The Christmas Journal is a poignant look into the complicated lives of a long estranged father and daughter. Upon her mother’s death Ashley was sent away to live with an aunt, but when she returns ten years later she finds the father she scarcely knows, and their home and the lodge the family used to operate in shambles.
Ashley works alongside her father and the handyman, Cy, to reopen the lodge in time for Christmas. Her father hasn’t touched any of her mother’s belongings and Ashley asks him if she would be allowed to go through her mother’s things. She finds a journal and a lavender hat box and their contents turn her life upside down.
Ms. Jackson’s finely honed novella filled with the turmoil of unexplained secrets set against the backdrop of a mountain lodge is well-developed while layered with a touching back story. The characters piece together their strengths and weaknesses to bring joy and hope into their lives which touches the heart of the reader. The Christmas Journal is a wonderful Christmas story.