ï»¿In A Wreath of Snow, Liz Curtis Higgs pens a tender, heartwarming yuletide novella set against the backdrop of 1800s Scotland, where blustery snowstorms and the smell of freshly cut evergreens hang heavily in the air.
Our lovely heroine, Margaret Campbell wishes only to return home to Stirling to enjoy a warm Christmas with her family, but is driven away by the bitterness and apathy of her younger brother, Alan. Alan has been confined to a wheelchair ever since an accident that occurred when he was a young lad has left him paralyzed, and his mean spirited ways drive Meg back to Edinburgh where she holds a teaching position.
As Meg boards the train to return to Edinburgh, she meets a handsome young newspaperman named Gordon Shaw, and as their lives intertwine her destiny is forever changed. Gordon struggles under a load of remorse and shame that he has born for years, and should Meg find out why -- what will become of the feelings she is beginning to develop for him? And as the heavy snowfall continues to build -- will the train make it to Edinburgh or will a disaster ensue, causing long buried, dark secrets to finally come to light?
Liz Curtis Higgs is a masterful storyteller, and this powerful story of forgiveness and redemption is a wonderful way to usher in the Christmas season. Heartwarming, with compelling and well developed characters, and a very strong spiritual thread throughout, this one is the perfect "sitting by a crackling fire with a cup of hot chocolate" read! Nicely done as always, Liz Curtis Higgs!
I usually dont read romance books, most have a plot that is predictable before you get into the story very far. And....that is the case with this novella. I had not read any of Ms. Higg's books before. This IS a lovely, well written story set in victorian scotland, I did learn a great deal about scottish christmas' celebrations. I enjoyed the heroine, independent and in charge of her life. Both her and the 'main man' are dealing with past hurts, present hurts, from an awful incident involving both people. The ending of the book wasnt entirely predictable; but at least it wasnt 'happily ever after, we're married, with children'!! A good story for a winter afternoon.
The year in 1894 and the place is Stirling, Scotland. It is the day before Christmas. Margaret Campbell, a teacher in Edinburgh, has been home visiting her parents and brother. But it has not gone well. Her younger brother Alan had been injured when a youth, some twelve years ago, and is wheelchair bound. He has become a bitter man.
Meg has had enough of his tirades and escapes the house, anxious to take the train back to Edinburgh. The snow is heavy but the train finally leaves.
On the train she meets a handsome man she finds out is Gordon Shaw, the very man who, in a drunken state, injured Alan.
Gordon is attracted to Meg and she to him. And then the train is stopped by a drift of snow and the two are forced to walk back to Stirling - and to a very awkward situation.
I have come to really like the Christmas novellas. (I've read all of Anne Perry's.) And this is a good one. There are many issues dealt with in this story. How long is the past to direct the present? Should forgiveness ever be withheld? Is it ever right to lie when the truth would hurt so much?
An added plus is that you learn a great deal about the Victorian Christmas traditions and celebrations, and about curling.
The book was a little predictable, or was it just great foreshadowing by Liz? Nonetheless, a fine holiday read.
A Reader's Guide is included at the end of the novel. (So is a recipe for Scottish shortbread.)
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Take a trip to Scotland with Liz Curtis Higgs in her new book A Wreath of Snow. I've always wanted to visit Scotland (even though I'm Irish) and so I tagged along. I found a wonderful story that drew me in and made me sympathize with Margaret, root for Gordon and hopeful that there will be a sequel so I can find out what happens next. (Hint Hint)
This is a wonderful story about 2 individuals hurt spiritually and emotionally by a terrible accident years before when Margaret's brother is injured in a Curling accident caused by Gordon. I could feel the emotion and the sorrow near the end of the book when Gordon does the right thing and confesses to what happened and loved the ending of the book. Sorta... I wasn't ready to end the story.
A Wreath of Snow would be a great Mother-Daughter or book club read but if you don't have anyone to read it with grab a hot chocolate, latte, a warm afghan and curl up by the fire. It's a great book to read during a blizzard.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to have a positive review and no money exchanged hands.
I usually read one Christmas Novella every year. It is usually one that someone asks me to read. They are not my favorite genre mostly because they are not long enough. A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs has that problem. It is a delightful Christmas book that is just not long enough.
I love Liz's books. Fiction, non- fiction it doesn't matter, I love her writing style. She has a beautiful way of delivering a punch that is given in such a gentle matter that you don't always notice you have learned something.
Meg is heartbroken that she will not be spending Christmas Day with her parents, but her brother's cruel treatment of her had become intolerable. She just wanted to get back to Edinburgh into her beloved townhouse and relax. A chance to have a peaceful Christmas instead of one filled with the tension of her parents' home.
So starts this little book with a message of forgiveness. It doesn't last long, but it was such a joy to read and put me in the Christmas spirit, which for early October that is not a good thing. This book is just a story of what the true meaning of Christmas is; the story of forgiveness, the story of family and the story of hope.
You can enjoy this book and get into the Christmas spirit early or you can wait until a lovely snow fall, wrap up in a quilt with a cup of hot chocolate and disappear for a little while into Scotland in 1894.