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A home of their own

Warmhearted story comes just in time for holidays

By Diane Makovsky

For The Free Lance-Star

JUST IN TIME for Christmas author Greg Kincaid has written another

warmhearted story with a positive and uplifting holiday message.  Kincaid’s previous best-seller, “A Dog Named Christmas,” had such wide appeal  it was made into a popular Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.

His new book, “A Christmas Home,” once again follows the events in the lives of the McCrays, a Midwestern farming family.  At the core of each story is the McCrays’ dog Christmas, who has been with the family since being adopted from the local animal shelter.

Maryann and George McCray had agreed to adopt Christmas as a way to teach life lessons to their youngest son, Todd, who is developmentally disabled.  Now a 24-year-old, Todd works at the same local animal shelter where they found Christmas. He has an unusual ability to care for and connect with the animals.  He goes beyond just providing routine care and has even trained some of the dogs.

Todd’s friend Laura, who volunteers at the shelter, uses a retriever named Gracie who was trained by Todd to help her when arthritis limits her movements.

Although the animal shelter has the spirited support of many of the town’s residents, it lacks adequate financial support.  Cutbacks and financial constraints are the talk of the town meetings and the animalThe shelter is on the list of services to be discontinued before the end of the year.  Todd, as one of two full-time employees, will lose his job—the only job he’s ever had.

His caring nature is evident in his concern for the welfare of the shelter’s animals.  But he comes to understand that he needs to plan for his own future, not just that of the animals he loves.

George and Maryann help him navigate the process of finding a new job: reading classified ads, interviewing, and assessing his opportunities.  Todd knows he’s fortunate to have the help and guidance of his parents, but he’s particularly interested in developing his résumé because it means spending more time with Laura.

Todd’s life is changing fast at this special time of year, with a budding relationship, job search and excitement about increasing independence. He is intent on meeting the challenges while fulfilling his commitment to the animals in his care.  And he is determined to find homes for all the animals before the shelter closes at Christmastime, not just transfer them to other shelters.

Greg Kincaid writes with sensitivity about his characters’ disabilities and the animals he loves.  His advocacy for the humane treatment of animals is evident in his books.  Readers are assured an inspiring message in his warm holiday stories.

Diane Makovsky is a freelance reviewer in Spotsylvania County.

A CHRISTMAS HOME

By Greg Kincaid

(Crown, $16, 240 pp. )

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/books/2012/12/11/a-home-of-their-own/

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