Remembering Christmas is a nice cozy holiday novel. The settings is in the 1980s in a small town in Costal Florida. A young man struggles through finding his way in life after his father leaves. Though he doesn’t realize it until later in life, he has become bitter toward others. He pursues success in business, but doesn’t realize how little his growing wealth means until he’s forced to return home because of a family emergency. His step father is hospitalized and he gets a taste of the way of life he left behind after agreeing to watch the family bookstore for a few weeks. He reluctantly agrees to help, not knowing the people he meets will change his way of looking at the world.
The characters of Remembering Christmas were well crafted and believable. The reader feels like they know the main character, his parents, and the people around him. The characters are likable and well rounded. If I had one criticism, it would be that the main character was slightly overdone with his bad attitude, but not to the point where the story was harmed. It was enjoyable watching his negative attitudes break down, but at times he seemed a little too selfish.
Even with this said, the story was top-notch and characters came to life.
Dan mixed reality into a fictional town and made the setting believable and easy to picture. Small towns are a great setting for stories. By bringing in a young man who has become a city-lover, it creates a natural tension that every reader can identify with. The setting is a clash of two worlds and two worldviews.
A real town emerged from the pages of the book, and it was a great experience walking with the characters through the quiet little town of Seabreeze.
The story was well done and came alive. At no time did I lose interest and there wasn’t a sagging middle. It keeps the reader engaged from beginning to the end. It was a pleasure walking with the characters as they journeyed to the conclusion.
While the story is unapologetically Christian, Dan does a great job of presenting a strong faith message without flooding the story with Christian jargon and churchy plots. The ending was satisfying and I felt like my time was well invested. I highly recommend Remembering Christmas and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Author of I Called Him Dancer
Disclosure — Revell provided a free copy of Remembering Christmas for the purpose of this review.
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.