Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere

Welcome!  Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander comes out on December 31.  It is the ninth A Bakeshop MysterySeasons of an Amish Garden by Amy Clipston will be released on January 8 along with The Lost Traveller by Sheila Connolly.

The Christmas Star by Donna VanLiere is the ninth a Christmas Hope Novel.  It is November 2011 in when Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place in Grandon.  She meets the precocious Maddie who is a foster child with cerebral palsy.  Maddie has decided to play matchmaker and has the perfect man for Amy.  Amy, though, was hurt by her ex-husband and she is not sure she is ready to let another man into her heart and life.  Amy is pleasantly surprised by the man Maddie has matched her up with and it has her reconsidering her stance.  Lauren Gabriel, a volunteer at Glory’s place, is thrilled when her boyfriend, Travis Mabrey proposes.  They want a simple Christmas wedding at the gazebo in the park which has a beautiful new star above it this year.  Miriam has her own ideas for their wedding and it will be up to Gloria to rein her in.  Can they pull off a wedding in one month?  The staff, children and volunteers at Miss Glory’s are busy preparing for the annual fundraiser.  This event provides the money to run the center for the next year.  It is a busy time of year and it will be all hands on deck.  Magic and romance are in the air at Miss Glory’s place. 

The Christmas Star is a sweet Christmas story.  After I started reading The Christmas Star, I discovered that it continues the story of the characters in The Christmas Town (which I had not read).  It also features characters from other novels in the Christmas Hope series (Miriam, Ben and Gloria for example).  While The Christmas Star can be read alone, I felt I was missing key details on the characters.  The Christmas Star is nicely written with steady pacing.  It is a shorter story with only 221 pages (perfect for reading in front of a fire on a snowy afternoon).  I did feel the characters lacked development and depth (but you can only do so much in such a short book).  I did like the friendly people who volunteer their time to help children.  Ben, the bag boy, returns in The Christmas Star. The slips of papers he puts into patron’s bags of groceries provide inspiration and hope.  I like that Amy and her match are getting a second chance at finding love and getting their happily ever after.  However, the romance between them was rushed.  I like the happy ending of The Christmas Star even though it is anticipated (easy to predict how the book will end).  Maddie is the highlight of the book.  She is a bright and happy child despite her circumstances.  Some of the elements featured are faith, hope, love, second chances, friendship, redemption, kindness and forgiveness.  The Christmas Star is a feel-good Christmas story that will leave you with a smile on your face.   

I appreciate you joining me today.  Tomorrow I am sharing my review of In the Shadow of Croft Towers by Abigail Wilson as part of the Celebrate Lit Tour.  I hope you have a joyful day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader 

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