A well-hidden secret has haunted Colleen for twenty years. Her husband made her promise she would never speak of it again, but now he’s gone and life seems so out of control. Will her fragile relationship with her adult son Jamie survive the truth she’s hidden for so long?
Jamie has a few secrets of his own–like his desire to pursue his music. But as with many things in his life, it isn’t going very well. Why doesn’t he seem to fit in anywhere?
When Jamie announces his plans to join the military, Colleen decides it’s time for the two of them to take a trip together–to Ireland. But will this trip cost her the very relationship she’s trying to save? The truth they discover could change their lives in a way neither ever thought possible. This will be a Christmas they will never forget.
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/.
It is Christmas in July for a FB group I belong to. Our group read this month includes An Irish Christmas by Melody Carlson. A well-written novella, this book explores lost love, secrets and lies. I am looking forward to the discussion later in the month. Have you read this book? I would love to share your thoughts with my group.
An Irish Christmas is set in the early 1960s — less than 20 years after the end of WWII and at the start of the Vietnam War. Colleen and her son Jamie both have secrets that will impact the other. Colleen’s husband was not really Jamie’s father, and Jamie has not spent the last two years pursuing a college degree, but a music career. The secrets and lies that each used to protect could now destroy their relationship.
Carlson uses first person POV in An Irish Christmas. Colleen and Jamie share the narrative allowing the reader insight into each character. Neither character has a strong faith foundation, although it seems that both are believers. It is interesting that the legacy of faith imparted by Colleen’s now deceased husband and Jamie’s adopted father has the most impact on Colleen and Jamie’s reconciliation with each other and God. This novella is a feel good Christmas story, so there is definitely a happily ever after ending. But somehow I feel that something is missing. I would have liked a stronger faith message than shared in this book — it is there, but seems secondary to the romantic love prevails plot.
I generally liked the story, but I don’t think I would recommend it to non-believers. Faith in God seems to be presented in a vague and abstract way.
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(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)