Debbie Macomber Makes Us Want Our Own ‘Alaskan Holiday’ [REVIEW]

Lodge in Alaska

When a young chef takes a job in a remote Alaskan town, she doesn’t expect to turn a short-term gig into a lifetime commitment. (Photo by Markus Trienke, Flickr)

She’s just trying to make friends while she works in a tiny Alaskan town for the season. He’s fallen head over heels in love with the town’s newest resident. She looks forward to returning to the big city to start her career. He wants her to stay forever as his wife. Who will win this contest of wills? Find out in Debbie Macomber’s charming new novel, Alaskan Holiday.

Debbie Macomber's ALASKAN HOLIDAY

Ballantine Books

Josie Avery is anxious to get cooking. A graduate of culinary school, she’s landed one of the most prestigious gigs a gal in her position can get: sous chef at one of Seattle’s hottest new restaurants. The only problem is, she can’t start until fall. So she takes a summer job at a rustic lakeside lodge in Ponder, Alaska. There she wows the locals with her skills in the kitchen, putting her own unique twist on everything from bear to moose, and quickly becomes a beloved addition to the community as both a chef and friend. Two men in particular take a shine to her, including crotchety old Jack Corcoran and handsome master swordsmith Palmer Saxon.

Over the course of the summer, Josie and Palmer forge a tight friendship. Both of them know it is becoming something more, but neither of them puts it into words because Josie has never hidden the fact that her dream job was waiting for her in Washington and she is eager to get back to start the life she’s worked so hard for. Every time Palmer thinks about Josie leaving, however, he feels an ache in his heart and he would like nothing more than to keep her with him in Ponder forever as his soul mate and wife. Still, he knows Josie would be hard pressed to abandon her mother in Seattle and give up her career for love.

Then fate steps in and on the morning of her planned departure, Josie misses the boat and suddenly finds herself stranded in Ponder for the winter. Now she must make the most of her situation, even as she and Palmer struggle to figure out what the future holds for them and just what sacrifices they are willing to make for love.

With Alaskan Holiday, Macomber creates another enchanting community we would love to visit. Like she did with Cedar Cove, she paints a vivid portrait of small town life (this time in rural Alaska) and captivates us with all its little charms, from the warm home fires burning in the lodge to the crunch of newly fallen snow and the magical lights that dance across the arctic sky. Through the pages of this story we become willing victims of a master wordsmith and many readers will undoubtedly want to set sail on the next Alaskan cruise to check out the beauty of the tundra for themselves.

However, as picturesque as the town is, the characters are what really propel this story and make us long for friendships with all of them. Josie is sweet, caring, and driven. Palmer is shy, loving, and determined. And although we want to see these two come together in the end, the supporting cast brings such humor and wisdom to the tale, we can’t help but wish people like them populated our lives too. Jack is hilarious and cranky, yet has a heart as big as a mountain. Gina Avery, Josie’s mom, is wise and vivacious, and only wants the best for her daughter. Together, all these people make up a cast that would easily translate into yet another feel-good Hallmark movie and thus makes for a fast and uplifting read.

If you are looking for a buoyant story to devour this winter season, you need look no further. Curl up with a warm blanket, a cup of hot tea, and Debbie Macomber’s Alaskan Holiday. It will transport you to magical place you’ll long to visit yourself one day, one we hope the author will write about again in the future.

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Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber
(Photo by Timothy Archibald)


Debbie Macomber is the author of Cottage by the SeaSweet TomorrowsBlossom Street BridesMerry and Bright, and Debbie Macomber’s TableThere are more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide and they have spent more than 1,000 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Thirteen of her novels hit the number one spot.

Five of Macomber’s books have been crafted into original Hallmark Channel movies. Macomber is also the author of the bestselling Cedar Cove Series which the Hallmark Channel chose as the basis for its first dramatic scripted television series. Debuting in 2013, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was a ratings favorite for three seasons.

Macomber owns two businesses in Port Orchard, Wash., the town which inspired the Cedar Cove Series. These include The Grey House Café, formerly the Victorian Rose Tea Room, featured in the Cedar Cove Series, and A Good Yarn Shop, introduced in her popular Blossom Street novels. They are located on the Village Square campus, which also serves as Debbie’s corporate headquarters.

She and her husband, Wayne, serve on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, and she is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington, the town which inspired the Cedar Cove series.

Visit Debbie at her home on the Web at, subscribe to her YouTube channel, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Bookbub. Also, don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter!

By Debbie Macomber
256 pp. Ballantine. $20.

Purchase Alaskan Holiday at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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