This touching novella takes us through one loving family's Christmas celebration. We experience most of the activity through the eyes of Katie, a newcomer this year. She is the girlfriend of Micah, a grandson in the Binder family.
The novella begins with the embarrassing scene of Katie saying “No” to Micah's marriage proposal – in front of all the Binder family. Then we readers jump back to earlier, while Micah and Katie were on their way to the grandparents cottage in Wisconsin. Katie receives a devastating text that convinces here she could never be the wife Micah deserves.
Ruchti then takes us through the Binder family celebration. And what a family it is. They are the sweetest grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren. I loved the interaction of the family. One son is a card and always has a quick and funny retort. One grand daughter is a health nut. To Katie's amazement, they all get along. The days in the crowded Binder cottage are the kind we wish we'd had with our own family.
There is lots of action that goes on in the few days this novel covers. There is death and new life. There is love and the letting go of regrets. There is honesty and acceptance. There is laughter and celebration. There are prayers and tears. Coming from a dysfunctional background, Katie is awed by the well adjusted nature of the Binders. “So this is what courageous, extravagant love looks like,” she thinks. The experience is life changing for her.
Ruchti has a way with words. Diapers become “infant waste management aids.” Much of the dialog is snappy and fun. But on occasion it becomes a bit much. Some of Katie's thinking is choppy and hard to follow. I found myself reading some sentences over and over, trying to clear the confusion over the word usage. I didn't like the short and out of time sequence prologue with the aborted proposal. I think it would have better been put in its appropriate time context. Yet, for me, these were minor issues in an otherwise moving novella.
I recommend this novella to those looking for a heart warming and very rewarding Christmas story.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Cynthia Ruchti draws from her 33 years of on-air radio ministry, writing heart warming novels, novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, having received several awards. She is a frequent speaker for women's and writer's events. She and her husband live in Pittsville, Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.
Worthy Inspired, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.