When she receives the news in late 1944 that her baby’s father was shot down in the South Pacific, Amelia Richards loses hope. Jobless and broke, she has nowhere to turn for help but her infant’s paternal grandparents. The only problem is, they don’t know that she–or their grandson–exists. When Amelia discovers that the family is wealthy and influential, dare she disclose the truth of her relationship with their son? Or could the celebration of the arrival of another unexpected baby nearly two thousand years ago be the answer to her dilemma?
The Christmas Blessing was a book I read with mixed feelings…..and I am still not so very sure about it. I was looking forward to reading it, especially after reading Three Days, also written by Melody Carlson. From that book, I knew I enjoyed her writing style, her use of words, and the way she pulled you into a story.When I saw that I could review this one, I was excited, and waited — rather impatiently — for the book to arrive.
Well……not so very far into the story, I realized this was a strange book, and kept hoping for the repentance that should follow what actually happened in this story. I knew that there was a baby, already in this world. So I assumed there would be a background of a war marriage, a fatherless boy, and unknowing parents.
I happened to be right about everything but the marriage part.
Now, to be fair to the author, there was absolutely nothing inappropriate mentioned. There was barely any romance in the book, which is strange, knowing what happened. Several minutes into the book, you discover Amelia was not married, and you are told why through a conversation she has with a friend: because her fiance was called overseas the night before their marriage. Right after they have filled out the marriage certificate. And he never even knew about the baby. In a nutshell, that is how she tells it. No adjectives, no descriptions, just bare facts. And the remainder of the book is about how Amelia survives a harsh winter with a little infant.
Now, I had no issue with the writing of the book. I actually enjoyed it, looking towards the end when I just knew the main character would repent. I was drawn into her struggles, I enjoyed the flow of the words and the style of writing. The characters were well developed and fun to read about. But the main character, that Amelia…..well, she is the reason I rated this book only two stars.
See, I didn’t take issue with the way Melody Carlson revealed the truth about the baby. As much as some would like to believe it, I am not sheltered when it comes to certain social issues. I am actually quite well researched and opinionated. I’ve had a friend even state in wonder after a particularly intense discussion about unborn babies rights that she didn’t know I had that in me. I understand that in society — even in times past — there was sin in the world. Sin that resulted in children being born. I didn’t take issue with the language, or the writing.
I just couldn’t get over the fact that this was a Christian book, written by a Christian author, and that Amelia Richards never once was upset about what she had done. I couldn’t come to grips with it.
I kept reading because I was sure there would be repentance in the book somehow. That she would see what she had done, and cry out to the Lord for forgiveness. I couldn’t fathom that a book written by a Christian may actually condone such a decision in a positive light.
But it didn’t appear like Amelia even considered it a sin. She was happy about the baby, happy she had something to remember her fiance by, and the way the book ended — which was good — still didn’t make anything that had happened previously right.
I am a girl who believes very strongly in total abstinence before marriage. My first kiss will be on my wedding day. (fun fact: I have dreamed up ways to hide this and make it more private, just so ya know……) Consider this: We are told in Ephesians to put on the armour of God, to stand against the wiles and attacks of the devils. But we are told to flee youthful lusts. Flee. Run away from. Run at get-outta-there-as-quick-as-possible speed.
I understand the temptation as much as I can, for a man to love a woman and make much of her. But this is the way in which we girls have been sheltered — our father has protected us from the overtures of any young man who might be “bothering” us, or have impure intentions. We actually have standards that we are expected to uphold with young men, and if a guy crosses that line…..well, we know Dad will have our backs. These standards have not been forced on us — at twenty-one years old, I am technically and legally old enough to make my own decisions. I choose to put myself under the direction of my father in this matter. Because I see the long lasting implications of compromise in this area of life in general, and I know how complicated and muddy the water would quickly become if I chose to navigate this portion of life by myself, without guidance.
And it was only this reason that I didn’t care for this book. I wouldn’t recommend the book to others because I wouldn’t want to think that reading this book had somehow justified their sin.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return or a review.
All thoughts are my own.
I was not required to give a positive review, merely an honest one.