For a deeper experience of the Christmastime series, click on these links to my blog posts and Pinterest boards. Get a feel for the 1940’s world of Lillian in Manhattan, Annette’s orchard in upstate New York, and Kate’s farm in rural Illinois. See the foods they prepared, hear a few songs referenced in the books, and enjoy details of the seasons and holidays.
CHRISTMASTIME 1939: Prequel to the Christmastime Series
The prequel to the Christmastime Series introduces the reader to the world of Christmastime. Set in Brooklyn, we meet the young widow Lillian Hapsey and her two sons, Tommy and Gabriel. Even though the Christmas season is just around the corner, Lillian has no Christmas spirit. Alone, unhappy with her job, and plagued by financial concerns, Christmas has become a burden to her.
Overshadowing everything is the war in Europe. Despite the setbacks, Lillian is determined to give her sons a happy Christmas. Can she rekindle her girlhood love for the holiday season? Rediscovering her touchstone just might be the key to unlocking the excitement and magic of Christmas.
Christmastime 1940: A Love Story
A tale of transformation involving a struggling single mom who is trying to make a fresh start in life and a man who has lost his connection to humanity. The curmudgeonly Charles Drooms is content with his life as the owner of a successful accounting firm. However, his narrow world is shaken up when the beautiful widow Lillian Hapsey and her two young sons move down the hall from him. The converging forces of the Christmas season, the presence of the widow, and the mysterious appearance of a little boy serve to stir up memories from Drooms’s boyhood and force him to make a life-altering decision that will affect them all.
Christmastime 1941: A Love Story
The third book in the Christmastime series opens two days after Pearl Harbor has been attacked. War has just been declared. It follows the love story of Lillian and Charles, the adventures of Tommy and Gabriel, and the bittersweet romances of Izzy and Red, and the office manager at Drooms Accounting, sixty-year-old Mrs. Murphy, and someone from her past.
Christmastime 1942: A Love Story
The Axis forces are winning as America struggles to find its footing in the war: the men leave to fight; the women join the workforce. Yet love burns brighter than ever, bringing people together, and giving them hope for the future. The famous Stage Door Canteen in Times Square provides the background for one of these romances.
Christmastime 1943: A Love Story
Though the war intensifies, the Christmas season arrives, and love is kept alive on the home front. In New York City, Lillian Drooms struggles on her own while her husband, Charles, is away at sea. She volunteers with Artists for Victory at a hospital for wounded soldiers, but she soon begins to doubt her ability. Meanwhile, on a farm in Illinois, seventeen-year-old Ursula — a beauty who dreams of life beyond the farm — is torn between her sense of duty and the power of love. She finds the source of her deepest yearning and her deepest hatred in Friedrich, one of the German POWs recently hired to work on their farm. The Christmas season brings its charm and warmth – but can love survive in these turbulent, fragmented times?
Christmastime 1944: A Love Story
Years of relentless fighting have strained the country, and the December news of the Battle of the Bulge crushes the hope that war in Europe will soon be over. Lillian Drooms pushes ahead with her career as an artist while she anxiously awaits the arrival of her husband, Charles, for Christmas, and her friend Izzy finally gives Mr. Rockwell the heave-ho – or does she? And on the farm in Illinois, Ursula’s troubling situation reaches a climax and is intensified by the arrival of her brother Jimmy, home on furlough from the Pacific. Among pervasive loss and disappointment, is there room for Christmas hope and happiness?
Christmastime 1945: A Love Story
In the final book of the Christmastime series, the war is over. After years of grueling combat, heavy losses, and heartbreak, the first Christmas after the war promises to be a memorable one. Millions of servicemen are hoping to make it home in time for Christmas. Lillian Drooms eagerly awaits Charles’s return, though she secretly fears a final disaster. Izzy has opened a line of communication to Red, but what their future holds remains a mystery.
On Kate’s farm, her eldest son has made it home – but will her other two sons return from the Pacific? Ursula lives in dread of Friedrich’s impending departure and wonders if she’ll ever see him again. And unexpectedly, Jessica gives her heart to a returning soldier, only to be rejected by him. Can this first Christmas after the war be a happy one?