Karen Musser Nortman
A Campy Christmas is the sixth book in Karen Musser Nortman’s A Frannie Shoemaker Camping Adventure series. Frannie and her husband, Larry, are disheartened at the prospect of spending Christmas alone. Their loved ones are all busy, and they are left to endure a quiet, undecorated, and lonely holiday. The Shoemakers’ mood lightens, however, when they are invited on a holiday camping trip alongside their close friends, the Ferrarros. All seems to be going well, until a sudden snowstorm leaves them stranded on their campground, bringing many more unexpected dilemmas along with it.
A Campy Christmas, while unique, is not a very exciting read. Its long-winded explanations of characters irrelevant to the plot of this book makes it weak as a standalone piece. Perhaps it would fare better to a seasoned fan of the series; however, a newcomer may not find much to be impressed with. There was also far too much detail put into the characters’ frivolous actions; the redundant, “She did this, then she did this” narrative became exhausting as the novella progressed.
Despite its rather poor development, A Campy Christmas was charming in its own humble way. It is different than most holiday stories in that the focus of the plot remains on the characters, and not in suffocating the reader with oppressive Christmas everything. The holiday themes were certainly present, but not overdone. Karen Musser Nortman’s characters were also delightfully easy to relate to, which made A Campy Christmas feel more down-to-earth and believable. A Campy Christmas is not a thriller by any means, but it is a warm and simple seasonal novella that certainly gets the holiday excitement flowing.
Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.