski still lives in the house where she raised the children alone after her husband died. Now her son and daughter live far away, and their children are leaving the nest. The neighbourhood has gone downhill lately. Most of the folks she knew have moved away or died, and Betty doesn’t know many of the new residents.

She doesn’t want to know the newest, an abrasive young man named Jack Jones, whose property unfortunately backs onto hers.

Truth be told, Betty may actually hate Jack. She thinks it’s justified, but as a Christian she needs to love her neighbour. She can’t do it on her own, so she prays—once—for help.

All that seems to get her is more annoyance. Jack’s unkempt dog shows up at her door—and keeps coming back.

Between the troublesome dog and Betty’s 20-something granddaughter Avery, who turns up for a surprise visit after running away from home, Betty and Jack discover there’s a lot more to each other than can be seen in a cursory, critical glance.

The Christmas Dog will leave you wondering what deeper value may hide in the people in your life. And it’s a good reminder to check our own hearts for critical attitudes. Most of all, it’s a heart-warming story for the holidays. Don’t be surprised if it inspires Christmas baking.

Melody Carlson is the amazingly prolific writer of over 200 books for women, teens, young readers and children. To learn more about Melody Carlson and her books, check out her website.


The Christmas Dog is available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Review copy provided by Graf-Martin Communications.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Christmas Dog, by Melody Carlson

  1. Belinda Burston

    Oh, this sounds like a wonderful book. Reading this blog could be expensive! 🙂 Not really, actually, as you have been a great source of good recommendations that have saved me money–helping me to narrow down to books I really want to read. Thank you Joanna for being a great screener!

    1. joannamallory

      Never forget your public library! If they don’t have the book in question, they can usually get it as an inter-library loan if it’s over a year old, or if it’s new you can put in a request to purchase it.


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