I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson
Published by Revell on September 5th 2017
Genres: Christian, Fiction, General, Historical
When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby's father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant's paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don't know that she--or their grandson--exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?
Beloved author Melody Carlson pens a story of love, hardship, and reconciliation that will leave readers filled with Christmas joy.
I have such mixed feelings about this book. I’ve never read Melody Carlson before but I keep hearing amazing things. When the opportunity to review ‘The Christmas Blessing’ came my way I jumped on it. A Christmas story by a much spoken of author, how could I resist? While I liked the overall writing style and voice of this author this story should not have been my starter pack so to speak. It’s still a pretty amazing book but there were a few things that I couldn’t overlook.
Can we say predictable? With only one notable exception (that I will not spoiler you with) I knew where the story was headed at every turn. It may have meandered a few times but it never left the track outside that one time. Predictability and cliche are kissin’ cousins. Poor girl from a questionable family meets rich boy who is surrounded by love. Whirlwind romance, he goes off to war. Boy killed in war. Girl faces boy’s family with baby in tow, baby that no one knew about. It doesn’t end there but lets face it, I can’t just hand you the story, you have to read it. I feel like there is a glaring lack of depth in the character development and even the story development. There were definitely places this book took us that deserved (and were wide open for) more depth, more detail, just more. It would have enhanced the characters as well as the overall story. Sometimes it all comes down to details.
If you are ticking off all my bookish pet peeves listed in the proceeding paragraph then you are probably thinking why I rated this book so high. I have high expectations for books and characters and story. Here’s the thing. Sometimes writing can overcome certain flaws. I’m not sure if this book was supposed to be novella but I didn’t come across that feeling anywhere, except the number of pages. It fits somewhere between novel and novella. If I review from the novella perspective then I can forgive certain things like lack of detail. The author has a writing style that reached to me through my judgemental snarkiness. (You know you think it sometimes!) The characters weren’t fully functional in the world but they still griped my heart. The story line was spotty at times but it was still enough to pull me in. I didn’t care that I knew the story. I didn’t care that it was predictable and cliche and missing so many things. I was engaged. Sometimes, especially this time a year, engaged says a lot.