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The Wish Book Christmas

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From the bestselling author of If I Were You comes a nostalgic and endearing holiday story that reminds us that sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the ones we least expect and don't deserve. Best friends Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in postwar America, thrilled at the prospect of starting new traditions with their five-year From the bestselling author of If I Were You comes a nostalgic and endearing holiday story that reminds us that sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the ones we least expect and don't deserve. Best friends Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in postwar America, thrilled at the prospect of starting new traditions with their five-year-old sons. But when the 1951 Sears Christmas Wish Book arrives and the boys start obsessing over every toy in it, Audrey and Eve realize they must first teach them the true significance of the holiday. They begin by helping Bobby and Harry plan gifts of encouragement and service for those in their community, starting by walking an elderly neighbor's yellow Lab--since a dog topped the boys' wish list for Santa. In the charming tale that follows, Audrey and Eve are surprised to find their own hearts healing from the tragedies of war and opening to the possibility of forgiveness and new love.


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From the bestselling author of If I Were You comes a nostalgic and endearing holiday story that reminds us that sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the ones we least expect and don't deserve. Best friends Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in postwar America, thrilled at the prospect of starting new traditions with their five-year From the bestselling author of If I Were You comes a nostalgic and endearing holiday story that reminds us that sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the ones we least expect and don't deserve. Best friends Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in postwar America, thrilled at the prospect of starting new traditions with their five-year-old sons. But when the 1951 Sears Christmas Wish Book arrives and the boys start obsessing over every toy in it, Audrey and Eve realize they must first teach them the true significance of the holiday. They begin by helping Bobby and Harry plan gifts of encouragement and service for those in their community, starting by walking an elderly neighbor's yellow Lab--since a dog topped the boys' wish list for Santa. In the charming tale that follows, Audrey and Eve are surprised to find their own hearts healing from the tragedies of war and opening to the possibility of forgiveness and new love.

30 review for The Wish Book Christmas

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie DeMoss

    This sweet and poignant Christmas novella is a follow-up story to Austin's best-selling novel "If I Were You." We are taken back into Evie and Audrey's world at Christmas, and the boys are mesmerized by the Sears Christmas Catalog and all the toys they want. Their mothers begin to show them the true meaning of Christmas, and along the way learn a few lessons for themselves. This wonderful little novella transports us to the Christmas season and reminds us that giving is so much more rewarding tha This sweet and poignant Christmas novella is a follow-up story to Austin's best-selling novel "If I Were You." We are taken back into Evie and Audrey's world at Christmas, and the boys are mesmerized by the Sears Christmas Catalog and all the toys they want. Their mothers begin to show them the true meaning of Christmas, and along the way learn a few lessons for themselves. This wonderful little novella transports us to the Christmas season and reminds us that giving is so much more rewarding than receiving. As their boys learn lessons about the joys of helping others, Evie and Audrey learn about forgiveness, redemption, and new beginnings. This special story will brighten up your Christmas season and bring joy to your heart. Although this can be read as a standalone, reading "If I Were You" first is recommended. I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Chapel

    Beautiful story filled with the Spirit of Christmas. I will admit the cover and title of this book made me want to read it . When my little brother and I still believed in Santa Claus the Christmas Wish Book meant a lot to us. As soon as it came in the mail we would spend hours searching the pages to see what we could order from Santa. Next we would write a letter and tell him what we wanted for Christmas. Of course we knew we wouldn't be getting everything we put in our list of things we hoped Beautiful story filled with the Spirit of Christmas. I will admit the cover and title of this book made me want to read it . When my little brother and I still believed in Santa Claus the Christmas Wish Book meant a lot to us. As soon as it came in the mail we would spend hours searching the pages to see what we could order from Santa. Next we would write a letter and tell him what we wanted for Christmas. Of course we knew we wouldn't be getting everything we put in our list of things we hoped to find under the tree on Christmas morning. In fact when times were hard there might not be any of the things we had put on the list. But the excitement of looking through that Wish Book from Sears each year has stayed with me through the years and this book brings back a lot of memories because I grew up during the post war years. Christmases like the one in this story was the kind my family celebrated each year. I found this book to be entertaining and an easy to read page turner. I loved the characters and that the two single mothers tried to teach their young boys the true meaning of Christmas. They not only taught it to their boys but they acted out the true meaning of Christmas for the boys and their neighbor. This story takes place during the WWII post war years. Two mothers, one a single lady named Eve Dawson and one a widow named Audrey Barrett, try to teach their two Kindergarten aged sons what Christmas really means and why it's celebrated each year. When the Sears Wish Book arrives in the mail the boys are enchanted by all the pages of toys in the catalog. They spend hours upon hours searching those pages and wanting everything they seen there. Eve and Audrey can't afford everything they're asking for so they ask the boys to pick one item on each page. The two mothers make plans to teach the children about the birth of Jesus and who he was. A beautiful story unfolds on the pages of this book. Will the boys grasp the true meaning of the holiday? I recommend this book to readers of Christian Fiction and fans of the Author. It's a wonderful Christmas read and would be great as a family book too. I read it as a stand alone and thought it was great. Five stars! I borrowed this book from the library. A review was not requested. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin has Eve Dawson and Audrey Barrett worried about their sons, Harry and Bobby. They boys discovered The Sears Wish Book and have been consumed with it. They have a long list of toys they want Santa to bring them for Christmas. Eve and Audrey want to the boys to know the true meaning of Christmas. After watching the boys play wise men in the school play, they come up with a plan. The Wish Book Christmas is a continuation of If I Were You. I was not aware that The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin has Eve Dawson and Audrey Barrett worried about their sons, Harry and Bobby. They boys discovered The Sears Wish Book and have been consumed with it. They have a long list of toys they want Santa to bring them for Christmas. Eve and Audrey want to the boys to know the true meaning of Christmas. After watching the boys play wise men in the school play, they come up with a plan. The Wish Book Christmas is a continuation of If I Were You. I was not aware that there had been a prior book until I started reading The Wish Book Christmas. I felt liked I was plopped into the middle of a story, so I went investigating. The author does provide the necessary background information so it technically can be read as a standalone. Personally, I believe I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read If I Were You first. I thought The Wish Book Christmas was well-written with developed characters. Once I got into the story, I was engaged. I liked how the mothers went about teaching their sons the true meaning of Christmas. The Wish Book Christmas is a heartwarming story that will put you in the mood for the holidays. It is a book that will get you to thinking about how you can help others this holiday season. There are many types of gifts you can give someone, and they do not involve purchasing an item in a store (or by purchasing a gift card). The ending was very special and will leave you smiling. The Wish Book Christmas is a story about forgiveness, hope, family, moving on, joy, and the true meaning of Christmas. The Wish Book Christmas is a heartwarming holiday novel with a wish list of toys, a cavorting canine, shoveling snow, a decked-out Christmas tree, a gracious God, finding forgiveness, firm friends, and a happy holiday.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    What a gift this read was! Not only is the story such a great lesson of giving, and leading the next generation, it is an update on the lives of a previous wonderful book "If I Were You", and yes, I suggest you read it, but this can be read alone. This was a present that as I opened it, it kept on giving, with each page I turned the wrapping gave up more, I just didn't want it to end! These two little boys make for a delightful, and at times laugh out loud read, and then add in a dog! The kinderga What a gift this read was! Not only is the story such a great lesson of giving, and leading the next generation, it is an update on the lives of a previous wonderful book "If I Were You", and yes, I suggest you read it, but this can be read alone. This was a present that as I opened it, it kept on giving, with each page I turned the wrapping gave up more, I just didn't want it to end! These two little boys make for a delightful, and at times laugh out loud read, and then add in a dog! The kindergarten play is a wonderful treat, and following these woman from England to the states has been an adventure! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Tyndale House, and was not required to give a positive review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    This book was filled with my childhood memories. As a post war baby, i was two when this story takes place. I am very familiar with the Sears Wish Book, the TV shows and toys of the era. We even had a Buick Roadmaster in baby blue with a white top. And I had a Davy Crockett outfit instead of Roy Rogers. “We each owe a debt that we can never repay. But God has reached down from heaven to pay it for us by giving us the gift of Jesus.” Ms. Austin captured the excitement and childish joy of the two fi This book was filled with my childhood memories. As a post war baby, i was two when this story takes place. I am very familiar with the Sears Wish Book, the TV shows and toys of the era. We even had a Buick Roadmaster in baby blue with a white top. And I had a Davy Crockett outfit instead of Roy Rogers. “We each owe a debt that we can never repay. But God has reached down from heaven to pay it for us by giving us the gift of Jesus.” Ms. Austin captured the excitement and childish joy of the two five year old boys, Harry and Bobby. It was fun to watch what they and their mothers were up to since meeting them in If I Were You. The author used the relationship of Eve and Audrey to show how people can forgive, change for the better and have a fresh start with new goals. I liked the way the mothers tried to get the boys to refocus the their wants into doing something special for someone in need. A lesson we could all learn. A highlight was the Christmas Play with all the shenanigans but a true message of Christ came through. A great book filled with the real spirit of Christmas. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  6. 4 out of 5

    Karen R

    A delightful story following closely on the heels of the novel, If I Were You. Highly recommend reading that book first, otherwise there would be many spoilers. This is a story full of joy and hope, with the anticipation of Christmas and something new as Eve and Audrey face their future. The little boys are charming and add a spark of excitement to the seasonal tale. Their sweet innocence is refreshing as they turn from the wanting-every-toy-in-the-catalog phase to learning the joy of giving to A delightful story following closely on the heels of the novel, If I Were You. Highly recommend reading that book first, otherwise there would be many spoilers. This is a story full of joy and hope, with the anticipation of Christmas and something new as Eve and Audrey face their future. The little boys are charming and add a spark of excitement to the seasonal tale. Their sweet innocence is refreshing as they turn from the wanting-every-toy-in-the-catalog phase to learning the joy of giving to others. The author seamlessly works a redemptive message into the narrative as the true meaning of Christmas shines through. The transformation in Eve is lovely as she must learn to forgive herself in order to move on. Audrey likewise has her own lessons to learn. It was a satisfying read overall and a nice way to round out the story begun in If I Were You. It made me feel a bit nostalgic with the mention of songs and other traditions from the 1950's. A fun read anytime of the year. Recommend! (An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    This is a sweet story that will bring a smile to your face and warm feelings to your heart as author Lynn Austin pens an enjoyable sequel to her novel If I Were You, bringing back all the characters in Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson’s circle of friends and family. The story is set in 1951 and opens with Harry and Bobby browsing the Sears Christmas Wish Book dreaming of the wonderful toys they could ask Santa for, hoping they would be good enough to stay off the naughty list. Audrey and Eve would l This is a sweet story that will bring a smile to your face and warm feelings to your heart as author Lynn Austin pens an enjoyable sequel to her novel If I Were You, bringing back all the characters in Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson’s circle of friends and family. The story is set in 1951 and opens with Harry and Bobby browsing the Sears Christmas Wish Book dreaming of the wonderful toys they could ask Santa for, hoping they would be good enough to stay off the naughty list. Audrey and Eve would like their sons to realize there is more to Christmas than getting lots of toys. Harry and Bobby are in a Christmas pageant and play one of the kings. Their mothers get the idea to give gifts like the kings did. So, Audrey and Eve start brainstorming about what their children could give people that would spread Christmas cheer and help them learn more about the true meaning of Christmas. The gifts they gave did not have to cost money. Their boys could give gifts that would be worth more than the ones they brought in the store. I liked how the author talked about grieving and learning to live and love again. I enjoyed what the author had to say, ‘The Wish Book Christmas was a fun extra project in an otherwise not-so-fun-year. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting best friends Eve Dawson and Audrey Clarkson and their sons, Harry and Bobby, and seeing where life had taken them after the final pages of If I Were You.” Inspiration sprang from my own memories of the Christmas Wish Book, published each year by Sears, Roebuck and Co. Like Bobby and Harry, my two sisters and I would study the catalog pages, dreaming of all the presents we’d find beneath the tree on Christmas morning….” It’s my hope and prayer that The Wish Book Christmas will brighten and inspire your Christmas celebration this season.” This is a nostalgic blast from the past filled with hope, love, and the celebration of life. The author includes eight discussions to help create a lively discussion for your book club meeting. Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin is a wonderful, heartwarming, endearing, and excellent post-WWII era historical fiction that really placed me into a festive mood. This book takes place in the years after the conclusion of WWII in Connecticut. The characters are those from Ms. Austin’s stunning book, If I Were You. While one most certainly does not need to read its predecessor, as I did, this book will be appreciated even more so if this is read as a follow up. The author does a fabulous jo The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin is a wonderful, heartwarming, endearing, and excellent post-WWII era historical fiction that really placed me into a festive mood. This book takes place in the years after the conclusion of WWII in Connecticut. The characters are those from Ms. Austin’s stunning book, If I Were You. While one most certainly does not need to read its predecessor, as I did, this book will be appreciated even more so if this is read as a follow up. The author does a fabulous job giving summaries of the character backgrounds so that it can be picked up here easily. We see now how life is for Audrey Barrett, her son Bobby, and Eve Dawson and her son Harry after the settling of previous errors. All are living in Audrey’s home and all are trying to find their footing in this new world. Both women are dealing with personal and romantic conflicts, conundrums, and trying to sort out their feelings. This is all going on amongst the wonderful backdrop of the vintage, New England, classic Christmas. The author transported me into a world where I could feel the snow crunch under my heels, the wind nipping my face, and i feel like I could almost see the warm glow of twinkling lights through the windows. She was able to provide a stunning description of where these characters lived and what they experienced. I loved the wonderful messages presented: the true meaning of Christmas, the important roles of family, friends, and helping out those around us. I loved the romance plots that were balanced perfectly with what Audrey and Eve wanted to accomplish on their own as independent women. Their struggles with finding this balance all the while raising their young sons is a daily task that all parents, women especially, face. I enjoyed all of the plots, the wonderful character cast, and I truly enjoyed the warm, heartfelt, and perfect ending. A great Christmas read that has history, family, faith, and heart that everyone will love and appreciate. 5/5 stars Thank you EW and Tyndale House Publishers for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 9/7/21.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    4.5 stars for this sweet short Christmas story. I'll agree with other reviewers that it helps to have read "If I Were You" prior to reading this. Though this story stands alone, the prior book helps to understand the background and relationship dynamics. This short story picks up about a year or so after that book left off. Audrey and Eve have settled in to doing single motherhood together and at Christmas-time their sons find the "wish book" catalog and want EVERYTHING for Christmas. This story 4.5 stars for this sweet short Christmas story. I'll agree with other reviewers that it helps to have read "If I Were You" prior to reading this. Though this story stands alone, the prior book helps to understand the background and relationship dynamics. This short story picks up about a year or so after that book left off. Audrey and Eve have settled in to doing single motherhood together and at Christmas-time their sons find the "wish book" catalog and want EVERYTHING for Christmas. This story was about how these moms worked to curb the commercialism of their young sons and instead bring to them the spirit of giving. This had some cute moments - I really enjoyed their Christmas play, some sweet moments - I appreciated their ideas of becoming the wise men, and some inspirational moments - I liked the part where their neighbor took down her gold star and why. All in all, this was a nice jaunt back in with these familiar characters to see how their story arcs continued and a sweet Christmas story that really embodies the spirit of the season. Special thanks to Tyndale and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    This Christmas story by Lynn Austin is a sweet look at the good old days in the fifties. After I started reading, I realized that this book is actually a sequel to If I Were You (which I have not read yet, but hope to soon). In spite of that, I greatly enjoyed reading this story. I have fond memories from my own childhood, of paging through the beautiful Christmas catalog, making lists of everything I wanted for Christmas.... Audrey and Eve are two single moms, doing their best trying to raise the This Christmas story by Lynn Austin is a sweet look at the good old days in the fifties. After I started reading, I realized that this book is actually a sequel to If I Were You (which I have not read yet, but hope to soon). In spite of that, I greatly enjoyed reading this story. I have fond memories from my own childhood, of paging through the beautiful Christmas catalog, making lists of everything I wanted for Christmas.... Audrey and Eve are two single moms, doing their best trying to raise their two young sons to be good, upstanding, citizens. The boys want everything in the Christmas catalog and are determined to ask Santa for all of it. Their moms are equally determined they should learn gratefulness. This sweet Christmas story set in the 1950s is a wonderful read. It gives a real look at family, life, & love in those golden days. Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Connecticut - December 1951 The story is told by Audrey and Eve. Both women want to be independent but are stuck in the past. Their sons are focused on gifts instead of the true meaning of Christmas. All four learn about themselves and others and Christmas. There is some romance, but it isn't the focus of the story. Connecticut - December 1951 The story is told by Audrey and Eve. Both women want to be independent but are stuck in the past. Their sons are focused on gifts instead of the true meaning of Christmas. All four learn about themselves and others and Christmas. There is some romance, but it isn't the focus of the story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I really enjoyed this book. Being like the wiseman! :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Bridgewater

    The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin welcomes readers back to the familiar characters of If I Were You. Even if you had not read that story, you will still enjoy this novel, but I think to understand and fully embrace the forgiveness story, you need to read If I Were You. I love reading Christmas stories when it is 93 degrees outside. It makes me smile and bring a warmth to Christmas. Austin crafted a story that a lot of children need to read and understand. Our family does not spend a lot on The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin welcomes readers back to the familiar characters of If I Were You. Even if you had not read that story, you will still enjoy this novel, but I think to understand and fully embrace the forgiveness story, you need to read If I Were You. I love reading Christmas stories when it is 93 degrees outside. It makes me smile and bring a warmth to Christmas. Austin crafted a story that a lot of children need to read and understand. Our family does not spend a lot on our boys for Christmas. We plan a trip with each individual child during the year instead. Much better than gifts. I do like the idea of giving three gifts to help others like the Wise Men did to Jesus. I love the Happy Birthday Jesus Party too. We do that in our house too. I love the snow. It was everywhere. Something I want more of. I really enjoyed this story. It shares a wonderful Christmas and life lessons about gifts. Plus, it was a delight to spend time with. I definitely want a paperback copy of this novel to put on my shelf. I highly recommend this book to others. I received a complimentary copy of The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kirby

    The Wish Book Christmas is truly one of the sweetest holiday reads I've had the pleasure of reading, and I found myself immersed in the beautiful story right from start to finish. I ended up reading If I Were You right before I dove into this one, and I'm so thankful that Lynn Austin decided to give readers more of Eve and Audrey's story. I actually ended up enjoying this one even more than I did it's counterpart, and it's a story that is going to stick with me for quite sometime. I appreciated h The Wish Book Christmas is truly one of the sweetest holiday reads I've had the pleasure of reading, and I found myself immersed in the beautiful story right from start to finish. I ended up reading If I Were You right before I dove into this one, and I'm so thankful that Lynn Austin decided to give readers more of Eve and Audrey's story. I actually ended up enjoying this one even more than I did it's counterpart, and it's a story that is going to stick with me for quite sometime. I appreciated how so much of this story focuses on the spiritual and personal growth that both women have experienced since the start of If I Were You, and how both are determined to give their son's the best life they can while still keeping them grounded in understanding what's truly important in life. However, the story is also nostalgic and heartwarming in little Bobby and Henry's fascination with the beautiful pages of the Wish Book catalogue and the many, many fascinating toys that lie within its pages. As Eve and Audrey struggle to convince their young sons that the true meaning of Christmas involves much more than just the shiny toys in their favorite catalogue, readers are treated to a beautiful story centered around the Nativity and the Three Wise Men who offered baby Jesus beautiful gifts to celebrate His birth. If you're a fan of Christmas stories that will leave you teary eyed and give you warm fuzzies, then The Wish Book Christmas is definitely the book for you. However, this story involves so much more than just a simple holiday story, and it's a perfect follow up to the poignant, thought provoking If I Were You. Final Rating: 5/5. I can't possibly recommend this one enough, and I'm so sad to finally have to say goodbye to these characters. I loved how Lynn Austin chose to conclude these character's stories, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future. I don't personally recommend reading this one before you read If I Were You though as it contains big spoilers and parts of the story really won't make sense out of the context of that one. Thanks so much to Tyndale House for allowing me to advance read and review this. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance reader copy of this novel from the publisher (Tyndale House) in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: Bobby Barrett stepped off the kindergarten school bus and his foot sank into a pile of fresh snow. Some of the snow fell inside his galoshes and soaked into his socks, making him shiver. He couldn’t remember there being this much snow back home in England, where he was born. Premise/plot: The Wish Book Christmas is the sequel to Lynn Austin's If I Were You. The year is 1951, the season, Christmas. Eve Dawson and Audrey Barrett are living together with their two sons Bobby (Barrett First sentence: Bobby Barrett stepped off the kindergarten school bus and his foot sank into a pile of fresh snow. Some of the snow fell inside his galoshes and soaked into his socks, making him shiver. He couldn’t remember there being this much snow back home in England, where he was born. Premise/plot: The Wish Book Christmas is the sequel to Lynn Austin's If I Were You. The year is 1951, the season, Christmas. Eve Dawson and Audrey Barrett are living together with their two sons Bobby (Barrett) and Harry (Dawson). Both women are working hard while prioritizing family. When the boys get their hands on a Sears Wish Book catalog, well, their domestic peace is temporarily threatened. These two boys get a case of the GIMMEs. They want EVERYTHING. Well, not everything. Not baby toys. Not girl toys. But every other toy is GIMME, GIMME, GIMME. Can these two mamas figure out how to show their boys the true meaning of Christmas? In addition to being a cozy historical read, it is also a romance. My thoughts: I enjoyed If I Were You. I did. But even before I knew this book was a sequel to a book I've already read and enjoyed, I wanted it. THAT COVER SAYS READ ME, READ ME, READ ME. It has to be one of the best covers I've ever seen. I also remember my own Wish Book years. There is a JOY in having a Sears Wish Book in hand and writing that letter to Santa. (For the record, I never wanted everything--nor expected everything.) As for the book itself, well, it has a definite cozy, nostalgic vibe. It isn't as intense and suspenseful as the first book. There really isn't any conflict. It's just a comfy-cozy, holiday-themed, light-and-fluffy romance. Definitely has some predictable (but always welcome) themes of what the Christmas season really means.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aminata Coote

    The Wish Book Christmas is the story of Audrey, Eve, and their sons as they try to survive Christmas in wake of the 1951 Sears Christmas Wish Book. When the boys find a copy of the Wish Book in their home, every moment becomes consumed with all the toys they want Santa Claus to bring them. This creates some tension in the home as both mothers are struggling to remain on a budget for different reasons. Audrey and Eve come up with a plan to teach their sons the real meaning of Christmas. In the en The Wish Book Christmas is the story of Audrey, Eve, and their sons as they try to survive Christmas in wake of the 1951 Sears Christmas Wish Book. When the boys find a copy of the Wish Book in their home, every moment becomes consumed with all the toys they want Santa Claus to bring them. This creates some tension in the home as both mothers are struggling to remain on a budget for different reasons. Audrey and Eve come up with a plan to teach their sons the real meaning of Christmas. In the end, the idea that they came up with to refocus the boys attention on what mattered was a good one, but I felt that  the moms didn't take as active a role as they could have in getting the point across. Also, the reminder that Christmas is about Jesus wasn't as prominent as it could have been. It was nice to see the boys get into the spirit of Christmas, but in some ways this was spoiled by the events on Christmas Day (I don't want to say any more because I don't want to give away any spoilers). The Wish Book Christmas also showed the blooming friendship between Audrey and Alan, as well as, the romance between Eve and Tom. For much of the book Eve seemed to be trying to force Audrey and Alan together in the hopes of starting a romance which was somewhat hypocritical because she didn't want to resolve her relationship with Tom. Readers of The Wish Book Christmas will be reminded that God's forgiveness is a gift that we can share with others including ourselves. The Wish Book Christmas is a sequel to If I Were You but can be read as a stand-alone. I received an advanced reader's copy from the publisher through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    "The Wish Book Christmas" is a Christian historical romance set in December 1951 in America. This book is a sequel to "If I Were You" but can be read as a stand-alone. However, you'll understand the story better if you read them in order. Two single moms, Audrey and Eve, want to teach their children that Christmas isn't just about getting toys. It's about giving to others, like Christ did for us. Much of the tale was about these efforts and Christmas events like a funny Christmas play. But both w "The Wish Book Christmas" is a Christian historical romance set in December 1951 in America. This book is a sequel to "If I Were You" but can be read as a stand-alone. However, you'll understand the story better if you read them in order. Two single moms, Audrey and Eve, want to teach their children that Christmas isn't just about getting toys. It's about giving to others, like Christ did for us. Much of the tale was about these efforts and Christmas events like a funny Christmas play. But both women needed a reminder about accepting undeserved gifts. Audrey refused help from her father-in-law, even though it's kindly meant. Eve refused to marry the man she loves until she's paid back a debt because she can't forgive herself even if everyone else has. But Christ gave the undeserved gift of himself, and he's still giving good gifts to his children. The characters were complex, realistic people. I cared about what happened to Audrey, Eve, and the people they cared about. Historical details about what life was like at the time were woven into story. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this charming, well-written historical fiction. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Oh my goodness, I dearly loved The Wish Book Christmas. This story is a sequel to If I Were You (which I also really loved.) The Wish Book Christmas starts where If I Were You ends. Audrey and Eve try to teach their sons, Bobby and Harry, the real meaning of Christmas after the boys discover the Sears Christmas catalog and start listing the entire toy section as their wants for Christmas. I loved getting an update on Audrey and Eve’s stories. The story is such a sweet Christmas story. Thank you Oh my goodness, I dearly loved The Wish Book Christmas. This story is a sequel to If I Were You (which I also really loved.) The Wish Book Christmas starts where If I Were You ends. Audrey and Eve try to teach their sons, Bobby and Harry, the real meaning of Christmas after the boys discover the Sears Christmas catalog and start listing the entire toy section as their wants for Christmas. I loved getting an update on Audrey and Eve’s stories. The story is such a sweet Christmas story. Thank you to Netgalley and Tyndale House Publishers for the ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Dean

    This was such a sweet, heart warming story. Audrey and Eve are single moms who are each raising a young boy. When the boys begin to spend every spare moment looking throught the Wish Book, Audrey and Eve know it's time to teach them the real meaning of Christmas. I really enjoyed this story. It was full of joy, hope and family. It also brought back a lot of childhood memories of looking through the Wish Book. :) **I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley. All This was such a sweet, heart warming story. Audrey and Eve are single moms who are each raising a young boy. When the boys begin to spend every spare moment looking throught the Wish Book, Audrey and Eve know it's time to teach them the real meaning of Christmas. I really enjoyed this story. It was full of joy, hope and family. It also brought back a lot of childhood memories of looking through the Wish Book. :) **I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.**

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christine Barth

    Sweet story about the true meaning of Christmas. It won't make any sense if you haven't read If I were you though. Sweet story about the true meaning of Christmas. It won't make any sense if you haven't read If I were you though.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leslie McKee

    I have fond memories of looking at a similar Christmas catalog as a child, so I was excited to check this book out. This is a lovely book to get you in the mood for the upcoming Christmas season. (I realize I'm reading and reviewing this book in June, but it's never too early for holiday stories!) It's a sequel to Austin's book If I Were You, but it makes sense as a standalone. This book takes place in the US, years after WWII ends. Reading the books in order will allow the reader to have a grea I have fond memories of looking at a similar Christmas catalog as a child, so I was excited to check this book out. This is a lovely book to get you in the mood for the upcoming Christmas season. (I realize I'm reading and reviewing this book in June, but it's never too early for holiday stories!) It's a sequel to Austin's book If I Were You, but it makes sense as a standalone. This book takes place in the US, years after WWII ends. Reading the books in order will allow the reader to have a greater appreciation for the characters. Audrey and Eve, as well as their sons Bobby and Harry, are realistic and relatable characters. The women are just trying to find their way and set up their lives in a new location. Both are dealing with various personal issues that will likely resonate with readers. Everything takes place against the backdrop of the upcoming Christmas season. Vivid detailing transports the reader to winter in New England. You can almost see the twinkling lights! Austin adds in wonderful takeaway messages, such as the true meaning of Christmas and the important of family and friends. Their is a romance angle, but it's not overwhelming, thankfully. The conclusion wrapped things up nicely, making this a quick, charming holiday read. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    MaryAnn

    As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I smiled. What fun we had as kids looking through the Wish Book and choosing our favorite toys! This Christmas story follows up on Lynn Austin's World War II story about Eve and Audrey, two British women who survived the war and relocated to the United States with their young sons. Now the boys are kindergarten aged, and this Christmas finds them wanting every toy they see, plus a dog and a dad. It was a sweet, squeaky clean, albeit somewhat predictable s As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I smiled. What fun we had as kids looking through the Wish Book and choosing our favorite toys! This Christmas story follows up on Lynn Austin's World War II story about Eve and Audrey, two British women who survived the war and relocated to the United States with their young sons. Now the boys are kindergarten aged, and this Christmas finds them wanting every toy they see, plus a dog and a dad. It was a sweet, squeaky clean, albeit somewhat predictable story to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. As the two women try to find ways to quell the selfishness and greed they see in their sons, they also sort out their own emotional struggles. For those who enjoy reading Christmas stories, this book would make a great advent calendar of sorts. Not every day before Christmas is represented, but it does count down from 20 days before Christmas until Christmas Day. While not as gripping a tale as If I Were You, it was enjoyable to catch up with Eve and Audrey again. I was glad to receive a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Lynn Austin's The Wish Book Christmas reunites us with her characters from If I Were You. Audrey and Eve are building new lives for themselves in the United States after leaving post-war England. Both women strive to teach the real meaning of Christmas to their five year old sons while finding their way to forge forward in relationships and new opportunities. If you're looking for a "feel good" Christmas book, this is it! It wouldn't be a far fetched to imagine a Hallmark movie spin-off of the s Lynn Austin's The Wish Book Christmas reunites us with her characters from If I Were You. Audrey and Eve are building new lives for themselves in the United States after leaving post-war England. Both women strive to teach the real meaning of Christmas to their five year old sons while finding their way to forge forward in relationships and new opportunities. If you're looking for a "feel good" Christmas book, this is it! It wouldn't be a far fetched to imagine a Hallmark movie spin-off of the story. I was given a copy for the book in turn for an honest review for NetGalley. All opinions are mine.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    If a book comes up with the name Lynn Austin on it, I am jumping at the chance to read it. The Wish Book Christmas fulfills every expectation for a Lynn Austin book. There's mercy, love, forgiveness, blessings, and grace to be mined through this short novel. And there's nostalgia. The Wish Book came every fall to our house, in fact, we had two wish books at least come to us: J C Penney and Sears and Roebuck. My mom set a budget to spend for us for Christmas and birthdays, and then filled in extr If a book comes up with the name Lynn Austin on it, I am jumping at the chance to read it. The Wish Book Christmas fulfills every expectation for a Lynn Austin book. There's mercy, love, forgiveness, blessings, and grace to be mined through this short novel. And there's nostalgia. The Wish Book came every fall to our house, in fact, we had two wish books at least come to us: J C Penney and Sears and Roebuck. My mom set a budget to spend for us for Christmas and birthdays, and then filled in extras with S & H Green Stamps, Gold Bond Stamps, and Wonder Market Stamps. She saved the stamps all year long and then redeemed them for gifts for all of us. Audrey and Eve live in the same house with their two sons, who are the same age. The boys find the Wish Book and begin wishing for everything in the book that appeals to toys. Their greed for things is overwhelming to the boys' mothers who want to teach them that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Audrey and Eve were first introduced in the book, If I Were You, where Audrey finds out that Eve has been impersonating her for four years. In that book, Eve finds forgiveness and salvation; and Tom. In this book, Audrey and Eve find that God longs to be gracious to them and to bless them beyond all they could ask or imagine, but they have to accept what God wants to do for them. At the same time, they have to teach their sons what truly loving is all about. This book is a quick read, but don't let its brevity fool you into thinking there's not much substance in it. There are a lot of deep spiritual concepts to be mined from this book if the reader takes the time to dig for them. Pride and greed are two of the most battled concepts in this book, but there are others as well. Mrs. Herder has steeped herself into mourning the loss of her son during the war that ended six years prior has to come to realize that her love for her son didn't die when he did, and that it is no disrespect to him that she continues living. In coming to that conclusion, she teaches Audrey the same thing, that Audrey's love for her husband didn't die when he did, but it is no disrespect to him that she continue living. This is a five star book with two thumbs up and a favorite toy in the Christmas Wish Book. Tyndale House and NetGalley.com provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin Tyndale House Publishers Series: Sequel to, If I Were You Rating: 4 Back of the Book: “Best friends Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in postwar America, thrilled at the prospect of starting new traditions with their five-year-old sons. But when the 1951 Sears Christmas Wish Book arrives and the boys start obsessing over every toy in it, Audrey and Eve realize they must first teach them the true significance of the holid The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin Tyndale House Publishers Series: Sequel to, If I Were You Rating: 4 Back of the Book: “Best friends Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in postwar America, thrilled at the prospect of starting new traditions with their five-year-old sons. But when the 1951 Sears Christmas Wish Book arrives and the boys start obsessing over every toy in it, Audrey and Eve realize they must first teach them the true significance of the holiday. They begin by helping Bobby and Harry plan gifts of encouragement and service for those in their community, starting by walking an elderly neighbor’s yellow Lab—since a dog topped the boys’ wish list for Santa. In the charming tale that follows, Audrey and Eve are surprised to find their own hearts healing from the tragedies of war and opening to the possibility of forgiveness and new love.” My Thoughts: This was a charming Christmas romance with an imperative Christmas message. Harry and Bobby, learn with their mothers, friends, and family, that Jesus is the reason for Christmas. Through Christ's love, we are able to love others. Taking their role as the wise men in their school Christmas play seriously the boys choose to spread love to those around them through different gifts. I had only one issue and it was the ending. How sweet a message to share and a lovely addition to the book, If I Were You. Inspiring Thoughts: “Thank you for your generosity. You’ve always made Christmas so special for the boys. And for me. But Harry and Bobby don’t need every toy in the Wish Book in order to be happy. The love you’ve shown us is more than enough.” – Have you ever had to have this conversation with loved ones? The holidays can be tricky with kids as it is easy to go overboard. My boys are the only grandbabies on both sides of our families; I’ve had this conversation. “‘It’s natural to mourn the people we love and to cling to them in our memory. But there comes a time when it’s also natural to be happy again. It doesn’t mean that we loved them any less. In fact, I think it’s a sign of our great love for them that we can still remember what love feels like and be willing to give it and receive it once again.” I received an ARC of this book via the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion shared here.

  26. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    After discovering that I was chosen for an advance reading copy of ‘The Wish Book Christmas,’ I quickly bought ‘If I Were You’ and read it. It wasn’t a necessary requirement as this book can stand alone, but to appreciate the reappearance of some characters, I felt it added to my experience. This book was an inspirational read! Giving away my age here, but….anyone else remember pouring over the Sears Wish Book and circling the toys you wanted Santa to bring? All of a sudden, I was transported to After discovering that I was chosen for an advance reading copy of ‘The Wish Book Christmas,’ I quickly bought ‘If I Were You’ and read it. It wasn’t a necessary requirement as this book can stand alone, but to appreciate the reappearance of some characters, I felt it added to my experience. This book was an inspirational read! Giving away my age here, but….anyone else remember pouring over the Sears Wish Book and circling the toys you wanted Santa to bring? All of a sudden, I was transported to my childhood, immersed in the author’s tale. Bobby Barrett and Harry Dawson, two 5-year-olds from Connecticut, pour over the Sears Wish Book in December 1951. They are convinced that if they just mark the toys they want, Santa will find a way to make their wishes come true. When they each consider asking Santa to bring them a dad, their single mothers decide it’s time to teach them the true meaning of Christmas. Audrey and Eve create a project they term the ‘Wise Men’ and offer help to neighbours, hoping that their boys will embrace the true spirit of Christmas. While intended to teach a lesson to their sons, the mothers also learn about receiving help, accepting forgiveness, and being open to love. Knowing the back story of these two mothers, helps readers appreciate the choices made and the lessons taught. I felt as if I was watching my friends teaching their children an important life lesson, rather than simply reading about characters and their choices. I’d become invested in the characters and swept into their lives as a result of the author’s skill. Much of this story has a spiritual and personal growth focus. These single mothers want to provide for their sons, yet still want to keep them grounded and understanding of the true meaning of Christmas. If you are a fan of Christmas stories or beautiful stories centered around the Nativity, this five-star Christian story will have you reaching for the tissues and create an urge to go out and help someone. Just looking at that gorgeous cover will bring back memories of Christmases long ago, but this nostalgic and heartwarming read will fill you with warmth and Christmas cheer! Publishes September 7, 2021. I was gifted this superb advance copy by Lynn Austin, Tyndale House Publishers, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Esther Filbrun

    What a delightful story! I don’t always go for Christmas books; they just feel like the wrong season here in New Zealand with us being in summertime instead of winter! However, this one was published in September, so the weather felt much more complimentary this time. And anyway—I couldn’t pass up a Lynn Austin book when I had the chance to read it. So even though this is a sequel to another of her stories, which I haven’t read, I enjoyed this story. I loved seeing the characters work through the What a delightful story! I don’t always go for Christmas books; they just feel like the wrong season here in New Zealand with us being in summertime instead of winter! However, this one was published in September, so the weather felt much more complimentary this time. And anyway—I couldn’t pass up a Lynn Austin book when I had the chance to read it. So even though this is a sequel to another of her stories, which I haven’t read, I enjoyed this story. I loved seeing the characters work through their struggles in this story—so very familiar to many of us. I was especially able to relate to one, who was struggling to work through guilt—how often do I struggle to forgive myself, let alone accept forgiveness from others? It doesn’t come easily! This book took me to the depths of what Christmas is really about—our Lord, his coming to the earth to be our Savior, and our desperate need of him—and the joy we have now that he HAS come, and IS with us. From depths of despair to heights of joy, this has it all, and I’m thankful I had the chance to read this story. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, once I read the prequel, I come back and re-read this. These characters are delightful. (In saying that, I did feel like this book wasn’t up to Austen’s normal standards—the wordplay wasn’t quite as diverse and fun as in some of her other stories, and the overall plot lacked some of the depth I’ve come to expect in the others. That could be partly due to it being a novella, not a novel, but also because this was a “relax write”, meaning that it was helping her to recover from writing other, heavier books. I fully understand both reasons, but some might find that aspect a little disappointing as they read. Just be warned—it’s a good book, not one I’d classify as great, but it is still a very worthwhile, heartwarming story in and of itself.) I was given a review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    The Wish Book Christmas is the story of friends Audrey and Eve, who immigrated to America from Britain after World War II. They are both single mothers and share a little bungalow with their sons Harry and Bobby. When the 1951 Sears Wish Book arrives, the boys want every toy in the catalog! Audrey and Eve devise a way for them to learn more about the true meaning of Christmas, by finding joy in giving to others. I wanted to read this book because of the time period, the Christmas setting, and the The Wish Book Christmas is the story of friends Audrey and Eve, who immigrated to America from Britain after World War II. They are both single mothers and share a little bungalow with their sons Harry and Bobby. When the 1951 Sears Wish Book arrives, the boys want every toy in the catalog! Audrey and Eve devise a way for them to learn more about the true meaning of Christmas, by finding joy in giving to others. I wanted to read this book because of the time period, the Christmas setting, and the nostalgia of the description and cover art. This novel is evidently the sequel to an earlier book by Lynn Austin. I have not read the earlier novel but enjoyed this book very much as a standalone. The author does a wonderful job at capturing the nostalgia of a Mid-Century Christmas: "They drove into town to the Woolworth store, and Audrey helped the boys pick out a package of plastic ornaments, a string of colored lights, and a box of tinsel. She also added a tree stand and two rolls of Christmas wrapping paper to their order. The boys stood on tiptoes to empty the contents of their pockets onto the counter by the cash register. “Mummy?” Bobby asked. “Is there enough to buy them a new toy, too?”“What did you have in mind?” They hurried back to the toy section and searched through the items on display, deciding on three mesh Christmas stockings for seventy-nine cents apiece that contained an assortment of plastic toys for little boys. Audrey was surprised and pleased that the boys didn’t ask for any new toys for themselves" (eBook location 1304). The story was very sweet and heartwarming, with an inspirational message. I enjoyed this read a great deal, and would recommend The Wish Book Christmas for fans of historical fiction -- and especially for anyone wanting a charming glimpse of a 1951 Christmas.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marsha Rafalski

    I have been a little melancholy recently and my reading life has reflected it in stories that have had characters that I never cared about or actively disliked, doing things that I have found repulsive, selfish, illegal or just plain mean. So I needed a break and a palate cleanse before I could pick up the next one from my TBR. This one came up in my Libby account in the “Just Added” section. So even if is only September and I am one of those curmudgeons who believe that Christmas songs and deco I have been a little melancholy recently and my reading life has reflected it in stories that have had characters that I never cared about or actively disliked, doing things that I have found repulsive, selfish, illegal or just plain mean. So I needed a break and a palate cleanse before I could pick up the next one from my TBR. This one came up in my Libby account in the “Just Added” section. So even if is only September and I am one of those curmudgeons who believe that Christmas songs and decorations before the day after Thanksgiving should be illegal. That said…I loved this book! It included characters that I would be happy to call friends, a small town that would be a pleasure to live in, and even a kindergarten nativity play that as a former Sunday School teacher I found especially delightful. So enough about me. The story is set in 1951 which is far enough from WWII that some of the raw grief is beginning to heal and close for the sense of loss and deprivation of the war years to become less prominent. Two young mothers are sharing a house and expenses in their struggles to bring up their 5-year old sons. The arrival of the Sears Wish Book enthralls the boys who become glued to the Toy Section. They had acquired the unshakable belief that Santa Claus would provide their every desire. This obsession and growing selfishness that challenges their mothers to develop strategies to teach them that the real joy is in giving to others rather than questing for things for themselves. This book is a gift from the author and I thank her. Now where’s that TBR list?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin is the sweet follow up story of Eve and Audrey from Lynn's book, If I Were You. It is not necessary to have read that book 1st but I would recommend that… it was one of my favorite L.A. books! This book begins a few weeks before Christmas in 1951 when the Sears Christmas wish book arrives and Eve and Audrey's sons, Bobby and Harry, obsess over the book in much the same way my siblings and I did when the book arrived in our mailbox when we were children. Eve The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin is the sweet follow up story of Eve and Audrey from Lynn's book, If I Were You. It is not necessary to have read that book 1st but I would recommend that… it was one of my favorite L.A. books! This book begins a few weeks before Christmas in 1951 when the Sears Christmas wish book arrives and Eve and Audrey's sons, Bobby and Harry, obsess over the book in much the same way my siblings and I did when the book arrived in our mailbox when we were children. Eve and Audrey strive to strike a balance between indulging their sons a bit at Christmas and teaching them the true meaning of the season and how giving can be a gift for both the giver and the receiver. They come up with a plan of giving "wise man" gifts and as the boys get into the spirit of giving and learning the true meaning of Christmas, Eve and Audrey find their own hearts healing from their past tragedies, their eyes being opened to the possibilities and the gifts before them as well. This is a beautiful story packaged in a beautiful book! The vintage looking cover will bring back so many memories for many of us. This is a story in the true spirit of the Christmas season and a new tradition will be born as this book will be read year after year much in the same way you watch your favorite Christmas movies every year. I'm honored to have been gifted this book as a member of Lynn's launch team for the book! This book will have an honored place on my bookshelf as well as among my Christmas décor and would make the most wonderful Christmas gift for any book lover!

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