The time is World War II and the place is Lafayette, Indiana. The three novellas in this collection tell the stories of the Turner siblings.
In White Christmas, Abigail Turner is a Purdue student who also works at Glatz Candies. She meets Jackson Lucas on the city bus. He limps a bit, a result of polio when young. He's working at the puzzle factory, trying to earn enough money to help his mom and sisters and keep the family farm going. Abigail's sweetheart was killed at Pearl Harbor and she is in no mood to even think about romance. Then Jackson receives a foreclosure letter and he is sure there is no hope. Abigail finds herself sympathetic to Jackson's plight. Her father is a lawyer, and just maybe there is hope for the Lucas farm.
In I'll Be Home for Christmas, Pete Turner is back in Lafayette for a month furlough. He's done his fighter pilot tour and will be going back to fly transport after Christmas. Walking the streets of town, he's surprised to see a little girl looking into a shop window. She's too young to be by herself. A precocious girl, Linnie strikes up an ongoing, one sided conversation with Pete and he is able to return her to her home. He meets Grace Kessler, Linnie's anxious mother who has just found out that yet another day care person has told her she won't take care of the active Linnie any longer. Grace's pilot husband was shot down two years ago by the Japanese and she is in no mood to get to know another pilot, let alone the adult version of a boy who was mean to her when they were children.
In Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner (“Merry” as she was born on Christmas Day) is a combat nurse in the town of Nieuwenhagen, in the Netherlands. While she was still training in America, the man she thought loved her and would marry her had suddenly left for Europe. She is still deeply hurt from David's betrayal. She knew he had a German background but had know idea he would go back to Europe - to fight for the Nazis, everyone supposed. When she catches a glimpse of a Dutch man with the same eyes as David, she wonders.
This is a great collection of novellas for the Christmas season. Even though each novella is written by a different author, they seamlessly flow together. It was fun to have a mention of the other siblings in Abigail's story and later read about them in detail. Each of the Turner siblings is unique. Each has to find their own way in a war torn world. The character development is good, even in this short novella setting. I really liked little Linnie. What a precious child, even if she does talk nonstop!
We get snippets of what life was like during the war years too. The pain of loss comes through so clearly in Grace's life. She struggles with the possibility of loving Pete but the hurt of having already lost a husband to war is deep. And how does one celebrate Christmas when there is such tragedy happening all over the world? Can the Turner siblings find love in the midst of it all?
I really like the idea of centering these stories around popular Christmas songs of the era. That theme, as well as the character of the Turner grandmother, tie the stories together like a Christmas ribbon. This is a delightful novel for Christmas reading.
You can read an excerpt here.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book. You can read more reviews here.
Tricia Goyer is the author of more than forty books and has published over 500articles for national publications. She and her husband live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. Find out more at http://www.triciagoyer.com/. Cara Putnam is the author of nineteen books and the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. She practices law and is a homeschooling mom. She and her husband have four children and live in Indiana. Find out more at http://www.caraputman.com/. Sarah Sundin is the author of the Wings of the Nightingale series and the Wings of Glory series. She and her husband have three children and live in northern California. Find out more at http://www.sarahsundin.com/.
Waterbrook Press, 360 pages. Please visit your local Christian bookstore to purchase a copy.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Litfuse Publicity Group for the purpose of an independent and honest review.