cover image Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage

Christmas at Sea Pines Cottage

Sally Smith O'Rourke, . . Kensington, $13 (150pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-2260-2

A dog named Meteor narrates O'Rourke's inert Christmas clunker. Meteor's owner, Robert, is a war veteran with a missing leg and a wounded soul that's patched up after Robert and Meteor rescue a woman, Laura, from drowning, and Robert and Laura get married. They have a son, Nicholas, and everything's ducky until an illness threatens to claim Laura. They fight through it as a family and learn that faith and perseverance can help them accomplish anything. Dogs have triumphed as narrators this year, but Meteor is the runt of the litter; his language is only surpassed in stiltedness by the humans' dialogue, and it doesn't help the pup's case that the narrative is preachy and bland. (Oct.)