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5 Stars Out Of 5
Funny, Engaging, Satisfying
December 11, 2013
A farmer's daughter trying to make it in a small town at her first job after tremendous heartbreak and two years of college. A rich man's son trying to figure out life on his own terms in the shadow of his father. Silver Bells by Deborah Raney has a lot to offer many readers.
What I Liked
Although it does eventually wind its way to Christmas and the song named in the title, the story starts five months earlier so the characters get time to know each other fairly well.
The two main characters are quite lovable and believable. They have fears, doubts, and struggles to overcome. And while they don't have all the answers by the end of the story, they are on the right path and working through the core issues that I most wanted addressed before the last page.
The story also includes some interesting characters, some who grow throughout the book and others who stubbornly do not, just as you find in real life.
Several moments had me laughing, some had me smiling, and some had me yearning to reach out and hug a character. Although the book contains moments of violence, it was all handled very cleanly and delicately.
The Bottom Line - 5 stars
I enjoy books that offer a wide range of emotions (especially laughter) and neatly tie up all the loose ends. Include a grand Christmas and human characters that want to do life God's way -- and I am hooked. I looked forward to reading more books by Mrs. Raney.
Strange to think that a book set in the early 70s is considered historical fiction but such is the case. If you remember the seventies, you'll get a kick out of historical references spattered through Silver Bells. There is a particularly funny scene involving the heroine's first encounter with a microwave oven. :-)
I loved the newspaper setting. It makes a great backdrop for a blossoming love story fraught with complications. But this is also a moving tale of personal growth. Michelle has left school and moved away from home. She's a little bit naive and floundering to find her place in the world. Rob likes to think of himself as more worldly wise but he's grappling with a past tragedy that has resulted in a strained relationship with his father. Angst abounds as Michelle and Rob find their way to each other.