Book Review: Restoring Christmas

15 Dec

618chyzgjql-_sx343_bo1204203200_Alexis Blake has one chance to land her own show on the Home Project Network and nothing, not an uncooperative client, a job site without indoor plumbing, or a challenging videographer, is going to stand in her way. Elsie, at seventy-plus, is far from the ideal client, but she knows exactly what she wants her fieldstone house to look like, and no designer can tell her otherwise. Gabe Langley, the man with the camera, is caught in the middle and it is his wisdom and warmth that just may be the bridge that will bring these two women together. Can they restore more than just a house and bring about special, almost lost forever Christmas memories?

 

cynthia-ruchti_green_couch1-1024x819Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through her novels, novellas, devotions, and nonfiction, and through speaking for women’s events/retreats and writers’ conferences/workshops. She draws from 33 years of experience writing and producing the 15-minute daily radio broadcast, The Heartbeat of the Home. Her books have received recognition from RT Reviewers’ Choice, PW Starred Review, Selah Awards, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, CLASSeminars Award of Excellence, Golden Scroll Awards, and more. She serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, is a board member of the Deliver Hope ministry, and is part of the worship team at her church. She and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

 

My Impressions:

Cynthia Ruchti’s latest Christmas-themed novella is the perfect addition for your holiday reading this year. Restoring Christmas is a story filled with humor, heart and hope. Alexis is a designer with dreams of a big break in television. She travels to small town Wisconsin to take on the challenge of restoring a home in just 8 weeks before Christmas. She soon finds that her plans must take a backseat to the story of the home and its owner, Elsie. Amidst obstacles, the project bumpily progresses, and Alexis grows in her appreciation for a true restoration.

While Restoring Christmas is a novella, I never felt short-changed in character development. Alexis is a woman driven to be the very best despite insecurities brought on my her childhood experiences. Cameraman Gabe has overcome a past as well, and his irritating enthusiasm and perkiness is the perfect foil for Alexis. It is their pasts and the past of the home they are restoring that points to the overall theme of how the past often comes to define us, unless we let God remake and restore us. One of my favorite lines in the book reflects the way God overcomes and makes new out of a mess — Our past converted into something more suitable for how we live today. (p. 211). Ruchti also uses setting to great effect. I now have Door County and its environs on my travel bucket list!

Restoring Christmas is a quick read, but it is one that will stay with you for a long time. Pick it up for your Christmas reading fix!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Worthy Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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5 Responses to “Book Review: Restoring Christmas”

  1. Sue December 16, 2016 at 12:35 pm #

    Great review. I enjoy Ruchti’s books so much, partly because of the Wisconsin settings. But mostly I like that she always has a mix of ages and each character’s story adds to the depth of the book.

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    • rbclibrary December 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

      You know, Sue, I never thought about her mix of ages, but you are so right. Her Christmas novella, Endless Christmas, is a great example of multi-generational characters. Thanks so much for sharing!

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      • Carrie December 17, 2016 at 10:45 am #

        that IS a really good point – she does it so seamlessly that it doesn’t jump out at me. But you’re absolutely right. A beautiful mix of ages and generations.

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  2. Awa December 17, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

    Sounds sweet!

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