Thomas Kinkade is best known as the "painter of light." Art snobs will tell you he's a hack and a sellout but his popularity cannot be denied as he is reportedly the most-collected living artist in America.
I am not a Kinkade collector but I won't dismiss his appeal. His paintings have a Norman Rockwell-like charm, with simple hometown themes, and his depiction of light is undeniably cool.
The artist also has been writing books for some years now, with Katherine Spencer. They continue the Cape Light series with their eighth installment, A Christmas Visitor (Berkley, 249 pages, $23.95)...
The Cape Light series follows the inhabitants of a small East Coast town, where everyone is connected and looks out for one another. It's a LIfetime movie in book form. In A Christmas Visitor, there are three revolving stories:
Miranda Potter, 30-ish, finds a stranger lying passed out in the snow with a bump on his head. She and her mother, Sophie, get him to the hospital and then take him home to rest when it turns out he has amnesia. Romance is imminent.
Molly Willoughby Harding is a very happily married woman with two teenage daughters and a stepdaughter. Her new fine food store and catering business is doing gangbuster business. When she finds out she's pregnant, her perfect little life is thrown out of whack.
Reverend Ben finds out the perils of "fame" when he finds a wooden angel statue while trying to fix a leaky pipe. The statue is said to have miraculous powers and when word gets out, the peaceful little church becomes a tourist attraction.
All this and it's Christmastime to boot. I will admit I'm a sucker for a good Lifetime or Hallmark Christmas movie, so I think I'll actually finish reading this book to see what happens to all these folks (even though I know everything will tie up nicely in the end.)