Seven years ago Gloria endured a family tragedy that almost shook her faith entirely. Each Christmas she places a card in an envelope on her tree, restating a promise she made to her husband before he died. Now, having moved from her small town and all the painful memories it held, she is building a life by caring for people in need. Whether it’s a young mother who can’t pay her electric bill or a family who needs some extra food, Gloria always finds a way.
Miriam is a thorn in Gloria’s side. Miriam is a constantly critical, disapproving neighbor who looks with suspicion at all the good things Gloria does. When a twist of fate makes them roommates instead of neighbors, it’s the ultimate test of patience and faith.
Chaz has a good job as head of security at Wilson’s Department Store, but each night he returns home to an empty apartment. He longs for a wife and family of his own but realizes that the life choices he’s made have alienated him. He befriends a young boy whose mother has fallen on hard times, giving him a chance to have a life he thought impossible.
In The Christmas Promise, the lives of these characters collide and we learn that even as we move ahead, the past is never far behind. And when we are forgiven much, we love much. In this warmly humorous and deeply poignant story, we are reminded that the Christmas Promise is the promise of second chances.
Donna VanLiere lives in Franklin, TN, with her husband, Troy, their children, Grace, Kate and David, two dogs, two cats, and and a host of geese and ducks that use their pond as a pit stop on their way to prettier waters.
The Christmas Promise is the second audiobook by Donna VanLiere that I have enjoyed this Christmas. (I am currently listening to number 3, The Christmas Note.) Full of humor and heart, this book’s message of second chances is front and center, whether it’s a grumpy neighbor or an estranged family member or a mom who has made some bad choices. Familiar characters from this series make an appearance making them feel like old friends. VanLiere reads the book herself, and her voices and inflection are a real treat. I listened to this book on a few daily walks and on two plane flights, and I must admit I had to stifle a few laughs and squint back a few tears. This heartwarming novella is perfect for the busy holiday season when time is short and nerves get a bit frazzled. So make sure to make some time for this touching book.
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(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)