As the spirit of the season spreads through the seaside hamlet of Cape Light, town mayor Emily receives an unexpected and precious Christmas gift: a baby girl tucked away in a decorative cradle set up outside the church, with a note begging whoever discovers the child to take care of her. Now, in the midst of the year's most joyous season, Emily must come to terms with her duty to her family, her own feelings of regret and loss-and what her heart truly desires.
Emily, mayor of Cape Light, is out for her morning run one day during the holiday season when she discovers a newborn baby left abandoned in the baby Jesus' cradle of the church nativity scene. Outside. In the snow. Naturally, her immediate instinct is to get the baby someplace safe and warm, but the more time she spends with the child, the more it brings up painful memories she thought she had made peace with. Is the appearance of this child an opportunity to make past mistakes right?
There are also the addition stories of Pastor Ben and Sara, Emily's grown daughter. Pastor Ben has served the town of Cape Light for many years, but has recently started to question whether he still has purpose in the lives of his congregation. He suddenly finds himself feeling stifled and unsatisfied with his position. Then with the mysterious appearance of the abandoned baby, and Emily's growing attachment to the child, Sara finds herself in a tough place, emotionally. Not only is she struggling with unexpected feelings of jealousy while seeing her mother embrace a newborn, but she also has to deal with her boyfriend's ex coming back into town right when Sara and her boyfriend are having a hiccup in their relationship. Christina Cross (the ex whose presence brings the stink eye out of Sara), the more she was described, really started to remind me of Charlize Theron's character in Young Adult (a story about a writer whose career starts to go stagnant, so she decides to go back to her hometown and pursue her HS boyfriend, who is very much married).
We also see Lillian again, the mother of Emily and Jessica (from Cape Light #5). At first she seems to throw out the same hateful behavior as before but here and there you see flashes of a good soul buried under a lot of pain and bitterness, so I'll be curious to see how much of her story is revealed as these books continue.
I thought the writing here was much improved from Book 5 and I found myself much more invested in the story. All the characters are struggling with inner questions / struggles regarding whether or not they are living with enough purpose, if they are making enough of a difference in their little corner of the world -- a theme that I think will resonate with a great many readers. I'm really enjoying the feel of revisting this village with recurring characters. I'm finding these books a nice, happy reading hug to slip into during these recent times of stress, sickness, and sadness. I'm looking forward to seeing how all these characters grow. :-)