Book Review: A Wish for Winter by Viola Shipman

Posted November 18, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 35 Comments

A Wish for Winter
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Viola Shipman
Publication Date November 15, 2022
Published by Harlequin
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Genres: Fiction / Holidays, Fiction / Women
Pages: 398
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

“I love this book—funny, perfect and wonderfully good. A not-to-be-missed delight.” —New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery

With echoes of classic Hollywood love stories like Serendipity and An Affair to Remember, Viola Shipman’s latest winter charmer following the USA TODAY bestseller The Secret of Snow is sure to tug on heartstrings and delight readers who love books about books, missed connections and the magic of Christmas.

Despite losing her parents in a tragic accident just before her fourteenth Christmas, Susan Norcross has had it better than most, with loving grandparents to raise her and a gang of quirky, devoted friends to support her. Now a successful bookstore owner in a tight-knit Michigan lakeside community, Susan is facing down forty—the same age as her mother when she died—and she can’t help but see everything she hasn’t achieved, including finding a love match of her own. To add to the pressure, everyone in her small town believes it’s Susan’s destiny to meet and marry a man dressed as Santa, just like her mother and grandmother before her. So it seems cosmically unfair that the man she makes an instant connection with at an annual Santa Run is lost in the crowd before she can get his name.

What follows is Susan and her friends’ hilarious and heartwarming search for the mystery Santa—covering twelve months of social media snafus, authors behaving badly and dating fails—as well as a poignant look at family, friendship and what defines a well-lived and well-loved life.

“Viola Shipman has written a captivating story for anyone whose memories run deep… This book keeps faith and hope alive!” —New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods

A Country Living Magazine Best Christmas Book to Read This Holiday Season!

A Wish for Winter by Viola Shipman is a pleasant and uplifting Christmas book that is perfect for the holiday season.  

Story Recap: 

Susan Norcross grew up with her grandparents after losing her parents in a car accident when she was fourteen years old.  Her name, Susan is for the little girl in Miracle on 34th Street, the original with a young Natalie Wood.  Her Grandparents always play the town’s Santa and Mrs. Clause, and they help her with the bookstore that she owns and manages.  She lives in a small town on the coast of Lake Michigan, that is touristy in the summer and cold in the winter.  The entire town believes that Susan’s destiny is to meet and marry a man in a Santa Suit, as this is how her mother met her father and her grandmother met her grandfather.  But, Susan is almost forty and she hasn’t found a Santa yet.  

When she meets a man at a 5k race in Chicago, who is wearing a Santa costume, her friends know that the man is destined to be Susan’s match.  But, when he fails to meet them at their agreed-upon bar after the race, Susan realizes it wasn’t meant to be.  She can’t contact him because she didn’t get his name, and he was in full Santa costume, so she would never even be able to recognize him.  But, her friends make it their mission to find the guy in the Santa Suit.  Will they find the right Santa?  

My Thoughts: 

A Wish for Winter is just the kind of book I enjoy reading during the Christmas holidays.  It’s full of hope and kindness, and growth.  The story is set in Michigan in a small town on the lake, and the story is certainly a love letter to Michigan as it is much more than just the setting in the story.  

This is much less of a romance than a story about love, friendships, and family.  I love that Susan loves to read and runs a bookstore.  She has wonderful grandparents and friends that all contribute to this enjoyable story.  


I highly recommend A Wish for Winter for anyone who enjoys a holiday story. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Viola Shipman

WADE ROUSE is the internationally bestselling author of nine books, which have been translated into nearly 20 languages. Wade chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, as a pen name to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his fiction.

Wade’s novels include The Charm Bracelet, a 2017 Michigan Notable Book of the Year; The Hope Chest; and The Recipe Box. NYT bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank says of Wade and his latest novel, The Summer Cottage: “Every now and then a new voice in fiction arrives to completely charm, entertain and remind us what matters. Viola Shipman is that voice and The Summer Cottage is that novel.”

Have you read A Wish for Winter?

35 responses to “Book Review: A Wish for Winter by Viola Shipman

  1. This sounds like another wonderful Viola Shipman story. I love how they always include storylines about family. Nice review, Wendy.

  2. I loved the movie Serendipity, so this immediately caught my attention. It sounds like a perfect one to read this time of year. Nice review, Wendy!

  3. I just borrowed the audiobook of this one from the library and I can’t wait to start it! Wonderful review as always Wendy.

  4. You had me at the main character being named for Susan from Miracle on 34th Street. That gave me a total awww moment. This sounds like an excellent holiday read! Wonderful review, Wendy!

  5. This sounds lovely and heartwarming, and I especially like that the sense of place comes through strongly. Great review, Wendy 🙂

  6. Rosie

    I am slowly getting the feel for festive books, especially as the temperatures outside are falling.

    • I’m in Northern Montana this weekend, and it’s cold and there is snow everywhere, so I’m really in the mood for holiday books now!