|I love Christmas stories and this anthology brings us four interconnected tales of old-fashioned love and commitment. Home for the Holidays is Anna and Jeremiah's story. A series of miscommunications comes between the two until they stop and trust in God's plan. One Evergreen Night follows the journey of two people haunted by past losses. Frederick and Emma must find the courage to live the life that God has chosen for them. Larkin and E.V. are featured in All Ye Faithful. E.V. has loved Larkin for a long time but her father has turned down all his attempts to court her. Mr. Whitworth doesn't believe E.V. is good enough for his daughter. Larkin has loved E.V. for just as long but she has a secret that she hopes he will understand. And finally, my personal favorite, A Carpenter Christmas tells a story about broken trust and need for God's grace to move forward. Natalie and Willum bear scars from their pasts. Scars that rise up and hurt their budding romance. Only faith in God's will can help them overcome their fears.
This was an uplifting and, ultimately, joyful series of holiday stories. The setting and time period are reminiscent of the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Gotta love those lumberjacks. The stories are interconnected and it's wonderful to stay in touch with characters from the previous stories. The men and women in this book are real. They have failings, make mistakes and lose sight of God's will. There's sorrow and regret along the way. What stays with you, however, is the overriding love for each other and for God. These are charming, inspiring and, at times, powerful love stories. It may have been near 100 degrees outside while I read this book but in my heart it was Christmas.
Reviewer: Susan P.
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