Historical Fiction Book Review: A Christmas Prayer
Publisher's DescriptionBeloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.
Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.
Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?
My ReviewWith truly likable characters, a sprinkling of adventure, and a wisp of clean romance, The Christmas Prayer, by Wanda E. Brunstetter, is the perfect book for an afternoon of cozy reading. Ms. Brunstetter’s writing style is engaging and easy to read. The plot is quickly paced, and the descriptive story-telling makes the historic settings real and vibrant. As an historical fiction novella, The Christmas Prayer is an endearing story of perseverance and faith. It is a story of hope, courage, and new beginnings.
The frequent use of diary entries to further the story and reveal the characters’ thoughts and feelings is particularly enjoyable and relatable. The characters’ struggles, insecurities, fears, and beliefs are authentic and moving. Even though the characters endure real trials that test their assumptions and their faith, the light of God’s mercy shines through with the restorative power of grace and second chances. With warmth and heart, this novella also places a significant emphasis on family and the ways in which family members support, encourage, and protect one another.
The Christmas Prayer is a memorable holiday tale that could even be a nice read-aloud for the whole family. It would also make a thoughtful gift for a friend or relative. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction that is inspirational, wholesome, and uplifting.
As the characters in The Christmas Prayer struggle with fear and doubt in the face of an uncertain journey, they choose to turn to God for peace and comfort. It is encouraging to be reminded that though the future is unknown, it is held in the hands of an all-knowing God whose plans for us are good. Though trials may test our faith, and anxious thoughts may fill our hearts with worry, we need never doubt that our compassionate God is always there to sustain us when we are weak, comfort us when we are discouraged, and guide us safely through hardships. This novella offers a gentle reminder that God is near to all who seek him.
About the Author
Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.
When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.
Guest Post from Wanda Brunstetter
Try this Exclusive Bonus Recipe Found Inside the Book!
Cynthia’s Fried Apples
Without peeling, quarter as many tart apples as you would like. Lay apples close together, skin side down, in frying pan with salt pork fat or butter. Cover until well steamed then uncover and brown both sides, turning and watching closely to prevent burning.
To celebrate her tour, Wanda is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of The Christmas Prayer with an autographed book plate inside!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d297/the-christmas-prayer-celebration-tour-giveaway
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*I was given a copy of this novel by Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.