Charlene Dixon–called Charlie by family and friends–is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.
When Charlie arrives–broken and confused–Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie doesn’t always like working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher, but Sis encourages her to take a deeper look at why the book by Charles Dickens had been written in the first place and what it could teach Charlie about the needs of people in their own community.
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Abingdon Press
RELEASE DATE: September 6, 2016
“Sometimes, Charlie, you have to get down on the floor to understand what it’s like to be there.”
‘Tis the season for Christmas stories! I start getting in the mood for Christmas stories as soon as my wedding anniversary on September 2nd passes. To me, that means fall is almost here which means Christmas is just around the corner.
Ahem. Anyway… One of my all-time enduring favorite Christmas stories is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, so I was most intrigued by Eva Marie Everson’s latest novella God Bless Us Every One. With many parallels to the classic tale, Everson’s novella gives Dickens’ story a fresh perspective and new depth.
Charlie isn’t the most likable character at first, a Scrooge in her own way. But, like Dickens’ miser, she grew on me as the story progressed. Her romance with Dusty was sweet and swoony and while at times their relationship seemed to jump ahead awfully quickly – this is a novella after all and a bit of that is to be expected. Charlie’s strained relationship with her father is both heartwrenching and heartwarming, and the parallels to Dickens’ own history made it even more poignant.
Bottom Line: God Bless Us Every One by Eva Marie Everson is a great way to start the Christmas reading season! With familiar references, new reminders, and gentle nudges toward the real meaning of the holiday, this novella is perfect for a cozy night in, snuggled up with a quilt and some hot chocolate. (Even if you have to turn on the a/c full blast to achieve the proper atmosphere for now.) If you’ve read Everson’s The Road to Testament, you’ll also be happy to reunite with some familiar characters along the way.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!
KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion
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Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of The Road to Testament, Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life, Chasing Sunsets, Waiting for Sunrise, Slow Moon Rising, and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.
Other Books by Eva Marie Everson
What about you? When do you start reading Christmas books?