Review by Abi
When you're empty inside," Pastor Hughes said, "the best think you can do is give. Find a need, step outside of yourself, and give."Excerpt:Where Treetops Glisten
Where Treetops Glisten is three novellas in one. All of them are about different family members in the Turner family. The settings vary from Lafayette, Indiana on a Christmas Eve in 1941, from to the Netherlands during the war. All of the stories are titled after Christmas songs of the WWII era.
I loved the premise of each story, but liked some more than others. The prologue, Winter Wonderland, was abrupt and rushed and I didn't connect with it at all.
That being said, I still liked the connection between the stories in When Treetops Glisten. The entwining stories all would work as a stand-alone as well.
White Christmas, by Cara Putman, has a good storyline, but I found the repetitive "telling" in the story tedious at times. After initially telling the main character, Abigail Turner, is afraid to love there should've been more "showing" instead of repeating the fact over and over. I found it distracting and it made it hard for me to completely immerse myself in the story.
However, the author sure has a way with character development and made me care what happened to Abigail Turner. She has decided she will not ever fall in love again because the man she loved died in the war. After meeting a man, Jackson Lucas, she is smitten, but fights it. Jackson is a brooding sort of fellow, but Abigail is intrigued and wants to find out what is underneath his sad demeanor…and he slowly creeps into her heart. Neither one of them knows how to handle the feelings for each other, and I found myself rooting for both of them to find their way into each other's arms
I also wanted to slap them. The repetitive "refuse to fall in love" plot was tiring. I struggled to finish the story. That doesn't mean I didn't relate to the characters, it's just that it seemed kind of juvenile and…well, a bit more of a read for a teenager.
White Christmas is a story of courage, growth and trust.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas, by Sarah Sundin, is my favorite novella of the three. I loved every character, the setting and the storyline. This story is a mix of so many things, most of all faith and love. A pilot in the war, Pete Turner, returns to his home of Lafayette Indiana after completing his tour of combat. Like many soldiers, he is emotionally and physically scarred and looks forward to a calm life back home.
One day, while walking down the main part of his small town, he encounters Linnie, a high-spirted child. Alone. With no parent in sight. Linnie informs him that he is going to be her new daddy. He searches for the child's home, assuming the worst of her mother. Upon meeting Linnie's mother, Grace Kessler, he realizes how worried and caring she is, and feels bad for thinking ill of her. Grace and Linnie change his world to a brighter place—until everything comes crashing down.
I adored Linnie, her antics and honesty shone through. Grace's love for her child, and the fact she is a working single parent in the 1940's is a wonderful twist. She is doing it on her own, with no need for a man…yet can she welcome Pete Turner completely into her heart when she discovers he lied to her?
It seems both characters are strong, independent and intelligent, but Linnie wants them to be together as a family. At times, things run smooth and I was certain they would end up together. Then a twist…and another twist. Oh my gosh, how I loved this story!
I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a charming, believable and heart-wrenching story. I adored it.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Tricia Goyer, is a story about Meredith, the youngest of the Turner family. Intent on setting herself apart as baby of the family she joins the war effort as a nurse in Nieuwenhagen, Netherlands on the frontlines. While nursing the soldiers, including the enemy, she also nurses a broken heart of her own. Left alone by the man she loves, all she has left is his abrupt goodbye letter. She and David had a budding romance, full of promise, and she has no idea where he is or why he left…or why he had Nazi pamphlets in his room. Was she in love with a traitor?
She leaves everything in the hands of God, and tries her best to move on. Until she thinks she spots him on the outskirts of town.
The constant surprises, trials, and passion is a page turning phenomena. The characters are well-developed, and their stories are beautifully told.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is a well written and beautiful story.
Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Page Count: 368
Purchase Link: Amazon