Saturday, September 10, 2011

An Angel for Christmas by Heather Graham


Back of the Book Blurb:  Christmas has never brought out the best in the MacDougal family. Still, year after year, they gather together in the Blue Ridge Mountains to try to make the season merry and bright. But this year is an especially strained one, with Shayne's impending divorce, Morwenna's slavish devotion to work and Bobby's reluctance to face what life has to offer. They've never felt less like a family.

Then, in the midst of a snowy sibling shouting match, a mysterious stranger appears. He could be a criminal, a madman—or something far more unexpected. Despite their fears and the growing danger in the dark woods around them, the MacDougals take a leap of faith. But when another stranger arrives on the mountainside, they don't know which of them to believe. One of these men can't be trusted. And one is about to bring Christmas into their hearts.

Review:  If  An Angel for Christmas were dessert, it would be the literary equivalent of rainbow sherbet - sweet and light, universally liked and lacking anything heavy.  It  is a traditional, heartwarming story of a family gathering for Christmas, dealing with disappointments and failures, but still brought together by tradition and love.  It takes the arrival of Gabe, an injured state trooper hunting an escaped prisoner, to shake up their routine and help them realize how lucky they are to have each other.  His quiet presence at their home acts like a mirror held up to each MacDougal, helping each to realize who they really are, and what they want in this life.  There are lots of sweet, mysterious moments.  I especially liked that the mother, with her quiet faith and belief in the goodness of others, is the only adult who does not undergo a transition or have an epiphany.  She is a calm, steadying presence, just as she has been all their lives.
Readers looking for romance will find very little of it here.  Rather, this is an inspirational tale combining the magic of the Christmas holiday with a good angel versus evil angel theme, a family rediscovering their bonds of love, and gentle, anecdotal meditations on faith.   This is perfect for a quiet afternoon of holiday warmth and fuzziness.

For more information about Heather Graham and her books, visit her website at

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