Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. Revell provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Amelia and her fiancé James had planned to marry right away, but she hears that he’s been killed in the war, shot down with his plane. Hence, Amelia can’t legally claim the benefits of a war widow, even when she gives birth to James’s child, Jimmy. With nowhere else to turn, Amelia seeks out James’s parents–even though they don’t know that she and Jimmy exist in The Christmas Blessing by author Melody Carlson.
I’ve enjoyed a few World War II Christmas novellas in the past. Without reading much of the blurb for this one, I took a gander at the soft, Christmassy book cover and decided to check it out.
I think this story has much that fans of nostalgic WWII fiction will enjoy. The plot is serious, but not too heavy, and the holiday theme is strong. Except for the very end, which may be somewhat rushed, I found the pacing to be steady, even a bit slow at points, as characters stop to think or re-think things over maybe a little more than necessary. However, I can appreciate a complete tale on the shorter side that doesn’t hurry through or skimp on all the important parts.
There’s some “info-dumping” in the opening conversation, and although it’s not unrealistic for a woman in Amelia’s position to cry a lot, her sobbing loses some of its effect on the page when it happens over and over. Also, I hope this isn’t something widely common that I’m just starting to notice in general now, but it seems that far too many sentences in the story begin with the word “And,” until it feels monotonous. I’m not sure if this issue appears in the final version of the book; I read an ARC.
Overall, it was refreshing to find a holiday tale that wasn’t completely predictable to me, and I think many other ChristFic readers will like this one.