Becky's Reviews > A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger

A Christmas Journey Home by Kathi Macias
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Sep 23, 2011

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Read in September, 2011

A Christmas Journey Home by Kathi Mills-Macias and published by New Hope Publishing, a division of WMU. I received this book via netgalley.com.

In one word, I would describe this book as "cute". Many characters tell their side of the story throughout the book. Being from the United States, the plot pulled me into the story. Being a Christian, I felt that if I could relate or understood better the conditions in which illegal aliens find themselves in, I would like to think I would have more compassion. The story boils down to one question: is it better to follow the laws of the land, or to show compassion to every human being, no matter their financial status/race/weight/etc. etc. (Even though everyone would most likely say compassion and love overrules, sadly it doesn't seem to be the case in which the world we live in today.)

We meet Isabella and her newly-wed husband Francisco out in the middle of the Arizona desert. Driven by violence in their town in Mexico and by the urging of her grandfather, the couple are illegal aliens trying to find a better life for themselves and a baby, who will be soon born. Isabella's whole family was killed by gang violence and as long as it is no longer safe for them to live there with a child on the way, they head out to the great unknown, trying to reach the American Dream.

Miriam, a newly-widowed wife and mom to six-year old son Davey, doesn't know how to control her grief or anger of her husband dying. Staying on at the ranch after her husband passes away due to his job as a border control agent, has left Miriam tired and stressed. If not for her mother, Carolyn, who has come to live with them to help - Miriam knows she coudln't continue to stay on the ranch that her son loves so clearly.

Things then continuely spin out of control for both Isabella and Miriam. Isabella and her husband are forced into a labor house while Carolyn's health suddenly takes a turn for the worse, leaving Miriam to fend for not only Davey and herself, but the sprawling ranch and the many animals who live there.

The story continues to show each person's thoughts in the situations. We even see how much Davey has the child-like faith of knowing there is a God. The story wraps up nice and neat, just like a Christmas present.

While the plot was an interesting concept, I wish the characters were more developed, had more depth to them. We only get a glimmer of Carolyn and her struggles and thoughts about her health. Isabella's grandfather is mainly only shown conversing with God and his one companion, another elderly man who has also lost his wife. I would have liked more of a background of Isabella and Francisco, the country to which they are fleeing from.

I would give this book a 3.5 rating. Good plot, but wish it would have given more of a punch. Thank goes to New Hope Publishing, http://www.netgalley.com/, and Kathi Mills-Macias for letting me review this book.
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