Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson

My friends at Abingdon Press are publishing some stellar fiction, and the Christmas novel I picked up (thanks to them for sending me an advance copy!) is a gem...

I had a hard time reading Myra Johnson's "One Imperfect Christmas". Not because it wasn't good. Because it is so well written, it stirred memories for me that I was reluctant to recall.

Natalie Pearce loves Christmas. She leaves the decorations up until her family is begging her to take them down. Tradition is her middle name, and she is proud to wear it.

She also loves her painting, and when her mom calls her for help one day after the holidays are over, she asks her to wait another day. A painting is calling her name and she wants to follow her muse.

Then tragedy strikes and her mother has a massive stroke. Guilt overwhelms Natalie to the point of imobilizing her emotionally. She grows distant from her family, causing her relationships to suffer...

...and destroying her love of Christmas.

What will happen to restore Natalie's joy? Can her family be restored as well, or is the damage too great? And will Natalie's mom recover, or receive the ultimate healing from God?

My mom has been gone three years this Christmas, and the holidays have been extra hard for me since my oldest daughter moved away. It's the first time she wasn't here for the holidays, and I didn't realize how much it would hurt.

So, while some might find Natalie a bit whiny, I related to her all too well. I heard my own pain in her voice, and felt the stress of celebrating such a joyous ocassion when the loneliness and anger was too great.

I had to pick this one up and put it down many times, as the emotions would overwhelm me and I'd need a break. That, my reading friends, is powerful writing. I applaud Myra for writing such a poignant story about this time of year...it will usher in healing for those who hurt at Christmas.

So, I'm giving "One Imperfect Christmas" five out of five bookmarks, with a holly wreath as a charm. The holly may have sharp points that can draw blood if not handled with care, but the beauty far outweighs the potential for pain.

Happy Reading!



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joyh82 said...

this sounds like a really good read. I love christmas stories.

joyh82 said...

I like christmas stories, this one looks good too. Merry Christmas!

Myra Johnson said...

Thank you for the kind words about my book! I'm so sorry about your mom. Praying for good memories and healing for your heart.