Title: Christmas Roses
Author: Amanda Cabot
One thing about novels set near the Christmas season is allowing oneself to enjoy them. In 1882, in the Wyoming Mountains, Mark is searching for a father he never knew as his father left one night, never returning. For the last two years, Mark has been trailing him to find out why he left. Now that his mother is gone, there is no reason to quit looking. Mark has stayed in many homes and towns, but never one where he felt so comfortable. Mark’s entrance into Celia’s boardinghouse and life is viewed as divine intervention, but he thinks otherwise.
Celia has been widowed for a year and has a 6-month-old daughter, Emma, who is sick with croup the night Mark walks into her life. The local town folk are trying to get Celia to remarry for various reasons. Roses are a favorite decoration in the boarding house including the wedding dishes she bought with encouragement from her mother. The area is always covered in a red dust due to the copper mine in operation. While trying to discover the past Mark keeps hidden in his heart, there is one thing he makes clear and that is his firm belief that God wouldn’t welcome him in His house.
In a time when children didn’t live long, when Emma is sick again, Mark is scared and runs for the doctor. It takes his mind to a place where he never imagined it would go. Mark has a wonderful creative gift that he expresses in his work. What is his occupation anyway? If he ever finds his father, will he go and risk rejection by seeking answers to his questions?
Celia is from Sweden and brings with her the traditions from that country; she was raised by her parent to uphold them. Now she is at a crossroads. Living in America is challenging enough, but giving up her traditions is too much. Or is it? Changing traditions can be done, but there is one thing she wants more than anything else. Can you guess what it might be?
While being a short novel, it is filled with beautiful imagery and a wonderful story. I loved the “reality” that one character struggles with--his faith in God. There is a time of decision as to whether to risk being loved and loving, as well as believing that love is real and not imaginary. Today, we buy gifts for various occasions, perhaps some even make original gifts, but reading about it reminds me to take time to think of a way to bless another heart. Learn about the person and hear their heart’s desires. Then, if at all possible, be an instrument of fulfillment. Also, though no outward evidence is seen as to someone’s believing in God, prayer is always worthwhile. It isn’t just for emergency situations; it is for every moment of life. A truly heartwarming story, built on faith in God’s love and desire for us. This is an inspiring work of fiction. Read it, enjoy it, and if possible share it with someone.
My rating is 4 ½ stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457