The blurbs give you an excellent idea of what each story is about, so you only get my opinion. I was a Carla Kelly fan once I finished reading 'Mrs. D...moreThe blurbs give you an excellent idea of what each story is about, so you only get my opinion. I was a Carla Kelly fan once I finished reading 'Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand', followed shortly by 'Marian's Christmas Wish.' This collection of short Christmas stories is genuine Carla Kelly material. I don't normally read short stories or novellas because they generally fail to deliver any real depth or character development, and yet the author has managed to write a collection of heartwarming stories that readers will certainly enjoy. The characters are sweet and enjoyable, and each story contains a lesson in overcoming obstacles and seeing past stereotypes. Kelly captures the era beautifully--as always. Even though I wish the stories had more to them (as in length), I recommend this collection to anyone interested in a sweet and easy holiday read. If you want a great Carla Kelly Christmas story, I highly recommend 'Marian's Christmas Wish.'
A Reader's Opinion: This is a beautiful and inspiring story. I never comment on the truthfulness of a true story because I haven't done the research m...moreA Reader's Opinion: This is a beautiful and inspiring story. I never comment on the truthfulness of a true story because I haven't done the research myself, but I don't see how this could be anything but a true story of courage, faith, and remarkable perseverance. If you ever want to know what kind of a person you are, travel over 2,000 miles on foot, become separated from your family, and survive as though your life depended on it. The Fangamou's are truly a remarkable family who never gave up hope or faith. I imagine the author is a better person for having known this family. I also feel that the story brings to light issues we all know exist in parts of Africa, and yet we rarely have the opportunity for this type of heart-wrenching retelling.
Regardless of someone's personal or religious beliefs, I do recommend this book to anyone. It's worth reading.
4.5 stars due to the writing style not being my usual cup of tea, but the story itself makes up for it. (less)
Let me first begin by saying that I am LDS, and therefore the strong religious elements did not bother me. Having said that, I do feel that this book...moreLet me first begin by saying that I am LDS, and therefore the strong religious elements did not bother me. Having said that, I do feel that this book is geared toward LDS readers, but only because those unfamiliar with the LDS faith may not understand a lot of what is being discussed. Keep in mind that this is a fiction book, and an interesting one at that, although it wasn't quite what I expected.
I enjoyed the storyline, though it read more like a personal journal, and it touched on some hot-topic issues, which I thought brave of the author. There's humor and sadness mixed in with a little sarcasm and a lot of personal issues. It's a story about working through personal crisis and depression while struggling to maintain a normal life, care for children, and move forward after tragedy. Todd struggles and he overcomes obstacles, and in many ways it's an uplifting read, but the author doesn't necessarily gloss over issues, which I find refreshing.
I enjoyed the conversations between Todd and his shrink the most, as the shrink didn't pull punches, and he ended up being my favorite character.
Keeping the religious aspect in mind, I would recommend this book to others. It's a clean read and a good story for our time. However, don't pick it up thinking you're reading a blog--that's not what this is about.(less)
This was one of the most enjoyable reads I had in a long time. To be honest, after the first chapter I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the book, bu...moreThis was one of the most enjoyable reads I had in a long time. To be honest, after the first chapter I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy the book, but I'm so glad I kept going! It's extremely clean which is always a bonus for this reader. I never retell the storyline in a review--that's what the blurb is for--but I will tell you why I enjoyed it.
First, I stayed awake hours past when I normally go to sleep so I could finish reading it in one night. That's rare for me. Second, the story moved forward at a nice pace, and it was well-written. There were only a couple of short sections where the hero dreams and it took me out of the action, but only for a moment.
When I first "met" the heroine, she annoyed me to the point where I wanted to shake sense into her, but that didn't last long. In fact, my favorite part about this book was the gradual change in the heroine. I enjoyed watching her change from spoiled socialite to someone who discovers she's stronger and more capable than she realized.
The hero, Jake--I adored him. He behaved like a typical man part of the way, but who can blame him with the way she behaved at first. Jake made me think of Sully from Dr. Quinn, only without the buckskin and fringe. I liked him more and more as the story went on.
I mentioned that the book is clean, but that doesn't mean there isn't romantic tension, and the author does a nice job weaving that into the story without making the book sappy or silly. There's adventure, sadness (I cried), happy moments (I smiled), and great characters.
Oh and the best part was how the author ending the book--I can honestly say I would have done the exact same thing because I can say for certain that I will be buying the next book. (less)