Wednesday, October 12, 2022

O LITTLE TOWN by Deborah Raney, Janyre Tromp, and Amanda Wen, Reviewed by Rebecca and Paula

Spanning across decades, the small town of Mapleview, Michigan re-generates the spirit of Christmas within the hearts of those who need a gentle nudge. (or perhaps, even a push and shove?) Wrapped in creative community charm and topped with a most romantic bow, this diverse collection of stories guarantees to warm the hearts of those who read them.

Hopes and Fears by Amanda Wen - "Once upon a time, he'd have been just as devoted to sharing the joy of the season. Christmas used to be his favorite time of year. Now he hated it. Because everything, everywhere, reminded him of . . . "

While Mortals Sleep - Janyre Tromp - "I barely heard the pastor's sermon - something about Jesus coming into the world quietly in the dark of the night while all of us mortals slept. There'd been a time when I truly believed that God was as unendingly powerful as he was kind . . . Where are your angels, Lord? Where are the ones who fight for what is right?"

The Wondrous Gift - Deborah Raney - "Would he ever see her again? Suddenly all the hopes and ideas he'd had for the property, the excitement of starting this business he'd dreamed about most of his adult life, were crushed. . . he didn't know why God had let this happen. And it might unravel every wonderful thing he thought God had been doing."

Let the words of a most beloved Christmas hymn flood your heart with gratitude for another small town, one that hosted the entrance of the King of Kings those many years ago
*I received this book as a gift and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
3.5 stars

From three notable authors come three wonderful novellas based on a favorite Christmas hymn.

In Hopes and Fears, Amanda Wen writes about Michigan in 1912. Old friends/ rivals Emma and Fredrick have to work together in a small rural school. They put away the past to a new future and make their peace with God.

While Mortals Sleep by Janyre Tromp takes us forward to 1944 and an intriguing story of homefront WWII concerns of balloon bombs on US soil! A 6 year old girl steals the show when she has two guardians, seemingly one guardian too many. Fascinating details of a little known historical event.

The Wondrous Gift by Deborah Raney, has a definite O’Henry vibe to it. I related to searching for a house in the real estate market. It was a sweet romance of two unemployed teachers who got their second chance at their dream jobs.

Three well written novellas to get you in the mood for Christmas.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel on behalf of the authors. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 4 stars and a strong faith thread 

Kregel Publications, September, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:

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