Author: Melody Carlson
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Roman
Melody Carlson continues her feel-good, sweet stories with the Christmas Blessing. Amelia Richards decides to go see her seven week old baby’s grandparents in Montana for Christmas. She is hoping they will accept her and her son despite the fact that she was not yet married to her baby’s father, James, who was killed in the War. A series of mishaps befalls her on her journey from San Francisco to Montana, and she arrives just in time to spend Thanksgiving in a run-down motel. She and Jimmy both develop a cold, and with her money and luck run out, she decides to visit the family sooner than originally anticipated. Word on the street is that James’ father is a doctor and salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, while his mother is a strict, cold woman who would fire a volunteer from the Red Cross for not folding bandages properly. Desperate and broke, she decides to leave baby Jimmy in the manger that is part of the family’s outdoor Nativity scene. She just hopes that James’ parents will take in Jimmy and find him a good home and that Amelia can move on with her life.
True to Melody Carlson novels, this one is full of gut-wrenching decisions and heartfelt moments. Even the coldest person has a good heart inside; it just takes some digging to get there. This novel is no different. Amelia is down on her luck and it seems to get worse with each passing day, and she is sure that the only way to give her baby a better life is to give him up. Stung from the loss of a son, James’ mother shuts down and doesn’t want anything to do with anyone until the baby shows up in the manger. A baby appearing in a manger during the Christmas season is a sure sign from God, in her opinion, and this may be what she needs to move on. Of course complications arise and make for interesting reading.
I have to say, however, that I was disappointed by the ending. Things came together a little too quickly and suddenly for my tastes. I was not upset that James ended up being saved and returned to his hometown, but I was surprised that everything wrapped up neatly afterwards. Considering that he and Amelia knew each other for just a few days, and then he was held captive as a POW, I was confused as to how they would marry so quickly once reunited. Then again, I am a skeptic pragmatist, so I don’t usually fall for quick happy endings. For those of you who do, I am sure you will be pleasantly pleased with the ending.
There is some violence in the book (in a form of POW torture), and there entire book is based on a child being born out of wedlock. Even this is pretty tame in today’s world, so The Christmas Blessing does not have much objectionable in it. Adults and mature teens should enjoy it for its sweet story and interesting characters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.