The Christmas Blessing
By Melody Carlson
Although Amelia would be on the train only until tomorrow morning, she unpacked a few things with the goal of making Jimmy and herself as comfortable as possible. To her delight, this cozy sleeping car felt just right for the two of them. Not only that, but as the train began to move, Jimmy relaxed and settled in. Almost as if he were glad they were finally on their way. Maybe he instinctively knew that life was about to get better for them. Perhaps he would enjoy meeting his paternal grandparents. At the moment the train pulled out of the station, anything seemed possible.
She's determined to give her baby a better life.
Could a Christmas miracle make it possible?
Not long after she receives the news in 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 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?
I’m glad that a feel-good Christmas story by Melody Carlson started my seasonal reading this fall. Carlson is a prolific writer and her yearly Christmas stories are among my favorites, always look forward to them. They’re not deep, just relaxing and entertaining. Novellas are perfect for me during the busy fall/winter months … but that being said, The Christmas Blessing is a well-written novella that would have made a great novel.
November 1944 – San Diego / Montana
Amelia, single mom doing her best to protect and provide for her son, is such an appealing character. James and Amelia are sympathetically flawed characters – products of a quick wartime romance with marriage license in hand, and a son conceived the night before he is suddenly called up to fight. Several neat twists make an otherwise predictable story such a fun read. Little Jimmy’s grandparents are well drawn characters – the doctor capturing my heart, and the mother – not so much at first. I also enjoy the small-town Montana setting.
The Christmas Blessing isn’t really a romance, since all of that action happened before the story began. That’s why I said earlier that this would make a great novel, letting us see Amelia and James meet and get to know each other as they fell in love – and the wonderful ending could have been more drawn out. But that’s okay because this heartwarming story focuses on relationships between Amelia and Jimmy’s grandparents, and readers can use their imagination for the rest.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Christmas Blessing and hope for many more Christmas stories from Melody Carlson.
I was provided a free copy of this book from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of several Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, Christmas at Harrington's, The Christmas Cat, The Christmas Joy Ride, and The Christmas Angel Project. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice.
She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.