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Posted February 19, 2014
A Sharecropper Christmas by Carlene Havel is an inspiring story that leaves you with a good feeling in spite of the sadness of the story. Alice and Herbert Shoemaker have two sons and a baby on the way. The Great Depression has hit the family hard and they are hungry and homeless. They are living in a tent when Herbert comes home and has great news, he has gotten a job as a sharecropper. They will now have a house but in reality it is little more than a ramshackle shack. But as bad as it is, it is better than a tent. Alice works tirelessly to make the best of the hard times. She covered the walls with newspapers to help keep out the cold and has to cook in a Dutch oven in the fireplace. Now that they have chickens, Alice is saving money from selling eggs to hopefully realize her dream to have a special Christmas for her sons. In spite of the despair and loss of hope during the Great Depression, Alice and Herbert continue to love each other and the boys and trust God to help them through the tough times.
The characters in the story were very well developed and I felt as if I knew each of the family as a close friend and I kept rooting for them to have a better life. Even though the story was somewhat depressing, the plot was able to hold my attention and was very well written. There were many disappointments for the family, but with love and trust in God, things worked out for the better. It was evident that the author did her research of the Great Depression. As I was reading all the action that was taking place, in my mind I was working right along with the characters and trying to help them find even a little bit of happiness.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read an inspiring and uplifting Christmas story.
Prism Book Group provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted February 3, 2014
Carlene Havel has done it again. This historical novella reminds me of the hardships our ancestors faced. and how blessed we are today. It's a short read and well worth the time.It's suitable for all ages.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 14, 2013
Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite
The last thing Alice ever thought she'd be excited for is becoming a sharecropper. But Alice and Herbert were victims of the 1929 Stock Market Crash that led to the great depression. Herbert's house and farm were foreclosed upon, sending Alice, Herbert, and their young children to the streets and forcing them to rely on their families to survive. But one day, Herbert finds work as a sharecropper and it seems like their prayers have all been answered. But the house is the ugliest place that Alice has ever seen and she's having trouble being grateful for the blessings she's received this Christmas season. Then she meets a new friend who lives near the farm, Victoria, and she begins to learn some hard lessons about how bad the depression is all over the country.
A Sharecropper Christmas is a very short, unromanticized book. It's a story about a struggling family in the historical time known as the Great Depression. This is definitely something that fans of historical fiction will love, and interestingly enough, really resonates with many people today because of the Great Recession that we've been going through over the past 5 to 10 years. Carlene Havel writes with a very simple and direct style that gets the point across while endearing the reader to the characters within the story. There is a strong message of hope, resilience, and family support that draws the characters together beautifully. Carlene Havel has a cool, crisp writing style that leaves nothing to the imagination, so that you see the story clearly spelled out before your eyes. This story is a great Christmas read that would be lovely to curl up with by the fire, particularly for fans of historical fiction or Christmas novellas.
Posted November 25, 2013
The depression has hit the country hard and left the Shoemaker family hungry and homeless with another baby on the way. Alice wonders what kind of Christmas little James and David will have when Henry comes to their tent home with the news he’s found a job as a sharecropper.
While Alice yearns for the things she once had, she makes their life comfortable in the tin roof shanty they call home. She papers the walls with newspapers to keep out the cold and manages to make meals for her family using the fireplace and a Dutch oven all the while her pregnancy growing heavy.
Alice makes new friends far away from the family and acquaintances she’d always known and she learns through their new minister no one is to blame for what has happened to them. The Shoemaker family receives many blessings and through the little boys’ adventures find a way to have a wonderful Christmas.
Ms. Havel paints a beautiful story of a time in American history when people struggled to exist. Farms were lost and families torn apart, but through faith, Christmas comes to the Shoemakers.