This is a tale of a small town, but the troubles and problems are those of anybody. However there is the addition of the mysterious stranger - Matilda comes with solutions. The question is will the town accept them.
We have all the typical small town problems - someone new and different, not conforming... except this is not just only small town behavior. There are rumors of what this mystical woman is. Is she a witch, or an aging hippie who will deal in drugs, or someone who will sue the town?
What we have is lost and found peace of heart and of course love discovered which ties in with the spirit of Christmas.
The story takes place just before Christmas, and part of the worry is that the Christmas shopping season will be ruined and that the angst against Matilda is not creating an aura of love and goodwill. The purpose of the tale does have a Christian flavor, especially of forgiveness. We are not told the whole story of even some of the main character's life changing events; but it is still a nice little Christmas story.