Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere

Summary: Gretchen is dealing with life without her husband, who is Germany after being injured as a soldier in Afghanistan. Her neighbor, a quiet, reclusive woman named Melissa, has troubles of her own. She mother recently died, and she feels freed because of it. With a negative childhood behind her, Melissa embarks on a journey to find two lost siblings, who she only finds out about after she finds an incomplete note from her mother in her mother's apartment. Gretchen offers to help, and she slowly becomes good friends with Melissa, giving Melissa someone to believe in her. With surprises around the corner, the two will learn that there are no coincidences — only God's hand at work.

Review: I love Donna VanLiere. I read her autobiography a few years ago and was deeply touched and inspired. "The Christmas Note" was my first Donna VanLiere novel, although she's written several other bestselling novels, including "The Christmas Shoes." Her story in "The Christmas Note" did not disappoint me. An endearing novel with relatable characters, "Christmas Note" will attach itself to your heart — that is if you can get past the first chapter, and the second, and the third... and so on.

Unfortunately for me, VanLiere chose to write in present tense, going back and forth between the two main characters narrating their stories. This reads as such: "I walked to the fridge. I got out some milk. I drank some milk." And so on. I HATE PRESENT TENSE NOVELS. I got used to the present tense narration as I read along, but each time I set the book down and then picked it up to read it again, I had to get used to the present tense again. Had it not been a review book, I would have stopped reading after the first chapter.

But maybe you don't mind present tense. It detracted from the story for me, but not everyone will be annoyed by it. If you're not annoyed by present tense novels, you'll enjoy "The Christmas Note" immensely.

Rating: 4/5 stars

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