Saturday, November 12, 2016

Finding Father Christmas, Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn

Finding Father Christmas, a Hallmark Christmas movie, airs November 13.
This combination of two previously published Christmas novellas by Gunn is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

We are introduced to Miranda in Finding Father Christmas. An American, she's taken a Christmas vacation from her work and flown to a village in England. She's trying to find information about her father, someone her mother never talked about. The only clue she has is a photograph of a boy crying while in the lap of an oddly dressed Santa. She had found the photograph among her mother's things after her death. The address of the photograph studio on the back of the photo had led her to this quaint location. What she is about to find out would change her life forever.

In the sequel, Engaging Father Christmas, Miranda has returned to England for Christmas a year later. She's met by Ian, a close friend of her newly discovered family. Miranda's dream of an idyllic Christmas with the man she deeply loves is marred by the hospitalization of Ian's father. There is also the tension radiating from some in her new family. Will grace and peace from Christ heal the fractures in Miranda's life?

I thoroughly enjoyed these stories. Gunn knows how to tug at our heart strings. The characters she develops in the stories pull at our emotions. Since these are short stories, the only well developed character is Miranda. She has scars from being raised by a single parent, an actress, who died when Miranda was still young. Her longing to find the other half of her family is well portrayed. On the English side, we have some typically reserved characters as well as some surprisingly welcoming ones. I really liked Miranda's newly discovered niece and nephew. Those youngsters had good insight into expressing the love of Christ.

I liked the setting of a small English village at Christmas. I enjoyed the tradition of villagers presenting an adaptation of The Christmas Carol. I liked how the villagers coped with their main character in hospital.

I recommend this combination of two stories to those who would enjoy a heartwarming Christmas in England with the true spirit of the season revealed. There are very good Reading Group Guides at the end of each novella. This would be a good choice for a reading group to read during the Christmas season.

Finding Father Christmas is going to be a Hallmark Christmas movie, airing November 13 on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Robin Jones Gunn is the bestselling author of more than 90 books with five million copies sold worldwide. She and her husband have two grown daughters and live in Hawaii. You can find out more at www.robingunn.com.

FaithWords, 352.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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