Lost souls, found again.
Manhattan librarian Catherine Tierney has avoided Christmas in the three years since her husband’s untimely death: the familiar rituals only intensify her loneliness. She no longer volunteers at the soup kitchen where Brian worked, leaving that to Lizzie, her close friend, a hat-maker and proprietress of an eccentric teashop. Kindhearted Lizzie hopes that Catherine will find the happiness she lost someday soon—perhaps with Christopher Byrne: a Christmas-tree seller, and brawny Nova Scotian, who heads for New York every December. Christine and Christopher have met, and he seems smitten: When he looks into her eyes, he can’t quite get through his practiced spiel about the northern starlight caught in the branches of his trees. A widower, Christopher suffered another loss when his teenaged son, Danny, ran away to New York City one winter; after a fight (which Catherine witnessed), he refused to return to Canada with his father and 12-year-old sister, Bridget. Danny is now homeless, living under a different name somewhere on the streets of the city. Catherine, though, has kept in contact with the boy and, in her way, rescued him. An emotional reunion awaits—and a most romantic resolution.
Lyrical and lovely: a standout Christmas story.