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Hadley spends her young life in the foster care system until she becomes the blame for arson and is later arrested for arson. Her boyfriend Munroe broke up with her. Ten years later they both are specialist in the speech and occupational therapy field. When a traumatized four-year old girl becomes mute after an apartment fire, Hadley and Munroe come together once again. They must put the past behind them and help the young child in need.
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Stonewater Books
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 7.00 X 5.50 X 0.52 (inches)|
She went to juvenile lockup.
He returned to the safety of his wealthy parents.
Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialists in the field of speech therapy. They meet again…thrown together to help a four-year- old girl rendered mute after a suspected arson. Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized child and her family.
Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?
Erin Woodsmall is a writer, musician, wife, and mom of three. She has edited, brainstormed, and researched books with Cindy for almost a decade. The Gift of Christmas Past is their first coauthored title.
Just Commonly4 Stars Out Of 5InspiringDecember 12, 2017Just CommonlyQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0"How are we so bad for each other that we continue to cause this much heartache even all these years later?" (175)
What a story of lost love that reunites, but with better understanding of the meaning of love! And that's not all The Gift of Christmas Past: A Southern Romance by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall have to offer. This story has a romance that tugs our emotional heartstrings, but I personally find the characters' journey, as well as the various themes in this book just as if not more compelling.
The premise of children therapy and emotional thoughts of foster kids held the focus for this reader in The Gift of Christmas Past. I was following every bit of Chloe's progress with cheers with progress and disappointments when it felt like progress took the wrong direction. Add in Hadley and Elliott's psychological demeanor with their experience as foster kids brings in an additional substance in this story. A turbulent past as teens mixed with years of hard work, giving their life a chance to help others, I find encouragement in that. And that together gives this poignant start a hopeful and beautiful gift of an ending. The only minor qualm I have is how the ending seems to come too easily, especially in regards to Monroe's parents.
In all, The Gift of Christmas Past is one story that inspires hard work and sacrificial love. It's also a reminder of following God in His plans.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Booklover105 Stars Out Of 5Great book for the Christmas seasonDecember 10, 2017Booklover10Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Gift of Christmas Past is a book that spoke deeply to my heart. I work with many children who are like Hadley, so my heart broke for her being misunderstood. Granted, her past may not have been stellar, but I hated that she wasn't trusted during a moment that she most needed to be trusted. Of course, I couldn't fault Monroe with the ultimatum that was given to him. It was actually quite an honorable thing that he had done, but Hadley doesn't see it that way. Part of that reason is because she doesn't quite know the whole agreement that was made. Hadley and Monroe were going to escape and marry, but that just wasn't going to happen. Life threw her a curveball...again.
Hadley doesn't just sit around asking "why me." Her and Elliott get to work and they work hard for all they have in life. They know what it's like to have little and they will hopefully one day know what it's like to have enough or more than enough. Both are stellar women who have had a very hard life. I appreciate that their past doesn't definte them.
When Hadley and Monroe run into each other again because of their work with a common patient, neither than escape the old feelings that happen within them. Of course, Hadley is hurt because she doesn't understand that Monroe is actually protecting her. Monroe is torn because of his agreement that he made and signed with his parents. It's one sticky situation, for sure. Oh, and throw in the fact that Monroe owns his own practice, which was Hadley's dream. She tries to keep herself in check when everything she wanted is what Monroe now has.
Cindy and Erin Woodsmall wrote a beautiful Christmas book that is unlike many other books. I loved the background of speech therapists and it was fascinating to read the case about 4-year-old Chloe. It was interesting to read a little research into apraxia and trauma-related events. They did a wonderful job tying their research into their storyline.
I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group and Woodsmall Press in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Compulsive readDecember 7, 2017KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"Health strengthened them. Hope sustained them. And God guided them." (p 91) I think I need to make this my mantra! It has definitely seen Hadley and her best friend, Elliott (a girl) through a decade of struggles. And what an emotional journey! Brilliantly delivered with compassion and grace.
Their story starts when they are teens sharing a room in a foster home. Volatile Hadley and rule keeper Elliott make an interesting team. And while this is largely Hadley and Monroe's story, we are treated with Elliott's point of view from time to time which also brings a secondary romance into the mix. A fascinating study in personalities and coping mechanisms as all three struggle to come to grips with a desperate situation that quickly gets out of control.
Fast forward ten years and life hasn't gotten any easier for these foster sisters. Oh, they've survived and thrived, supporting each other as they worked their way through school but life's logistics are still challenging. I loved the way they pull together. How they've invited strangers into their 'family'. Women of faith, shining Christ's light through their actions.
Then there's Monroe. It appears he has had everything handed to him by wealthy parents. But appearances can be deceiving and he's paid a huge emotional price for those 'rewards'. Both Monroe and Hadley have been scarred by their tumultuous past so when they unexpectedly end up on the same team in order to help a traumatized child...well fireworks would be putting it mildly. These two have issues that bring out the worst and the best in one another. Such a tangled web of deceit and sorrow and confusion to wade through! All while attempting to restore speech to a mute child.
My emotions were all over the place as I got deeper into the read. I could see both sides of Monroe and Hadley's struggle so I could totally feel the frustration and anger and longing. And Monroe's parents?! Argh! I think my blood pressure is still registering through the roof.
An emotionally complex story that celebrates the joy that comes from truly living in community.
Mrs ARS4 Stars Out Of 5A Second ChanceDecember 6, 2017Mrs ARSQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Gift of Christmas Past was a sweet holiday read that really packed in some important issues. From foster children to speech therapy, this was a story that balanced a couple of love stories and a little light mystery with characters that definitely showed what caring for your neighbor as yourself really looks like in action. Starting 10 years previous, Hadley, a foster kid, is accused of a crime she did not commit. She turns to her boyfriend, Monroe, to help her get out of her present circumstances. He believes her innocent and even though they both are only 17, they think the best solution is marriage. However, Monroe's parents put a stop to that when they offer him an opportunity to help Hadley but cut off all ties with her. For some reason, I felt this book had a little Romeo and Juliet thread running through it.
Ten years later, Hadley and Monroe meet up again due to a little girl who cannot speak anymore. I do enjoy a romance that reunites couples who truly loved each other and watch them pick up the pieces of their lives and I enjoyed the bond Hadley and Monroe still had after all those years. Some people are just meant to be together no matter the difficult circumstances that kept them apart. There were some people I really thought needed a reality check in this book and a little less control over people's lives. I did appreciate the author's sensitivity to foster children and some of the preconceived prejudices that they may face growing up.
I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Jamie4 Stars Out Of 5Perfect for fans of Christmas romances!December 6, 2017JamieQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0This is for my readers who love a Christmas romance! Releasing her first non-Amish novel, Cindy Woodsmall teams up with her daughter-in-law, Erin Woodsmall, bringing readers a love story spanning over a decade.
Theres romance, faith and Christmas a great mix for my contemporary romance fans. With a Hallmark movie feel and topics that go beyond a love story, I know fans of Woodsmall will enjoy this southern fiction read.
But more than the sweet romance, this story also deals with important issues, such as foster care and children who go through speech therapy, inviting readers to look into lives that may not be their own or in their circles. I really enjoyed that piece of the story and love when authors are willing to go deeper.
Whats one of your favorite Christmas novels?
(Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)
Originally posted at https://musingsofjamie.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/the-gift-of-christmas-past-by-cindy-erin-woodsmall-book-review/