One of the fun parts of Christmas to me has always been Christmas movies and Christmas stories. What I love about them is the sense of hope that is present in each one of them. I love what Gladys Hunt says in Honey For a Woman's Heart when she talks about why women read. We often read to learn new things and see outside of our worlds, but we also read simply for enjoyment. Christmas stories are simply enjoyment to me.
I've noticed that Melody Carlson has published a new Christmas fiction novel for the past few years. Last year, she published The Christmas Dog. I reviewed it and enjoyed it. It was one of the rare books that was simply a good story but wasn't about romance the way many Christian fiction stories are. This year, the Christmas novel she has published is titled Christmas at Harrington's.
This story is of
Lena. She is released from prison and is starting over. She finds herself seated next to Moira on the bus as she heads to . New Haven, Minnesota Lena had served seven years and completed her sentence. Christmas at Harringtons is her story of starting over. Her past is ever present though and this story is one of grace and healing.
The writing and plot are good and easy to read. I lost myself in the book for two or three hours and emerged with a joyful sense of hope. Wrongs can be righted sometimes.
Amidst struggle and hardship, it is the hope of the Lord that gives me strength. It is stories--even fictional ones that often remind me of the hope the Lord has for me. I enjoy fun stories and the light of the Lord that often shines through them.
One of my favorite verses is from I John 4:12 "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." NIV
Though the stories are fictional, there is a seed of truth in them and the reminder of things like those in the story that have happened.
Christmas at Harrington's is a fun Christmas story to curl up with on a cold winter night. At the end, you'll probably close the book and smile.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Revell Publishing.