A Shenandoah Family Christmas by Lisa Belcastro is an 88 page novella in the Christian historical fiction genre. It is published by Washashore Publishing and was released on November 17, 2015. To purchase your own copy, click here.
Where is Christmas?
Disease, freezing temperatures, and the Revolutionary War bring bitter reality to the Reed home in December 1777. Captain Benjamin Reed is ordered to sail a supply shipment south to General George Washington. Days before Shenandoah’s scheduled departure, Ben’s first mate succumbs to smallpox.
Rebecca Reed had never feared the dreaded disease until her one-year-old daughter Felicity breaks out in the telltale rash. In the cold, dark days of Advent, Rebecca, Ben, and the Reed family wait in prayerful hope as Felicity fights for her life and they wonder who could be next.
With the rest of the family at risk, they decide to obtain the forbidden cowpox vaccine. Ben’s brother Jonah, his uncle Isaiah, and Shenandoah’s cook Adam Greene venture off in search of the outlawed vaccine. A blizzard hits. A tree crashes. Jonah crumbles to the ground. A woman with the face of an angel aids Jonah, but is it too late? And where are Adam and Isaiah?
As the death toll rises throughout the Colonies, the Reed family prays for more than one Christmas miracle.
I’m always fascinated by time travel books and when you throw in Colonial America & Christmas, I’m even more so. The aspects of the plot involving the smallpox outbreak most intrigued me – seeing how Rebecca and Missy adapted their modern knowledge to their colonial surroundings when Rebecca’s daughter came down with the feared disease. Very clever.
I also found Ben and Rebecca’s relationship to be quite sweet. Their easy still-fairly-newly-wed flirting and love made me smile on more than one occasion. It also definitely made me want to read the previous book which contains their story.
Speaking of that… A Shenandoah Family Christmas is a novella, written as part of the Winds of Change series. While you can certainly read it as a stand-alone, I think it would help avoid some confusion if you read the others first. I myself had not read them and had to go look up the plots of the previous books to orient myself as to the whole time travel element of the plot.
Bottom Line: A Shenandoah Family Christmas is sweet and wintry and loaded with interesting history and smoldering romance. The message that God’s truth transcends time especially resonates – in this world that grows darker by the day and in this season when we celebrate the Light that shines in the darkness.
My Rating: 3.5 stars / Enjoyed it
KissingBook Level: 2 / Warm, rosy, internal glow of sweetness
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
About the Author
Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves time with her family and friends, running, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, chocolate, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat, Ben, who keeps her company while she creates fictional lives for the numerous characters living inside her head.
Lisa runs as an ambassador for TEAM 413 (www.team413.org), and has completed a marathon (26.2 miles) in all fifty states.
Lisa’s stories are set on the Vineyard amidst the magnificence of the ocean, the beauty of sandy beaches, rolling hills, and ancient cliffs, as well as the people and events that make the Island so very unique.
When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, training to run the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge in January 2016, walking the beach looking for sea glass, or enjoying a great meal while she pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style Magazine.