Best Review of A Home For Christmas: The Sweetest Gift / A Christmas Angel (inspirational Christmas Collection):
Most helpful customer reviews 7 of 7 people found the following review helpful. This Year's #1 Feel Good Christmas Book! Next Year it Should be on TV! By Vince What if "The Gift of the Magi" Could have had a gloriously happy ending?What if the roots of the story ran so deep that it read like a 19th century midwestern farm family diary?That would make it, "The Sweetest Gift!"Where O. Henry was after irony, O! Connealy delivers "The Sweetest Gift" - a feel good Christmas tale that will make you smile clear through the Holidays.Frankly, I'm Christmas-green with envy!First, I would not have dared to challenge this classic theme and second, if I did, I wouldn't have figured out how to do it and still produce such a happy ending!I think Mary Connealy is an author too creative for her genre. She writes Americana and would be right at home working besides Mark Twain. This novella does a hundred things extremely well. The motivation is amazing.In just a few pages I found it totally believable that Graham and Addie would have agreed to their sight-unseen marriage of convenience. The motiation comes from all sides and every direction. All the rustic details are so vivid the reader can only conclude that the author is a Nebraska farm wife herself. (Which she is). Indeed, many of the incidents in the story are part of her family heritage.All this only explains the 19th Century realism, however; it doesn't explain the creativity! That's just something that happens. Can one explain Mark Twain, James Thurber, or Will Rogers? I can't. But I can sure enjoy their work."The Sweetest Gift" is a novella. It's really a short novel with ten fully developed chapters and a very pleasing Epilogue. The story takes place in 1899, mostly on a Nebraska farm. The heroine is a somewhat spoiled, college educated, world traveler, who is an accomplished pianist with a Master's degree and a job as a librarian. She is also a shade away from spinsterhood! The arranged husband is a Nebraskan farmer with an eight grade education - (back when an eight grade education meant something.)The plot is so well motivated and researched that the story seems to be inevitably true rather than being fanciful fiction. You 'll just have to read it. I'd say this is the best Christmas book of the year for other writers to read! Learning has never been so entertaining."The Sweetest Gift" is part of a dual Novella eBook. The second story, "A Christmas Angel", is by Robin Lee Hatcher. I have read it as well and it too is a 5-star Christmas feel good joy to read. The cost for both is only .99! That's Amazing!This Year's #1 Feel Good Christmas Book! Next Year it Should be on TV! 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Enjoyable stories By Loveagoodread Both stories were fun to read. They are well written and have good character development. In the first story, Adelaide and Graham are as different as two people can be. She's from a cultured background and well educated. She's a spinster and a pianist. Graham comes from a rather disfunctional family. His brother only grunts at her and his sisters are gruff and unfriendly. Graham had asked Adelaide to be his wife after having promised his first wife on her deathbed that he would do so. She and Adelaide had been best friends and it was her wish that Adelaide would raise her daughter. Can two people from such different backgrounds find enough common ground to fall in love? Of the two stories, this was my favorite. In the second story, Jennifer fell in love with Mick when she was 13 years old and he was 18. Of course, she was far too young for him and he never knew of her feelings for him, but only saw her as a child. Jennifer's heart broke when Mick married her older sister, Christina. Years later, after Christina dies, their daughter injures herself and is bound to a wheelchair. In Mick's desperation for help, he writes to his in-laws about his need. Jennifer is now a nurse and offers to go to him. Will Jennifer be able to help Annie? Will Mick fall in love with the grown-up Jennifer? This was also a nice story, though I wish the ending was a bit longer. The book was definitely worth reading. As a matter of fact, this was the second time I read it. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. A Home for Christmas, Mary Connealy & Robin Lee Hatcher, 2 excellant authors By Wendy Newcomb Mary tells the story of Adelaide agreeing to marry her best friends widowed husband, Graham, to take care of their toddler. She's willing to do this for Greta even though she feels Graham killed Greta. Adelaide is twenty-eight, never married and no prospects in sight. She's a librarian and loves to play the piano. Adelaide has been saving her earnings and has acquired some very valuable, original, sheet music which she hides in her things when she leaves with Graham as his bride. Graham arrives on the train, they go to lunch with her parents, to the preachers house to get married and leave on the afternoon train to return to Graham's, her, home.Graham wants a wife in name only, as he believes he killed his first wife, Greta, and doesn't want to kill another wife. When they arrive back home, Adelaide gets to meet Bridget, Graham and Greta's daughter, Graham's two sisters and his brother. They are not friendly at all, they are businesslike, to the point and talk in short very clipped words. In other words they speak only what needs to be said and that's it.You will have to read the book to see what happens from here. Mary did a good job of making this a short story as you feel there is a lot that could be added if she'd wanted to, but it is great as it is done.Robin tells the story of Jennifer and Mick, who have known each other since Jennifer was a young girl and Mick worked in her Father's store. Mick married her step-sister in a hurry and left Chicago to live in Idaho on a farm. Jennifer's family was told that Christina had died then their daughter Annie had a accident and couldn't walk. When Mick ran out of money and options to care for Annie he wrote to Christina's family asking for help. Jennifer remembers the handsome Mick from when she was 13 and wonders what he's like now. Being a nurse, Jennifer offers to go care for Annie. Her Father and Step-Mother reluctantly agree to let her go as they consider trying to make Mick send Annie to them. The problem is, they don't know the whole truth about anything. Guess you'll have to read about everything that they don't know.Robin really kept my interest and wanting more, it was hard to stop when I'd have to get out of the car or get called back to the doctor's office.I would highly recommend this book with the two short stories by two excellent authors. See all 23 customer reviews...
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