A Christmas to Remember

[openbook booknumber=”0425211843″]


Lillian Warwick is a curmudgeony old woman who suffers a bad fall and is forced into the care of her daughters and granddaughter. After the fall she finds herself reliving old memories of times gone by and remembers her own history and past mistakes. Will acknowledging the pain in her past allow her to acknowledge the reality of her future? Lucy Bates is a nurse in training at the hospital where Lillian was admitted. She too has some big decisions ahead of her as she struggles with thoughts of quitting nursing school and going back to waitressing full time. She isn’t helped in this by her less than supportive husband, who undercuts her commitment and confidence at every turn. But, with the coming of the Christmas season and following New Year both of these women, and their families undergo a transformation worthy of the spirit of the holiday season.

Of course, you think you love him. You’re barely twenty-five years old. You’re liable to think a lot of things.” Lillian sat stiffly in her wheelchair, her gaze fixed on her granddaughter. “I thought you had some sense in that pretty head. Or you would at least, at some point, wake up and smell the coffee.”
       Sara crossed her arms over her chest. “I did wake up and smell the coffee. Just this morning. Luke makes wonderful coffee. He uses fresh beans.”
       Lillian made a sour face. “Please! Spare me the details of your honeymoon. Too much information, as the teenagers say.”
       Lillian appeared to have recovered her energy for arguing, despite her casts and the bruise around her eye that had turned an amazing shade of bluish purple.

This novel is apparently the seventh in a series of books about Cape Light. It is written in such a way, though, that I had no problem picking up the novel and enjoying it. This book was co-written by Thomas Kinkade, The Painter of Light, one of his works is featured on the cover, the painting Skater’s Pond.

I enjoyed the positive messages and the well written storyline in this book. I enjoyed reading about all of the characters and had no problems getting involved in their lives and their problems. I especially liked the historical back story given about Lillian Warwick with flashbacks to the 1950’s, an era I enjoy learning about. Throughout the novel the frustrations and joys of the holidays were very well illustrated and a lot of the messages really struck home. Just a warning, this is a bit of a Christian novel in that there is prayer, sermons, biblical references and discussions of faith.

The book cuts back and forth between several key characters throughout, and for me this made it hard to get into. I don’t like that about fantasy novels either, but normally at least the first chunk of the book follows one main group before they split up and you go to following everybody. This book started out and ended with the groups being loosely interconnected but never really together. The story was a little short to be doing so much cutting back and forth and, aside from all of the characters being from Cape Light, their bonds were tenuous at best.

My only other complaint was really about the way the novel treated Lillian Warwick’s story at the end. Without giving too much away, a major point is constantly hinted at and alluded to throughout the novel concerning her husband, the book ends leaving just what those allusions were to up to the reader. I hate books that do that.

In the end this was a wonderful way to finish my season of holiday reading. The story had lots of warm messages about faith, forgiveness, fidelity, love, hope and strength that I hope to carry on into the New Year.

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