Evergreen: A Christiansen Winter Novella  -     By: Susan May Warren
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Evergreen: A Christiansen Winter Novella

Tyndale House / 2014 / Hardcover

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Product Description

An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn't be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He's sure she'll love it. What's more romantic than Christmas in Paris?Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then-because disasters strike in threes-an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid's marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 204
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 7.00 X 5.00 X 0.75 (inches)
ISBN: 1414394012
ISBN-13: 9781414394015
Availability: In Stock
Series: Christiansen Family

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Publisher's Description

An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn’t be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He’s sure she’ll love it. What’s more romantic than Christmas in Paris?

Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then—because disasters strike in threes—an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.

As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid’s marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

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  1. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Faith & Family
    September 29, 2014
    jojosutiscorner
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I just love this little novella from Susan May Warren.

    I loved getting to know John and Ingrid a little more.

    After reading the other books in the series, I feel like I'm a part of this family.

    I know them, I get them and I want to know more!

    In this wonderful winter-themed novella, we get to delve into the world of the Christansen family once again and spend the holidays with them- YAY!

    John and Ingrid are the pillars of this family and getting a glimpse of their own love story was amazing.

    Like all couples and all families, the Christansen's are not without their own problems...that's part of what makes this family so endearing. Anyone who has gone through the empty-nest phase or just had to say goodbye to someone they love will be drawn to Ingrid and the struggles she's going through. John is so kind and loving...a true hero among heroes of fiction. But even the perfect fiction couple must work on their relationship, learn to let go and hold onto one another.

    Secondary characters Romeo and sweet Butter add so much to the dynamics of this story.

    Above all Evergreen is a glorious reminder to treasure family and faith! Don't miss it!
  2. Grand Prairie, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Deep and Emotional Story! Wonderful From Start to Finish!
    September 14, 2014
    Britt98
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    What a wonderful, deep, truly insightful novella! Evergreen is another addition to the Christiansen family series and I am again amazed with the authors ability to craft such a deep story, filled with emotional highs and lows, and pack it into a novella.

    The Christiansen family series is definitely one of my favorites of all time. Each book focuses on one of the Christiansen children, however, the stories are all connected. Various family members appear in each novel, and although some can be read as stand alone books, they really work much better as a series. There are also two novellas in the series, and both of them focus on John and Ingrid Christiansen, the parents of the Christiansen clan. I Really Do Miss Your Smile covers the early years, when they were falling in love. Now, Evergreen delves into another very emotional time period in a familys lifethe empty nest.

    This was a very easy and smooth read, and I loved getting an inside look into John and Ingrids relationship. What I learned surprised me! Although they have deeply loved each other and raised a large family together, simmering below the surface is pain and resentment. The empty nest, that John views as an opportunity for he and Ingrid to travel and spend time together, serves as a catalyst for the release of emotions that Ingrid has buried inside for so long.

    For a short book, Evergreen packs a big punch! Old hurts are brought to light, an opportunity to open their hearts to someone God has sent into their care emerges, and John and Ingrid must both learn to give over control to God and trust that He has a plan for them that is better than any they themselves could devise. This book definitely sent me on an emotional roller coaster and it was an amazing ride! I highly recommend Evergreen and the entire Christiansen Family series.

    My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
  3. Clover, SC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    I Love the Christiansens and This is a Rare Treat
    September 13, 2014
    Susan
    Clover, SC
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    I fell in love instantly with Susan May Warren's Deep Haven series, so I was delighted when she set her new Christiansen Family series in Deep Haven. Each book deals with one of Ingrid and John Christiansen's 6 children. We've had Darek, Eden and Grace's story andnow Susan has given us a rare glimpse into the person lives of the parents.

    Two of Ingrid and John's children have married and another is engaged. Amelia is off in Prague for a college stint, Casper is off in Roatan and Owen is goodness knows where. This particular situation causes Ingrid great pain, tearing her mother's heart apart with worry over him. All she can do is pray for God to keep him safe.

    John has decided that he will give Ingrid a trip to Europe for Christmas and so happy that he has thought of this. It will mean wonders for them. Then, before he can tell Ingrid, their beloved dog Butterscotch becomes violently ill in the middle of the night, requiring outrageously expensive surgery. So much for Europe.

    Something is wrong with Ingrid and John has no idea, he only knows that frost has covered their lives and he doesn't know how to fix it.

    Then something else happens that throws John for a loop, something he doesn't want at all. Will John and Ingrid allow God to come into their lives, working His will and helping them through this difficult valley? God can. He can work things out for their good and His glory. But they must have a surrendered heart.

    I loved this story because I got to see the hearts and feelings of the parents of these wonderful Christiansen children. It was a rare pleasure and a particular treat to see inside their marriage. Maybe one reason is that I'm just a bit older than they are myself, so I can relate a bit to them at this time in their lives.

    Susan May Warren knows how to write from the heart and involve her readers in her story. I am blessed to have her on my list of all time favorite authors.

    *I was provided with a free copy of this book by the publsiher, which in no way influenced my review.
  4. Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent
    September 11, 2014
    lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Each insightful tale allows readers to glean truths from the lessons the fictional Christiansen family is learning or has learned. Here the audience gets a chance to read about the parents of the six adult children, John and Ingrid. From the outside everything looks like their lives are rosy and wonderful; few know what pain lies hidden within the heart. In fact, as I read the novella, it reminded me again that at times we arent even aware of the pain within our own hearts, no matter how many years later an issue might resurface though thought to have been dealt with and done.

    I love how the author doesnt allow readers to think that Christian marriages are without pain, mistakes, poor choices and work. Yes, no matter how many years people have been married it takes work, prayerful obedience to the Lord and forgiveness, lots of forgiveness. Like the characters, we arent born with all-knowing parents nor do we become all-knowing parents, grandparents or people at any time. I love how the family painfully had to reveal truth and then allow the Lord to heal their hearts not magically or instantly but in time.

    Finally, I love how the author through her characters shows us that some good-byes allow us to also say hello to new beginnings. John and Ingrid became empty nesters and each held a different outlook on how that played into the coming days, especially the holidays. Pick up the novella and enjoy the heartwarming tale filled with love, hope and forgiveness!
  5. Clare, MI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A warm and cozy addition to the Christiansen family series
    September 9, 2014
    Gazpacho
    Clare, MI
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Christiansen family, like the rest of us, go through seasons in their lives. It's now Mom and Dad Christiansen's turn in this heartwarming series to face their own seasonal shift.

    For Ingrid Christiansen, this season or stage seems to offer more challenges than usual. All six of her children are scattered, living on their own or experiencing newlywed life for the first time. Yet her sons Owen and Casper are at odds with each other and she desperately wants to do something to fix her brood. She just isn't ready for the empty nest yet. And there's another secret fear that she holds close to her heart, unwilling to even think about it much less tell anyone, even John--especially John, about it. So when Ingrid's sister breaks a sixteen-year silence and asks her to take care of her son until Thanksgiving, Ingrid snatches the opportunity to once again mother a hurting boy.

    John Christiansen was eagerly looking forward to a new season in his life with his wife. He envisioned a variety of activities, including a surprise trip to Europe to renew their vows, then travel on to Prague to visit their youngest daughter at the university there for Christmas. He looked on the "empty nest" as an exciting new adventure to relish and even re-kindle some spark in their relationship. What relationship couldn't use a little more sparkle? But to his surprise, Ingrid didn't share his enthusiasm at all.

    When the family dog, Butterscotch, became deathly ill and needed surgery, he had to give up the surprise trip to pay for the aging dog's operation. That was when he finally woke up to the struggle Ingrid was experiencing. Not that he fully understood what she was feeling, but when his nephew arrived for a short stay, he saw her issues visibly with this new opportunity to mother someone. All John could think of was his desire to protect her from getting hurt again when this nephew had to leave. Unfortunately, Ingrid did not want his protection.

    The one word that comes to mind as I think back over this book is nostalgia. In the previous book of this series, focus has been on the six Christiansen sons and daughters as they reached adulthood and found their purpose in life. Now it is Ingrid and John's stage that is in focus. Their period of adjustment to a new phase in their married life is what makes this novella a classic. And yet the story is not over because Owen and Casper have yet to settle their differences and find their way. So this story is as much about looking forward as it is about the present. It is the scope of this series that is attractive to me.

    I also love this author's use of symbolism in this book. The evergreen symbol encapsulates the purpose of the phase in the family's life. It is beautifully written. "We love living in the north because the seasons are ever changing. But there also remains a constant. It's a miracle how, when an evergreen burns, the pinecones burst open, dropping seeds into the fertile soil of the charred land. Saplings now edge our property, sprouts of green against the white landscape. In the wake of good-byes, life endures. Even flourishes." For those of us in this stage it offers up a hope for the future, a new way of thinking about the transition of our lives, and encouragement to press on--together, if at all possible.

    Another thing I took away from this novella was that in life there are times that will take us by surprise, challenge us, cause us to question our direction, and offer us new perspectives. It's ok to struggle through these shifts, and easier if we decide to face these new facets together, and in faith in God, rather than fighting the shifting relationship along with the other challenges.

    This book is a beautiful addition to an already wonderful, touching series. I highly recommend it.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. through their Blog Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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