Well, this is awkward. If you came to this post when it first went up, you saw there was no introduction or conclusion! Apparently when I wrote this review and scheduled it to post (about a week ago), I intended to come back and finish up those pieces, but I forgot to set a reminder! So I thought I had completely finished the post. Luckily I realized what happened within a few hours of it posting, and I’ve filled in the missing pieces. My apologies to the early birds who only got a worm of a post rather than the whole thing!
Today’s review looks at a Christmas-themed novella I read as part of the #ALiteraryChristmas Reading Challenge. You can read more about the challenge here.
About the Book
Title: Finding Christmas Joy
Author: Amanda Tero
Genre: Christmas, Christian Fiction
Publication Date: July 2018
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Melonie Brown just wants to get away from all of the pain and heartache that this year has brought upon her, and Starlight Lodge seems like the perfect place to do so. With no plans beyond a Christmas escape, she drives out to the lodge. Can she bottle up the peace and joy that she finds in this special place to help her face the challenges she may have in the upcoming year?
I’m going to be upfront: there isn’t very much action in this book. If you’re looking for snow-covered adventure and/or a highly energetic romp through themes of friendship, love, and acceptance set during the Christmas season, you won’t find it in Finding Christmas Joy. This book is more contemplative and serious than most Christmas fiction; it is steeped in heartbreak and doesn’t end with a kiss or a wedding. And, despite my enjoyment of light Hallmark movies, I really enjoyed this! It caught me off guard in a good way. The novella format really works well with the topic and plot; if the book were longer, Melonie’s sadness could become overwhelming to read about. As it is, we see enough to understand Melonie’s mindset and really get why she responds the way she does to those around her and to hearing the Christmas story.
Finding Christmas Joy is a good story. The novella is well written and the content of a significantly deeper quality than many Christmas books I have read. If you’re looking for a kind treatment of heartbreak that doesn’t include new (or renewed) romance, a book which talks about the true meaning of Christmas as more than a fairy tale or seasonal magic, or simply a short Christmas story to read and enjoy in an evening, then I highly recommend Finding Christmas Joy by Amanda Tero.
Amanda Tero is easily becoming one of my favorite indie authors, in large part due to the way she handles human relationships in her books. She intentionally writes stories without romance which are still fun, entertaining, and meaningful. I previously reviewed her novella Wedding Score here, which I also highly recommend!
May all of our weekends be slightly less chaotic, but just as celebratory, as this last full week before Christmas has been! Merry Christmas, Readers!
Until the next chapter,