The Christmas Light

Author: Donna VanLiere

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Release Date: October 28, 2014

Blue Ribbon Rating: 3.5

Format: PRINT

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Widow Jennifer DeLuca and her six-year-old daughter Avery have spent the last three years trying to get over Michael's death. Jennifer hopes that this Christmas will be different and she'll see the joy return to Avery's face.

Contractor and divorcee Ryan Mazyck and his six-year-old daughter Sofia visit Aunt Gloria in the small town of Grandon. Ryan is interviewing for two jobs, one in Grandon and another about four hours away. Sofia hopes her dad will choose the job near Aunt Gloria because she likes the houses there and the school.

As best friends, Gloria and Miriam are like oil and water. When the leader of the Nativity program has an illness in the family, Lily, whose husband is the minister of the local church, suggests that these two best friends become the substitute team to run this year's show. It takes a bit to convince Gloria and Miriam but Lily is sure they'll be perfect.

From a pregnant teenager as Mary to ornery triplets as the angels, this year's Nativity requires a miracle to become an organized performance. At least that's Miriam's viewpoint as she tries to avoid pulling out all her hair at each rehearsal. Will Miriam and Gloria pull off the show this season without a mishap, or will their matchmaking skills prove more fruitful?

A cute Christmas story, THE CHRISTMAS LIGHT follows the lives in a small town focused on a local performance of the Nativity. With a multitude of characters, it's tricky to get to know any of them really well within this short novel. I found this book sometimes harder to follow when the breaks between scenes were short, so I'd get confused when it quickly changed between character perspectives. I'm used to books with a deeper point-of-view focused on fewer characters so maybe that's why I didn't connect more with the primary characters. I don't feel like I got to know them any better than the secondary characters. It is still a pleasant story that represents the hope and joy of the season.

I enjoyed the antics of the children the most as they ready themselves for the show depicting the story of the Nativity. They are cute and often heartbreaking, as they try to recover from what life has dealt them prior to this moment. Some of the adults who are rounded up to play a part in the performance are a bit different which adds a humorous aspect to this particular Nativity. I also enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter and felt they were a nice touch.

THE CHRISTMAS LIGHT is a quick holiday interlude that will get you into the mood for hot chocolate, Christmas music and rounding up your ornaments for the live tree you'll wish to purchase. I can't believe I'm ready for Christmas already but a quick read like this one creates the ambiance for joyful anticipation.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Dorine Linnen

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