Keeping Christmas in Our Hearts.
Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.
When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie doesn’t always like working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher, but Sis encourages her to take a deeper look at why the book by Charles Dickens had been written in the first place and what it could teach Charlie about the needs of people in their own community.
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I hear people say that either they love Charles Dickens or that they don’t like any Dickens except A Christmas Carol. Here’s the plain truth – I don’t like Dickens. Not the man, not his work. I’ve never enjoyed any of his stories (well, the BBC’s 2008 adaptation of Little Dorrit with Claire Foy was actually watchable, but it did not make me want to read the book). So along comes this novella with two strikes against it, being a contemporary (not my first choice) and a retelling of A Christmas Carol (which has never had an adaptation I’ve enjoyed), I decided to read it based on the positive review I read and the author’s suggestion in that review’s comments that I read it and tell her what I think. So, deep breath, and here goes:
I liked it. I really, really liked it. It was a lovely way to wrap up my Christmas reading and if I were to make a list of holiday novellas to reread in 2017, this would be on it. I did, however, skim over the excerpts from A Christmas Carol that began each chapter while also appreciating how suitably placed they were. Charlie (the heroine) would probably agree with this choice, though for her own reasons.
God Bless Us Every One is a heartwarming story of coming home, finding romance, learning to trust, forgiveness and reconciliation. I highly recommend it and count Eva Marie Everson as my final Inspirational author “find” of 2016.
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About the Author:
Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of The Road to Testament, Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life, Chasing Sunsets, Waiting for Sunrise, Slow Moon Rising, and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.
God Bless Us Every One by Eva Marie Everson | Abingdon Press, Sept. 2016 | paperback & ebook, 224 pages
This review refers to a review e-book copy read courtesy of the publisher, via NetGalley. I requested the chance to read it upon the suggestion of the author. A positive review was not required; all opinions expressed are my own.