I bought this book earlier this month, and I kept it where I could see it. As you might remember, gentle reader, I like to read a Christmas novel every year in the holiday season. But I sometimes have difficulty finding one in the Nogglestead stacks when the time is right. I mean, I buy them when I see them at book sales and whatnot, but the Nogglestead to-read shelves are a dense jungle, and if I have to find something, I generally cannot, but then when I am not looking for it, it is right there.
At any rate, this book has a bit of a dark premise: A couple has split up right before Christmas. Although good Christian kids who dated in high school, they split when they went to separate colleges. But she loses her mother, and when he loses his father, their shared grief and past leads them to one night of
passion pregnancy and guilt. He drops out of college to take over his father’s auto parts store, and she drops out of school to be a mom. Although they start from humble beginnings, they build a good upper middle class life together as the parts store prospers under his guidance, and they have a total of three children. But the woman mourns the loss of her youth and her college degree, and when her school rival for her husband’s affections returns to town, she becomes suspicious and throws him out.
Through a series of flashbacks, many revolving around the central gimmick that he has given her a Christmas ornament every year of their marriage, we get this story and its lead-up. Although she really loves him, she hasn’t forgiven herself or him for that one night that led to their successful marriage, and she self-destructively breaks it up. But, c’mon, man, this is a Christmas novel, so, spoiler alert, they get back together at the end.
A nice bit of Hallmark Channel movie in a book form. It’s got a little depth to it, unlike some Christmas books, and I kind of felt bad for the protagonists until they reconciled.
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