One Holy Night could be called a modern-day retelling of the nativity story set in 1967 Shepherdsville, Minnesota. This story takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride, it brought me to tears as I read--so you may want to have tissues near. I wasn't sure I was going to like the book when I first started it but as I got into the story I became engrossed into the lives of the characters as I turned the pages. The McRae family were facing some tough challenges at home and with a loved one far away in harms way in Viet Nam. As a retired Oncology RN I wanted to help Julie care for her mother, Maggie, as she battled the cancer raging through her body. And at the same time I wanted to give her father, Frank, a piece of my mind about a few things, but he was struggling with his own battles--old battles and bitterness/anger as well as new. There are twists and turns and surprises that I had not seen coming and one scene that I wanted to stop from happening, but couldn't of course. I cried as the scene unfolded and hoped things would change. Ah, the ending was everything I had hoped and more!...happy sigh. I appreciate the inspirational elements woven within the storyline culminating in the miraculous birth of a very special baby--not saying more, don't want to spoil it. With deep emotional--heart-wrenching at times--scenes, One Holy Night is an inspiring story of faith, forgiveness, love, hope and God's grace.
~I won a copy of the book from the author, (no monetary gain were exchanged), I was not required to give a review, this is my honest review~
Frank McRae, still haunted by his experiences during WWII, faces events in his life which bring out bitterness in him. Frank's son battles in the Viet Nam War and marries a Buddhist Asian woman which causes him to be disowned, his own wife fights terminal cancer, he stumbles in his belief in God, and on one holy night must make a decision about forgiveness, grace and peace_
A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
I was drawn to this book by the beautiful cover, intrigued by the stained glass picture on the back, and absolutely absorbed by the story. I found this novel to be a very powerful one in many ways. The characters were well developed and genuine in their thoughts, feelings, actions, and faith. Even though I had an idea of where the story line was headed, I couldn't put the book down (thus, reading it in less than a week)! I also appreciated the creative element in this story which incorporated the Nativity into a contemporary yet emotional message that still has me reflecting. This was my first experience reading a novel by J.M. Hochstetler and I have appreciated the opportunity. Be sure to take the time to read the Acknowledgements at the end of the book for interesting tidbits about the front cover and stained glass piece from the back.
4.5 (out of 5) pennies
*I received a complimentary copy of One Holy Night from the author and Sheaf House Publishing for my honest review*
This book is an absolute must read. It is a beautiful story filled with sadness. It is a story that reminds you constantly of God's love and sovereignty amid life's confusion, pain and trials. It addresses the issues we as Christians deal with as our faith is tested when God does not intervene and answer our prayers in the way we want or hope. This book was like a spiritual journey for me, drawing my heart strings more to my father who loves me more than I can ever understand. I love everyone of the characters. I loved the purity even in writing about the love relationship between the couples. I especially love the message of forgiveness and not holding on to anger because of it's devastating effects. This book is without question one of the best I have read. You cannot afford not to read it.
One Holy Night is about a family during the 1967 Vietman War era. Frank McRae witnesses horrible things in the South Pacific during World War II and becomes to dislike all Asians. His wife, Maggie, is fighting a battle with cancer. His son, Mike, is in Vietnam, falls in love with a young Vietnamese girl and marries her. Frank becomes livid and refuses to have anything else to do with Mike Then tragedy strikes before Christmas. What will happen when a baby is born on Christmas?
This is such a heart wrenching story. If you read this book, be prepared to have your tissues ready. I thought this was a great story! Such a powerful message at the end. I would definitely recommend this wonderful Christmas story. 5 stars.
This is one book you don't want to miss. The emotional ride that this author takes you through is one you won't soon forget. The setting of this book is 1967 during the Viet Nam War.
The characters in this story are unforgettable. Frank McRae is struggling with his faith in God. Why would a loving God put him through this much pain? Where is God when he needs him?
Frank has a lot of pain, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness bottled up inside of him. Can his wife Maggie help him to let it go? Can God work a miracle in Frank's life after Frank does something that I can only describe as detestable?
As this story unfolds and holds the reader spellbound we find that God is truly at work in each character's life. They experience the joys of life, the pains of life, the heartache of a broken marriage, a terminal illness and a miracle waiting to happen.
I broke down and cried at the end of this book. The sadness, the pain, the bottled up anger, and then the miracle.
This is the first book that I have read by J.M. Hochstetler. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.