|Abingdon Press, Sept. 2016|
Eva Marie Everson's God Bless Us Every One released earlier this week, and it's a great book to get you into the spirit of the season ... even if it is only September!
Charlene Dixon---called Charlie by family and friends---is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.
When Charlie arrives---broken and confused---Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school's Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie prickles at working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher and her old crush from schooldays, but is even more put out at that the choice of the Dickens' classic for the holiday performance. When she discovers her estranged father's involvement her world turns on its head once more. But when Sis and Dustin encourage her to take a deeper look at the story behind A Christmas Carol, Charlie learns about trust, faith, and forgiveness and the needs of people in their own community.
I picked up God Bless Us Every One immediately after reading two suspense novels, and it was a welcome change of pace! It's fairly short—200 pages with a larger-than-normal font and blank pages between chapters—so it makes for a quick read.
When Charlie loses her job right before Christmas, she moves back in with Sis, the grandmother who raised her. While Charlie anticipates staying in Testament only until she can find a new job, her re-connection with two men—her high school crush Dusty and her estranged father John—upends her world and makes her question where she belongs.
God Bless Us Every One is a sweet novella that I enjoyed reading. I especially liked the deeper look at Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol—while I've read it multiple times, I never knew the story behind it—and I enjoyed reading the excerpts at the beginning of each chapter.
While I did think that Charlie was a bit too quick to jump to conclusions about John (her hesitance to trust him made perfect sense, but she had scant evidence of his supposed misconduct that drove her actions for the last half of the novella), overall, I really enjoyed the story and would love to read more of Everson's books. 4 stars.
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Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of The Road to Testament, Things Left Unspoken, This Fine Life, Chasing Sunsets, Waiting for Sunrise, Slow Moon Rising, and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer's Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."