Thursday, January 3, 2013

Book Review for "A Christmas Gift"

Book Review for: A Christmas Wish
Written by: Diane Craver
Whimsical Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-936167-33-3
Available in Print & eBook
5 Stars
"A Christmas Gift" embodies the feel-good atmosphere of the season that will tug on your heartstrings. Seven year-old Debra Reeves is a precocious young girl who makes a surprising discovery regarding her father. Will that discovery inspire or hinder her father's determination?
The story is set in 1957 in a small town called Finley, Ohio. The Reeves run a farm. Debby is the youngest daughter. There's Kathy who is fourteen, Gail who is in her twenties, and Carl is twenty-one. Debby's parents are in their fifties. They're a hard working couple. The community is small, but supportive of each other.
Debby's family is close. One night when Debbie gets up, she discovers her father is in the kitchen, copying off her reader. She stays hidden, but realizes her father doesn't know how to read.
Debby wants to help her father, but is unsure what to do. After careful consideration, she confides in her sisters, Gail and Kathy. After talking to their mother, she confirms Debby's father can't read.
Debby prays to God. Her heartfelt prayers seem answered when a handsome young teacher comes to town. His name is James. After meeting James, Debby is convinced he's a perfect fit for her family.
Bravely, Debby confronts her father about his inability to read, and encourages him to accept James help. Does Debby's father have the strength and courage to tackle this challenge at this point in his life?
Craver handles this story with a smooth touch and loving caress. "A Christmas Gift" tugs on the reader's heart. There's a veryl strong element of faith and family that shines throughout the novel.
The plot flows organically. The first person narration is well done and Craver captures the voice of a seven-year-old effortlessly, putting the reader right in the scenes next to Debby. Craver's authentic descriptions and dialogue allow the reader to picture Finley, Ohio easily.
The novel's rich characterization is the best part of the story. Debby is warm-hearted, yet a bit mischievous. She's also honest and sincere. Debby's father's determination to overcome a challenge is inspiring, but what I really enjoyed is that the story involves the entire family. I especially liked Gail's story. She has a second change at love, but will she take it? Does Carl possess the conviction to change the course of his life? Will Kathy overcome the handicap of polio?
"A Christmas Gift" is an inspirational fiction. It embodies the hope, faith, love, and joy of the season. An emotional and engaging read!

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