Graphic designer Natalie Pearce faces the most difficult Christmas of her life. For almost a year, her mother has lain in a nursing home, the victim of a massive stroke, and Natalie blames herself for not being there when it happened. Worse, she’s allowed the monstrous load of guilt to drive a wedge between her and everyone she loves—most of all her husband Daniel. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, her prayer life is suffering, and she’s one Christmas away from hitting rock bottom.
Junior-high basketball coach Daniel Pearce is at his wit’s end. Nothing he’s done has been able to break through the wall Natalie has erected between them. And their daughter Lissa’s adolescent rebellion isn’t helping matters. As Daniel’s hope reaches its lowest ebb, he wonders if this Christmas will spell the end of his marriage and the loss of everything he holds dear.
This is not the typical feel-good Christmas book. It's a story of a family struggling through a rough time. Sometimes, they operate as a loving family, but more often, they pull apart. It's a bit of a tearjerker.
Natalie is a complex character caught up in guilt and operating in a chaotic world of her own making. She overreacts to her mother's stroke by first clinging to her side and then by diving headlong into work. Her husband and daughter are pushed away and sadly neglected. The readers learns how easily a good marriage can go haywire through neglect and how a parent-child relationship can quickly become strained.
Although the topic is gloomy, this Christian fiction book has an uplifting theme: "learn to love and forgive."
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