BOOK: The Christmas Angel Project
AUTHOR: Melody Carlson
PUBLISHER: Baker Publishing Group
MY RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ (3.5/5)
Five women from different walks of life have become close friends through their book club–enjoying one another’s company even more than they enjoy the books. So when the leader of the book club unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the four remaining friends are stunned. They relied on Abby for inspiration and motivation. She was the glue that held them together, and they’re sure that without her the group can’t continue.
When the group gathers “one last time” to open a bag Abby’s husband gives them, they find Abby had made each of them an angel ornament for Christmas, crafted especially for each woman and accompanied by a sweet and personal note. Inspired by their beloved friend, together Cassidy, Louisa, Grace, and Belinda decide to commit themselves to becoming Christmas Angels to others in need. Each woman will use her life situation and talents to reach out and help others in her own unique way–little knowing that her own life and her relationships will be changed forever.
I received an advanced reading copy of this publication in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been super excited to be partnering up with the people over at Nuts About Books to review Christian titles this year. And here’s why – if you know me well, you know that I’m not really a very religious person? I grew up in a Christian family going to Christian school, and while I don’t have a relationship with God in my adult life I can still respect that there are members of my family who do. That being said, I also think that people can be quick to disregard things if they get the label of being “Christian”. In fact, sometimes I am one of those people, worried that the books might come off to preachy for me. So my goal this year is to read more books that have Christian content in an attempt to end the stigma – at least for myself.
So my first pick this year was The Christmas Angel project, and I picked it with my Grandma in mind. She’s such a sweetheart, and she’s obsessed with angels, and she always calls me her angel. Seeing as I didn’t get a chance to make it home this year for Christmas, I figured it’s something that would make me feel closer to her.
The Christmas Angel Project is the story of 5 women who are close friends and have a book club together. One morning they wake up to the news that one of their friends has passed away. Abby was the glue that held the girls together, and her unexpected death has the women feeling like the end of the book club is near. Each woman has her own struggles, and all were able to find hope and confidence in Abby.
The women meet one last time to exchange an unexpected gift from their departed friends, and instead find inspiration to keep their group going. They will become Christmas angels and give back to the community this holiday season with Abby in their hearts, meeting every week to share their progress and lean on one another.
Admittedly, this book had a bit more of a religious aspect then most books I would normally choose to read, but I knew that going in. All four women are relying on God and their faith to show them the way and to help them find the answers to their problems. And as someone who is more spiritual than religious, it wasn’t something that I could relate to, really. However, the overall aspect of giving back to the community and helping one another is still something I can appreciate, and I feel like overall, that’s the important thing about this book (at least for me).
This was my first read by Carlson, and I really enjoyed the writing style of the novel. Very colorful descriptions without being overly taxing. The characters were well thought out. I liked how unique each woman was and the diversity. Their problems were every day life struggles – one was having difficulties with her husband, one was struggling with the death of her husband, one was struggling with her self-esteem, and another was failing to put herself out in the dating world. They’re very mundane problems, but their also things that we all struggle with and the way that Carlson dealt with these issues made for good reading.
Although a heartwarming read, this book is a little bit too good to be true. Everything plays out as it should so we can get the happily ever after, and it’s Christmastime so I’m going to cut this novel some slack. It’s a very light read. Definitely chick-lit feels, and you could sit down and finish it in one sitting.
I definitely feel like this is going to be more of an enjoyable read around Christmastime, so the next time you’re looking for something to get you into the holiday spirit, look no further.