Thursday, October 15, 2009
One Imperfect Christmas
Yes, I'm starting my Christmas reading early. I think this is the third Christmas book I've reviewed this week.
This offering is Myra Johnson's debut novel One Imperfect Christmas. I was triply blessed with this book. First, I won it on a blog giveaway. Second, when it came it was autographed by Ms. Johnson. And third was the book itself.
At one point I thought "this book is too long - I need to know what the ending is NOW!" lol. And at the end I thought "this book is too short - I'm not ready for it to be over!". I love a book that touches me so much that I don't want to say good-bye to the characters.
Natalie Pearce is a graphic artist with a loving family. Husband Daniel, daughter Lissa and her parents Bram and Belinda, and her brother Hart and his family. This is a close family and you can feel the love and compassion these people have for each other. As with every family there are misunderstandings and "life" rushes in on you when you least expect it.
Belinda suffers a stroke at the beginning of the book and Natalie blames herself for not being there. It happens soon after Christmas and changes what was once a the favorite family holiday. Belinda was the heart and soul of their Christmas, making it a lovely and memorable occasion every year.
Over the next year, as her mother lies in a rehab facility Natalie wallows in guilt and pushes her husband and daughter away. She throws herself into her job and lets her marriage fall by the wayside.
What follows is a journey as Daniel tries to reach out to Natalie and she gives in to her fear of letting him get close. She continues to blame herself for her mother's condition and as Christmas draws near she desperately looks for a way to heal her mother - as well as herself.
This was a heartwarming as well as heartbreaking book. It was so compelling I found it hard to put it down. An outstanding debut and I will certainly be looking forward to reading more of Ms. Johnson's novels in the future.