Let's all get in the mood for Christmas with this blog tour and giveaway for Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols, hosted by JustRead Tours.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Author: Phyllis Clark Nichols
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Christmas
The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house...
Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .
When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.
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Mr. Lafferty was just a whole heap of mystery,
and I wanted to know more and more about him.
The narrative begins with the unveiling of festive preparations for a Christmas gala at Emerald Crest, a majestic mansion in the mountains of West Virginia, then takes us back sixteen years to 2002, when a ten-year-old Julia first meets Henry Lafferty the Second, a recluse in his late 50s. Emerald Crest itself becomes a major character, a mountain home with outside walls built out of green granite from the north, and floors out of green marble from Ireland, a tribute to Henry’s beloved grandmother.
Julia and Henry Lafferty are two of the most memorable fictional characters ever – rich, well-drawn, relatable characters who pull at the heart strings. With the precocious Julia, the author did a wonderful job in combining childlike qualities with those of inquisitiveness, intellect, and giftedness. Henry, given the name “H” in sign language by Julia, is kind hearted, generous, highly intelligent, and a talented sculptor. The connection between these two is palpable, and no words are necessary as music, smiles and hugs become their language. In the words of Julia’s grandmother, Grancie, “His troubles could have made him a bitter, angry man, but they just seemed to make him better. In his silence, he must have learned some important lessons about living and making a difference in the world.”
“When there’s a bit of mystery, then people start making
up stuff, and the next generation adds to the tales.
And before long there are more legends than truth.”
– Julia’s mom
There’s so much to reflect upon in this story, one being the way we interact with people whose disabilities set them apart. Getting to know Henry through Julia’s eyes was a beautiful experience, and although she couldn’t bring him sound, what she did bring was of much more importance – music, companionship, and new family-like relationships.
Another thought is how seemingly unimportant moments can become all important in the direction our lives take. The dictionary defines pivotal as being “of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else” – and that perfectly describes Julia’s first meeting with Henry. Not only was Julia’s life changed, but that of Henry and so many others in the town. As I read this story, I couldn’t help but reflect back on some pivotal, God-sent moments in my own life.
The overall theme of this story is its expression of God sending Jesus to reveal His character and love for us. Silent Days, Holy Night is a touching and emotional story, one that I will be reading again during future Christmas seasons.
Very highly recommended.
I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.
Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.
She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.
Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.
CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: website | Facebook | Twitter
(1) winner will receive (US only):
- a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
- a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!