Shopping, cleaning, lists… great heaping gobs of lists. Planning, card making, and of course, writing. Always writing. Sweet movies, sweeter books. Music playing to keep me going. So much going on at once you might just implode. And forgetting stuff? Totally going to happen. Something going wrong?
Definitely. Something always goes wrong.
Sounds like any Christmas season, doesn’t it?
It’s also everyday life. And in everyday life, sometimes so much happens at once that you feel like you’re going nuts.
I’m definitely going nuts. Prayerfully, it’ll be a nice Brazilian nut or perhaps a cashew. I like macadamia, too.
One proof? My laptop died. Okay, that makes it sound like it made a choice to cease operations. No… the day I got back from my annual trek across the country for my writing retreat, a beloved member of my family showed how much he loved having me back by knocking it off the bookshelf. RIP, dear, little Toshiba.
So while I waited 36 agonizing hours to replace that trusty little friend, I had no email. And then for another 48-72 hours, we were getting the thing set up. What does that mean? Still no email. No access to my lovely folders that tell me what to do when I get lazy about putting stuff in my planner.
Note to the wise. NEVER get lazy about putting stuff in your planner. Guess who missed another deadline? My only consolation is that for the second time in a row, it was completely unavoidable.
So there I was, staring at this book that I was supposed to have posted a review for on Monday, not wanting to read it. And that’s really unfortunate because I’d been looking forward to it. Then I found out wonderful news. There’s two books in one—by the same author! WOOT!
I made a decision. I’d read one and review that. I’d have a pretty good idea of if I’d like the second based on the first. So, that’s part of why…
My top colors of Christmas are all bright red. With embarrassment.
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Seriously, though. Olivia Newport has written a wonderful novella full of faith, hope, and a lot of Christmas cheer. Kind of ironic considering much of the story reflects on an elderly woman’s difficult past in war-torn Germany.
Christmas in Gold is told from two perspectives. Astrid, the octogenarian from Germany and Carly, a single mom with a problem that just won’t go away. Each character has a distinct voice in the story, which makes switching back and forth rather smooth and easy.
Frankly, I wanted to slap Astrid’s son a few times. Astrid is in a difficult position, but she handles the frustration with tact and grace that I could learn to emulate myself. However, what made her response so wonderful wasn’t that it was so perfect, but that it was a choice. You saw her reactions as proof of a lifetime of growth and maturity rather than sloppy characterization. BRAVO, Ms. Newport. Bravo!
In contrast, Carly both makes wise decisions for the safety of her son while also making rather rash choices for how to execute those decisions. She’s a lovely mixture of responsibility and the immaturity of inexperience. And she’s real—oh, so refreshingly, stimulatingly real. I loved her.
I was afraid that the lapses into the past would become rather storytellish—like one prolonged info-dump. Au contraire! Ms. Newport s a gifted writer who keeps her readers interested with realistic dialogue, an engaging plot, and faith woven seamlessly through the threads of the story. I cannot wait to read the next in this dual book! I can’t tell you how glad I am that I requested a review copy from Celebrate Lit. Smartest Christmas fiction decision of 2017… so far!
Recommended for people who enjoy Christmas fiction that has substance and just a splash of romance. Seriously, the hint of romance that didn’t frost itself over the entire book until your throat tingles was one of my favorite parts of this story!