Toby Kincaid returned home to become the junior librarian in his hometown. He loves his job and being surrounded by books and the community of people who use the library. He particularly likes his boss, Mr. Miggles, a kind, smart man with a warm heart and a lot of Christmas spirit. Toby is constantly impressed with the time and energy Mr. Miggles puts into taking care of the library and seeing to the needs of each of its patrons. Truth be told, Toby has a bit of a crush on Mr. Miggles, but his tentative overtures are rejected pretty soundly so Toby mostly admires from afar. But that doesn’t stop Toby’s feelings, and as the attraction grows, Toby can’t help seeing Mr. Miggles (aka Sean) in a new light.
The holidays seem to be the only time that Sean loses that permanent sense of sadness that Toby sees lurking under the surface the rest of the year. Sean doesn’t share much about his personal life, so Toby doesn’t know the cause, but it is clear something in his past has affected him deeply. When trouble starts up at the library and Sean is falsely accused of a horrible crime, Toby knows immediately it is not true. But the accusations have clearly shaken Sean and the situation threatens both his job, and the library funding. Toby is determined not to let either of those things happen, and kicks it into high gear, determined to help Sean in whatever way he can. But even if the accusations are proven false, the damage to Sean’s reputation and to the library may already have been done. Now Toby is hoping for two holiday miracles — to save the library and Sean’s job, and to win the heart of the man he has grown to love.
Oh, I really liked this one so much! I love Eli Easton’s writing, but I’ll admit I really didn’t know what to expect from this story. But the book totally blew me away and took me on an emotional journey. I read it all in one day; from the minute I started reading I could barely put the book down.
From the start, Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles is a book full of depth and emotion. Easton does a wonderful job of bring out all the feelings in this holiday story, and while it is not necessarily depressing or angsty, it is moving and intense. We experience along with Toby his first tentative feelings for Sean, then his disappointment when he is rebuffed, and his fragile hope as things start to develop between them after all. We feel Sean’s pain as he is falsely accused and faces the loss of his job and the goodwill he has built up in the town. And even more so as we learn about the tragedy in his past, one that has left him changed for the better, but also deeply saddened. We also get to experience the warm glow as the town rallies around the library, sharing what it means to them and how important a resource the library is for everyone. So Easton does a wonderful job here of infusing this story with so much warmth and so many good feelings. What I particularly like is that while this is a holiday story, the emotion in the book doesn’t come purely from the holiday itself. This book would work just as well set at any time of the year, and the holiday link just enhances it.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles also brings on the full-scale library porn. I know I am not the only one who just adores books and libraries. They have always had a special place in my heart. I have had a book in my hand since I was about five years old. I am raising two avid readers. My father is a librarian, and my first after school job was shelving books at my local library. I spend hours daily running a blog focused on books. So clearly this is a passion for me, and this book so wonderfully captures that feeling, and I think it will speak to many of you guys as well. A public library is not just a public service, though it is an important one. It can also be a place at the heart of a community, especially a small one. Most libraries are more than a place to check out books. They are resources for research, community meeting spaces, socialization opportunities for children and families, and one of the few places left that are purely there for the public good. A big part of this story focuses on the library itself and the threats to its existence in the wake of Sean’s troubles. There are some powerful scenes where we see just how important the library is for so many people. The climax of the book has us hearing person after person sharing why the library means so much to them. Yes, the drama here is at times a tiny bit over the top in an Hallmark movie kind of way, but that didn’t stop by from tearing up just the same as I read it. Just so good and so heart stirring. Oh, and for the pervy among you, when I mentioned “library porn,” there is some of the literal variety too and it is awesome!
So I really loved this story and would put it up as one of my holiday favorites. Easton brings so much warmth and emotion here, both good feelings and some darker ones, and this story has just the perfect tone. I was sucked in from the very start and could barely put it down. If you are library fan, this is one you aren’t going to miss, but I would highly recommend Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles to anyone.