Christmas was once the best time of the year for Joy Candellaro. But as the holiday draws near this year, she can’t find it in her heart to celebrate. Recently divorced and betrayed by her sister, she feels totally alone. She decides to just disappear for a while, to a remote destination in the Pacific Northwest. But life has a way of changing one’s plans. Soon Joy will begin an adventure no one could have forseen – one that could change her life forever. once loved Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she is at a crossroads in her life; recently divorced and alone, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. When an unexpected detour takes her deep into the woods of the Olympic rainforest, Joy makes a bold decision to leave her ordinary life behind—to just walk away—and thus begins an adventure unlike any she could have imagined.

Bubby: Sometimes I read a book that just hits me right in the heart and it becomes an instant favorite – one I go back to and re-read often and one that I recommend often. This is one of those books for me. I just love love love it. It’s a magical story and it ends good and it just makes me happy.

Sissy:  I re-read this at Bubby’s behest because I couldn’t remember if I had read it or not.  As you can tell by the word “reread,” turns out I had read it and liked it some time ago.  The writing by Kristin Hannah is excellent, and this is underscored by the major plot twist that comes up mid-book of which I shall say nothing further.  Lovely, lovely love story, emotional tale of sadness and joy.  As the garage door repairman said today after telling me about how this week so far his truck has broken down, he broke his finger, and his tools all got stolen “without the bad things we wouldn’t appreciate the good things.”

Bubby: Yes, I could not agree more. Joy Candellaro is in desperate need of some comfort and joy in her life. She has to be – why else would she be desperate enough to hop on a chartered plane with a bunch of bearded hunters bound for the north of nowhere?

Sissy:  What happens in her personal life is horrible, and I think I would be tempted to do the exact same thing.  Actually, I probably would have reacted with more violence and mayhem and THEN hopped a plane to nowhere.  I sincerely hope I would be as forgiving as Joy if I was in such a situation.  I can’t imagine it, though.  I can only picture bloodshed…

Bubby: Well, as much as I love and adore your dear husband, I really don’t think you have to worry about us running off together. Icky. I’m not worried about you stealing my husband either – if only for the fact that he’s 3 feet taller than you and 20 years younger. Bad match there! Yes, readers, Joy’s sister and Joy’s husband have hooked up and left Joy in the dust. And oh yeah – the sister is pregnant. And did I mention that Joy has no children and would love to be a mom? I agree that getting on a plane is the best of the options!

Sissy:  Let’s clear some things up here.  A.  I am NOT 20 years older than Bubby’s husband, nor am I three feet shorter.  B.  I have spent the last 26 years training my husband to be just perfect and I’m certainly not going to start over on some interloper.  And now that Bubby has told you the beginning of the story, you can see why I might become violent in that same situation.  But the story just gets better from there.  Joy goes on to a whole different adventure, delves into the paranormal, and comes out in one piece at the end.

Bubby: The best part of Comfort and Joy is the sweet relationship that develops between Joy and little Bobby, the boy she meets after the plane trip. They just bond instantly – it’s like they can instantly fill the holes in each other’s hearts. It makes me remember when my boy was little and sweet. Ah, those were the days! But there is a problem – Bobby’s father Daniel is not as fond of Joy as Bobby is.

Sissy:  Bobby is adorable, but in his grief over losing his mother he suffers from some delusions.  But are they really delusions, I ask you?  And Daniel is described as a very fine looking Irishman (I’m thinking Gerard Butler in that role), who Joy finds herself very attracted to.  I admit I was nervous about Bobby getting so attached to Joy so fast, because I didn’t want him to suffer again if and when she left.  Now you are thinking you know how the rest of the story goes, but you are WRONG!  Just when you think you have it figured out, Kristin Hannah pulls a fast one out of left field and you don’t know what hit you.  Good stuff.

Bubby: Hey! I was going to say that!

Sissy:  Great minds…-

Bubby: Exactly. I have read this book on the couch by the tree at Christmas, on the beach in Hawaii and of course, in my bathtub and it never fails to make me smile. Pure magic. 4.25 bubbles.

Sissy:  I read it in my massage chair…I think this is a first class getaway read.  4 bubbles from the violent one.

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© Bubble Bath Books 2013