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BookMark
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A presentation of latest Christian books to hit the stores

Title: The Christmas Blessing

Author: Melody Carlson

ISBN-10: 0800727452
ISBN-13: 9780800727451

Publishing Date: September 5, 2017

Availability in London: Creation Bookstore.

Available in Hardcover and Paperback


Summary:

When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby's father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant's paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don't know that she--or their grandson--exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?

Beloved author Melody Carlson pens a story of love, hardship, and reconciliation that will leave readers filled with Christmas joy.

Reader reviews;

Mary Jackson rated The Christmas Blessing a 5 out of 5 stars.
Every year I wait for Carlson's Christmas book. Never know what to expect, but always loving the book. This year she did not disappoint me at all. This book was so worth the wait.

I cried, I got so upset and then I was so happy and excited. This is a must-read book. If you enjoy a good book filled with tons of emotions then you are in for a real treat with this book!

I gave this book 5 stars to times and I can't wait to read it again next year. This book will be staying on my personal book shelf.

Amanda Tero rated The Christmas Blessing a 4 out of 5 stars.
If you want a feel-good, happily-ever-after story with a Christmas flavor, this fits the bill perfectly. Amelia's story is a gutter-to-glory story of a girl whose life is shrouded by clouds of darkness.

The one element in this story that I would have preferred to be dealt with a little better was the fact that Amelia and James had a baby out of wedlock. It's mentioned that it was a mistake, but "they were going to get married anyway" and I just don't agree with that thought. According to the Bible, there are no exceptions to "the bed undefiled is honorable." So the fact that this story was about a single mom whose baby was born out of wedlock kind of put a damper on my enjoyment of it. Though I will say, though that was the element of the story, it was not at all detailed and spelled out. Just mentioned; I can appreciate that.

There were mentions of God's will, praying to God, following God, and Him having the perfect plan. It did still feel like the spiritual aspect was a little weak. I realize there is only so much one can put into a novella, but for me it was lacking.

The romance was very little in this book. It is more mentioned that things happened than detailing of emotions. So, in essence, this wasn't really a romance book.

I greatly liked the doctor. He was just full of kindness and goodness and the perfect father figure. Amelia was a sweet girl too. She just didn't make all of the best choices.

Like I said, if you want just a sweet, short read, this is a good book for that. But I kind of can't overlook how the aspect of a baby from wedlock was kind of brushed over.

Lori Parrish rated The Christmas Blessing a 5 out of 5 stars.
Melody told a wonderful story which made a big lump grow in my throat to keep from crying.

I enjoyed this story so much that it only took me a couple of days to finish. God works in mysterious ways does he not? I loved how things were able to be worked out. Especially at Christmas which is one of my favorite holidays. I think that it was wonderful and sad how Amelia received her Christmas blessing. It took quite a few things to happen for her to realize it.

I specifically liked Dr. Bradley because he reminded me of my father in law who was kind and gentle and pretty much down to Earth. I miss him since I've lost him to cancer. He was my blessing in life and I didn't realize it until after he was gone.

Helene was a piece of work. Reminds of someone I know.

It kind of got me into the Christmas spirit!!

Susan Snodgrass rated The Christmas Blessing a 4 out of 5 stars.
I have long enjoyed Melody Carlson's 'Christmas' stories. They are not long novels, but they are rich and full of the love and feeling of the season. If you've never read one, you are missing out. Sort of like a Hallmark movie, they are. I loved it.

Nadine Keels rated The Christmas Blessing a 4 out of 5 stars.
Amelia and her fiancé James had planned to marry right away, but she hears that he's been killed in the war, shot down with his plane. Hence, Amelia can't legally claim the benefits of a war widow, even when she gives birth to James's child, Jimmy. With nowhere else to turn, Amelia seeks out James's parents--even though they don't know that she and Jimmy exist in The Christmas Blessing by author Melody Carlson.

I've enjoyed a few World War II Christmas novellas in the past. Without reading much of the blurb for this one, I took a gander at the soft, Christmassy book cover and decided to check it out.

I think this story has much that fans of nostalgic WWII fiction will enjoy. The plot is serious, but not too heavy, and the holiday theme is strong. Except for the very end, which may be somewhat rushed, I found the pacing to be steady, even a bit slow at points, as characters stop to think or re-think things over maybe a little more than necessary. However, I can appreciate a complete tale on the shorter side that doesn't hurry through or skimp on all the important parts.

There's some "info-dumping" in the opening conversation, and although it's not unrealistic for a woman in Amelia's position to cry a lot, her sobbing loses some of its effect on the page when it happens over and over. Also, I hope this isn't something widely common that I'm just starting to notice in general now, but it seems that far too many sentences in the story begin with the word "And," until it feels monotonous. I'm not sure if this issue appears in the final version of the book; I read an ARC.

Overall, it was refreshing to find a holiday tale that wasn't completely predictable to me, and I think many other Christ-Fic readers will like this one.

Shirley Chapel rated The Christmas Blessing a 5 out of 5 stars.
Awesome Christmas read. It has always been a tradition for me to read Melody Carlson's latest release for the holidays each year. This year I particularly liked the time era she used. I have always enjoyed WWII Christian Fiction and The Christmas Blessing did not disappoint.

Amelia Richards decided to serve in the USO, as a hostess. She purposely did not become involved with any of the service men that came to the center. That is until the handsome Navy Officer James Bradley came in and asked her for a dance. They became attracted to each other, which led to James purposing marriage to Amelia. They planned to be married before James shipped out 9 days later.

Their plans changed when James was shipped out unexpectedly before they had the chance to get married. Amelia discovers that she is pregnant with James baby shortly before she learns that he is missing at sea. Left to face an uncertain future alone with a baby she can't afford to take care of she is forced to set out on her own in hopes of finding James' parents.

Bad goes to worse for Amelia and her baby Jimmy. This makes for a compelling story as readers take this journey with them. Left in a desperate and destitute situation this unwed mother and her baby are left homeless and penniless. Readers are advised to have a box of Kleenex close by. This book will draw you in and it can be read in one day. The ending is totally unexpected and worth the wait.

Excellent Christmas book. If you enjoy reading war time romance set in the 40s you won't want to miss The Christmas Blessing. I highly recommend it.

Darla Damron rated The Christmas Blessing a 5 out of 5 stars.
I read this book in one evening. It was a very emotional (yes, I cried) story and pulled at this Momma's heart.

I have read several of Melody Carlson books and I do believe this one is my favorite!

Maureen Timerman rated The Christmas Blessing a 5 out of 5 stars.
I loved this story, and the author had me walking with the young mother, and remembering that things were very different back in the ‘40’s and the stigma of being an unwed mother.

You can see God’s hand in each event that happens here, and you will want to have the tissues handy. I did love the symbolism of the manger, and the catalyst of bringing the baby into the lives of his family, but what a sacrifice and love this mother does for her child.

This is a quick reading novella, packed with struggles and love, and how everyone ends up just where they need to be on that magic Christmas in 1944.

Wilani Wahl rated The Christmas Blessing a 5 out of 5 stars.
A tender tearjerker with a happy ending story. Perfect Christmas story but also one that will be enjoyed any time of the year. It is well written and I loved the Inspirational aspects of the story. Would love to read more of this family.

Vicki Jones rated The Christmas Blessing a 2 out of 5 stars.
Quick feel good holiday read is how I would describe The Christmas Blessing. I am sure that this book will bring a tear to many. It is a story of hope, love, loss, and making difficult choices.

Amelia has a child out of wedlock. Her fiancé is off to war before he knows and Amelia receives word that he is presumed dead. Amelia is faced with how to support herself and her child. She has no family support and was completely on her own. Novella’s are intended to be short which doesn’t allow the time to really develop characters. I had a hard time deciding what I thought of Amelia and the choices she made. I think I would have enjoyed this more had it been a full story with a little more background or story. The spiritual aspect was weak at best. But it was a cute read that I am sure will be enjoyed by those wanting a light read.