Monday, October 23, 2006
Robin Lee Hatcher's A Carol for Christmas ~ Reviewed
A Carol for Christmas
By Robin Lee Hatcher
Published by Zondervan
Never underestimate the true spirit of Christmas …
Carol Burke was born to sing. It was their life she had always dreamed of. There was only one thing she loved more, one person for whom she would willingly sacrifice her dreams: Jonathan Burke. Married against their parents' wishes, both are determined to make a life together despite the hardships. Jonathan works hard at his father's department store, leaving Carol alone in their tiny apartment. But long hours turn into late nights, thanks to Jonathan's insatiable desire to prove himself to his father … even at the expense of the one he loves best.
Into the midst of an increasingly empty marriage comes an unexpected chance for Carol to sing again. Is this the opportunity of a lifetime, or a time for her to let go and trust her future to God? Carol knows one thing she longs for most of all to share her first Christmas with Jonathan, creating their own memories and traditions and breathing new life into their marriage.
Then a broken promise leaves her wondering. Can anything, anyone—even God—heal her crumbling hopes? The answer comes when Carol finds herself face-to-face with the true spirit of Christmas …
Trust Robin Lee Hatcher to bring us an early Christmas present! At first, I thought perhaps this was a retelling of the old story of the wife who cuts her hair off to make a watch fob for her husband's pocket watch, and the husband sells his watch to buy his wife combs for her hair. Wrong. This is a new story of sacrificed dreams, of love, and one of faith and restoration.
I'm in awe at how Hatcher can build such deep characterization into a short novella. In tune with Carol from the beginning, I hurt for her less-than-fulfilling marriage. Yet, who among us hasn't like Jonathan, desired the approval of their father? And when offered a chance to use the gift God bestowed upon her, shouldn't Carol leap at it? Methinks I would.
A perfect ending, albeit not what I expected, rounds off this memorable tale. Available now, run—don't walk—to your nearest bookstore to buy A Carol for Christmas. And don't forget to purchase a couple of extras. They’ll make wonderful Christmas gifts.
Reviewed by Ane Mulligan