Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Christmas for Katie: A Christmas Families of Honor Novella (Families of Honor #3.5), by Shelley Shepard Gray

Katie Weaver, a precocious 6 year old Amish girl, is frustrated with the nativity in front of the library. It looks rundown, old and lackluster. She sets her sights on having a real nativity for Christmas, with real people and real animals. When she, with the help of her sister-in-law Ella, approaches the pretty librarian, Miss Donovan, with her wonderful idea, Miss Donovan dismisses it, looking annoyed but mostly sad. Knowing that love can make people happy and more agreeable, Katie decides to start praying for Miss Donovan so that God may provide her with a boyfriend, and to do a little matchmaking herself. However, strange things start happening: an elderly woman is attacked in front of the nativity, and every day a new nativity figure disappears. Now Katie, with the help of Connor Fields, the new deputy in town, must figure out who's behind the disappearance of the figures before the nativity is left looking worse than it already does. And if she manages a few Christmas miracles in between, with God's help, well, it may be a great Christmas after all.

Katie will soon see how God uses everything for His purposes, answers our prayers and watches over us.

A very cute and sweet story of love, hope, and faith. Written very well, this novella gives us a glimpse into the wonderfully precious mind of Katie, a lovable 6 year old girl. Katie is a sweetheart. As any child, she is full of big ideas, great enthusiasm, and a tender innocence.
Author Shelley Shepard Gray has done a great job writing this girl and what goes on inside her mind. Although there are nice supporting characters, and we get to see their points of view, too, it is Katie who kept my interest, and had me smiling.

Here we have a little girl interacting with adults in a very believable way. The close relationship Katie has with Ella, her sister in law, is heartwarming. Katie's interactions with her mother are funny and tender, as well as her friendship with Miss Donovan, the librarian. Miss Donovan is a nice character with some past hurts and a willingness to move forward. Anyone can identify with her sadness and her desire to come out of her shell, which is why Katie's determination to find her a boyfriend is understandable and very touching.

The mystery behind the nativity figures' disappearance is a fun one; quite predictable but entertaining, nonetheless. There is not much suspense, just a lighthearted mystery, and a simple investigation that serves as a backdrop to the developing attraction between the deputy, Connor, and the librarian, Miss Donovan. Their romance was a little too fast paced, but clean and charming.

There is something, though, that did bother me: the characters sometimes lack consistency. Miss Donovan seems to be shy, someone who keeps to herself, but she is pretty straightforward in her attraction to Connor. It also did not make much sense to me that Miss Donovan is the librarian in a small community and she had no idea who the attacked elderly woman was, although this lady visited the library quite often.

That said, this novella is a great Christmas read; a nice reminder of how God answers prayers, even when we might think it's a little too late, or when people around us think it's not worth it.

This is book 3.5 in the series and the author, very nicely and seamlessly, interlaces past stories from the series into this delightful Christmas story, which most certainly makes the newcomer reader want to go back in the series to find out exactly what happened. So, although she brings us up to speed, she piques our curiosity just enough to make us want to know this family, this community, better.

4.5 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book through The Christian Manifesto (check it out!) in exchange of an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment