Nearly 25 years after the publication of Shiloh, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s beloved trilogy becomes a quartet with this Christmas-themed holiday companion.
Shiloh and his boy, Marty, are inseparable as always—except that Shiloh is afraid to cross over the bridge that leads to Judd Travers’ house. It’s been a year since Marty rescued Shiloh from Judd, and he seems to have found a soft spot in his neighbor’s harsh exterior. Amends have been made, and Marty has been spending time at Judd’s to help with the other dogs. The town even begins to see a very different man as well.
The community has also welcomed a new preacher to town, but soon Marty’s sister, Becky, begins to fear eternal damnation, and the preacher’s daughters, Rachel and Ruthie, seem to be afraid of their father. Marty has a lot of questions about the world but isn’t sure the preacher, who seems better versed in atoning for sins, is the one who can answer them. More questions arise when a fire starts in the neighborhood and accusations fly, blaming Judd for starting it.
The Prestons prepare for Christmas, the community helps those that suffered from the fire, and Marty continues to work in the veterinarian office, thinking he may want to be a vet and help animals. But one day, Ruthie and Rachel are too scared to go home, and Judd helps by sharing the story of his youth and the importance of dreams.
Naylor gently writes of compassion and understanding, the importance of love over fear and the bonds between dogs and their people. A bit of adventure and a few mysteries make A Shiloh Christmas perfect for cozying up in front of the Christmas tree.