Sometimes you have to keep on reading. I started reading "Comfort & Joy" a while back, but just finished it. Even though I have a couple of Kristin Hannah books on my TBR pile, this is the first of hers I have read so I really did not know what to expect from her, except for the fact that I know she has a huge and devoted following. The first part of the book was quick, if a bit too familiar. About a quarter in, I thought it stagnated, and starting venturing into almost-lame territory. I started rolling my eyes on every plot point, telling myself I really can't suspend my disbelief anymore. But then she hits the reader with a surprising twist (yes, it even surprised jaded old me) and the book perked up, and I started to get into it, and everything kind of made sense. I liked it a lot, and it gave me a very positive message. Even though this is marketed as a Christmas novel, I don't really think it's Holiday-specific. And I do wonder how dated this is, as some references (camera with film?) seem a little too old-fashioned already. This was originally published in 2005 but I wonder if it was written way before then. I am still desperately trying to get in the Holiday spirit and this definitely made me step an inch closer.