Mary Kay Andrews’s The Santa Suit is the book equivalent of cradling a steaming cup of cocoa while seated in front of a blazing fire while snow softly falls outside. It is cozy, warm, and the perfect Christmas book.
Ivy Perkins has just uprooted her life and moved to a small North Carolina town, buying an old farmhouse sight unseen. She arrives to find it just as whimsical and Instagram-worthy as the real estate listings showed, but also drafty and in need of a lot more repairs than she considered. When she finds a letter inside an old but luxurious Santa suit left behind by the previous owners, she sets off to find out what happened to the letter’s author. Along the way, she may just find the community she’s been longing for.
Like all of MKA’s books, The Santa Suit is chock full of great characters in a fabulous setting. Ivy may start out a little prickly, but seeing her with her beloved dog and learning her backstory quickly explains why. Each townsperson she meets, from the diner waitress to the county clerk, is vividly described and easily pictured. And the setting! It’s like a Christmas movie set, complete with sprinkles of snow, a town square (with a clock tower, of course!), and a Santa Land. And chickens— we can’t forget the chickens!
I may or may not have texted my friend to tell her this book had me daydreaming about moving to a farmhouse in the North Carolina mountains, where white Christmases are the norm and I can hear the crunch of snow under my boots. This is the kind of book that’ll have you on Google and Zillow, trying to find the perfect farmhouse with gorgeous views and a magnolia with arms spread wide to welcome you home. This novella is that evocative— it’s the kind of sweet story in the perfect setting that has you reimagining what your life could be like.
I can already tell this may be one I re-read every Christmas. It’s wholesome, intriguing, and full of the details that just make Mary Kay Andrews’s books stay in your memory. From vintage ornaments to aluminum trees to rebuilding a chicken coop to the utter peace found when walking on fresh snow early in the morning, the details in this book are spectacular. This lovely novella is sure to be a comfort read.
The Santa Suit will be available September 28, 2021, from St. Martin’s Press. Thank you to Net Galley, Mary Kay Andrews, and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced e-copy such that I could write this review. It’s just the comfort read I needed.