A Marriage Carol

A Marriage Carol

4.4 19
by Chris Fabry, Gary Chapman
     
 

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What do you do when the love has gone out?

Jake and Marlee, a tired married couple, are about to call it quits. Over time they have drifted apart; the sparks are dead. Marlee is convinced she married the wrong man, and Jake feels tied down to the wrong woman. Jake is distant and tired of being controlled, while Marlee is tired of being the only one trying

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Overview

What do you do when the love has gone out?

Jake and Marlee, a tired married couple, are about to call it quits. Over time they have drifted apart; the sparks are dead. Marlee is convinced she married the wrong man, and Jake feels tied down to the wrong woman. Jake is distant and tired of being controlled, while Marlee is tired of being the only one trying to the save their marriage. They go to bed Christmas Eve, in separate rooms, each rationalizing... life is too short to be miserable... love shouldn't hurt like this... their marriage must end for happiness to return.

But then something peculiar happens: The ghosts of Marriage Past, Marriage Present, and Marriage Future reveal to them their past choices and present realities, and how their future might look if they do not change their stories.

Jake and Marlee experience a Christmas gift that will radically change their thinking and cause them to look at marriage not for what they can get out of it, but for what God can do in and through their marriage.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly

A Marriage Carol-Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman. Moody/River North

Christmas Eve marks Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer’s wedding anniversary and, 20 years later, the official dissolution of their marriage. Their journey to sign the divorce papers, however, turns into much more when a blizzard and an accident threaten lives. Marlee finds safety in a farmhouse where “Jay” helps her see her past, present, and future and offers a new way of seeing herself, husband, and marriage. The authors seamlessly blend the cleansing qualities of snow (“Melting snow exposes. Each flake is like a choice we make”) with transparent reference to Dickens’s A Christmas Carol to create a challenging yet heartwarming tale that will touch readers long beyond the holiday season. This novella—combining the storytelling prowess of Fabry (Almost Heaven) and the marriage expertise of Chapman (The Five Love Languages series)—will change lives with its message “that there is great power in small choices.” Chapman’s afterword and discussion questions deepen the impact. This is a tiny book with a huge message. (Sept.)

GENRE GO ROUND REVIEWS BY HARRIET KLAUSNER
August 9, 2011

Two decades of marriage that began on Christmas Eve is ironically ending on Christmas Eve. The relationship between Marlee and Jacob Ebenezer is colder than the wintry weather outside the car they share on their way to see the divorce lawyer to sign the final papers. Both worry about telling their three kids though they agree to say nothing until after the holidays. Driving on the road to the attorney leads to a fight as Marlee feels with the snow and ice they should remain on the main road while Jacob chooses a shortcut. On a curve with headlines bearing down on them, Jacob loses control.

Marlee awakes alone and frozen; Jacob is nowhere in sight; her cellphone fails to work. She leaves the car looking for Jacob but sees lights so heads there. An elderly man Jay opens the door allowing the shivering Marlee to warm up, but he insists no other visitor has arrived. He searches for Jacob but fails to find him. Marlee and the couples’ retreat center owner chat while his wife rests upstairs thinking about God and marriage. As her host goes to check on his wife, Marlee sees her past and present through her loving family members, and a future path with two choices.

Paying obvious homage to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman provide an engaging family fantasy that starts off with an emotional question of “When do we tell the kids?” An entertaining parable, the story line focuses on the importance of honesty communicating as the key fuels to maintain loving relationships. Although the cast is never deeply developed beyond relational roles, readers will appreciate this fun contemporary version of the classic.

 Harriet Klausner

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802402646
Publisher:
Moody Publishers
Publication date:
09/01/2011
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
671,903
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Marriage CAROL


By CHRIS FABRY GARY CHAPMAN

MOODY PUBLISHERS

Copyright © 2011 Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-0264-6


Chapter One

The Shortcut

"When do we tell the children?"

He said it without feeling, without emotion, without giving weight to the words. He said it as though he was asking the latest stock price for Microsoft or Google. These were his first words after nearly twenty minutes in the car together. On our anniversary.

"After Christmas," I said, matching his evenness, his coldness. "Not tonight or tomorrow."

"Don't you think they know by now? At least that something's up?"

"Not David, he's too young. Justin asks questions and just looks at me with those doe eyes, but he keeps it in. Becca is the one I worry about."

"Kids are resilient. If they don't know, they'll understand. It's for the best. For all of us."

I hope he's right.

"Now they'll have two Christmases," he said.

The windshield wipers beat their own rhythm as wet snow fell like rain. The landscape had retreated under the white covering, adding to a previous snowfall that hadn't fully melted. The roadway, where you could see it, shone black with treachery from the moisture and falling temperatures. Cars inched along ahead of us on an incline as ,Jacob drove faster, crowding the car in front of us, looking for a chance to pass.

"Are you sure he'll be at his office?" I said, looking out the window, bracing for impact. "In this weather? On Christmas Eve?"

"He's still there. I called before we left. The papers are ready."

"Does he have a family?" I said.

"What?" He said it with a healthy dose of condescension, and added a look I couldn't stand. The look I could live the rest of my life without seeing.

"Does he have a family. A wife? Kids?"

"I have no idea." More condescension. "I didn't know that was a prerequisite for you."

"It's not. I was just wondering. Working on Christmas Eve. No wonder he's a divorce lawyer."

So much for a congenial discussion. The silence was getting to him now and he flipped on a talk station. I was surprised he hadn't done that earlier. The clock showed 3:18, and a delayed Rush Limbaugh was going into a break. A commercial about an adjustable bed. Local traffic and the forecast. Snarled intersections and cold weather reporting. Expect an even whiter Christmas. Several inches whiter. Maybe more. A cold front moving in and more precipitation at higher elevations.

"Can we listen to something else?" I said.

He suppressed a huff and pressed the FM button. This was his car so nothing on the FM dial was pre-set. He hit "scan."

He frowned. "Punch it when you hear something you like."

I passed on Gene Autry and Rudolph. The song brought an ache for the children. Especially David who still believed in Santa and reindeer. At the next station, José Feliciano was down to his last Feliz Navidad. On the left side of the dial, the local Christian station played yet another version of "Silent Night." I couldn't stay there because of the guilt of what we were doing.

Paul McCartney said the mood was right and the spirit was up and he was simply having a wonderful Christmastime. I wished I could say the same. The band Journey sang "Don't Stop Believin'," but I had stopped long ago, at least concerning our marriage. This was not how we planned it twenty years ago, though the snowstorm felt similar. Twenty Christmas Eves after I walked the aisle in a dress my mother and I had picked out, I was wearing jeans, an old T-shirt, and an overcoat, cruising in sneakers down the slippery road to a no-fault divorce.

Three children and the bird would live with me (a dog made too much mess and Jacob is allergic to cats), and he would move into an apartment after the New Year. Jacob promised to stay involved. There wasn't another woman, as far as I knew, as far as he would let on. That wasn't our problem. The problems were much deeper than infidelity.

I hit the button on singer Imogen Heap. Nothing at all about Christmas. Just quirky music and a synthesized voice that took my mind off the present, which is supposed to be a gift, I know. I've heard that.

"I'm done with this road," Jacob said. "I'm taking the shortcut."

"Over the hill? In this weather?" Two interrogatives to his one statement of fact.

"It'll cut the travel in half. Nobody takes County Line anymore."

"Don't you think we should stay where they've plowed?"

He ignored my entreaty and turned left sharply. The rear of the car slid to the right. I grabbed the door handle instinctively as he corrected. He gave the ,Jacob head shake, and with shake you get eye roll and a sigh on the side.

"Trust me for once, will you?" he said.

I wanted to bring up a million little ways I've tried to trust him. A million little ways I've been let down. For twenty years I've searched for reasons to place my trust squarely on his shoulders. But how do you trust someone who has failed at the life you wanted? There were flashes of caring, a dozen roses to say "I'm sorry," but the roses wilted and died. And then we started on this direction, him on the Interstate and me on the Frontage Road, separate but still traveling in a semblance of the same direction. Two moons orbiting the same planet, rarely intersecting.

"I don't want the kids going to our funeral," I muttered.

He slammed on the brakes and I yelped as we went into another slide. Passive-aggressive driving is his specialty.

"Fine, I'll turn around."

Both hands to my head, tears welling, I hit the power button on the radio and heard myself say, "No, just keep going."

* * *

County Line Road used to be one of my favorite drives. In summer when the hills were in lull bloom and Becca was little, I would take the shortcut over the mountain to show her how other people lived—not jammed into houses so close you couldn't breathe, but on long, flowering acres with roaming cows, horses enjoying fresh pasture, and people living less like hamsters on wheels and more close to the earth. As a child, I dreamed of living on a horse farm, riding them every day, cleaning stalls, feeding them oats and apples. But those dreams died a slow death, four hooves sticking out of the frozen snow, along with the dream about a happy family, a good marriage, fulfillment, purpose, and a lifelong love.

Jacob flicked on the radio as we ascended, obviously disturbed by silence again. Santa sightings by the chief meteorologist gave way to a nine-car pileup and a shutdown on the Interstate.

"Told you it was smart to take County Line," he said. I wouldn't call it smug. Jacob wasn't capable of smug. He was more a river of indifference. Perhaps that was it. He was the river, I was the highway. The passion was gone. Was it ever there? It's hard to remember a fire when the embers are covered with snow. Yes, it existed at one point, but then so did dinosaurs.

We had been advised that it was better for us to decide on the distribution of our assets—the house, the cars, and the kids—before we went to court. The attorney would represent me, since he couldn't represent us both, but we had amicably decided the allocation of everything down to the bird and our cell phones because said lawyer told us once the court got involved in deciding who gets the wagon-wheel coffee table and what visitation rights will be, things go south quickly and the children are the ones who suffer.

"Don't give control of the future of your family to a judge," the lawyer said in our last consult. "A judge doesn't want to be the parent. He or she wants you to work out a plan that's best for the kids. Do this now and you won't have to go through that pain in a courtroom. You don't want a judge choosing who gets how much time with the kids."

We were doing what was best. We were being grown-ups, trying to absorb the pain of our choices and the changes that had made us such different people. We were sparing our offspring more pain, blocking access to the horror show that was our marriage. We were miles apart at the same dinner table, in a bitter relational chill, skating on precariously thin ice. And this was our effort to do the responsible thing; pull the family off before the surface cracked beneath us. We were also saving Jacob a ton of money, which is what he really cared about. If he could have purchased a divorce at Walmart, he would have. And he would have used a coupon.

"Remind you of anything?" Jacob said, his voice snapping me back to reality. "The commercial?"

"No, the snow. Remind you of anything in the past?"

"Just like our honeymoon," I said indifferently.

"You didn't trust my driving then, either."

"I wasn't worried about your driving."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Heavy sigh. "Nothing. I was scared that night."

"Scared? Of me?"

"Scared about what we had just done. That it wouldn't last. That I wouldn't be the wife you wanted."

"Or that I wouldn't be the man you wanted. Guess those fears turned into reality," he said, sticking the fork in the overdone turkey.

"Yeah. It just took longer than I expected." I spoke staring out the window at the early December darkness. Clouds blocked the sun and hung over us like specters, spilling wet tears from heaven's portals. Higher we climbed, into the unincorporated, untarnished mountainside. Long stretches of pasture and woods stared back at me.

He shook his head and dipped the volume on the radio only a little. "If it makes any difference, I'm sorry it turned out this way."

Out of the blue, it almost sounded sincere. I turned and found him looking at me. We were children when we were married, which was part of the problem. "I do," had turned into famous last words. His hair, once thick and buoyant, had grayed and receded in a forced march by the unrelenting taskmaster of time. He had refused to wear contacts, preferring the same style of glasses that had gone out of fashion and returned like my favorite pumps. Crow's-fleet around his eves, and rosy, youthful cheeks that had turned puffy and wan. An objective viewer would say he was still handsome in some cherubic way. But I am not an objective viewer. Not that his slight weight gain made any difference to me. I always thought he was handsome.

"Your sister called before we left," he said, switching the subject during my pregnant pause. "I told her you'd get back with her."

My sister. The Christian mother. Loving, kind, a sweetness you could make a Blizzard with at Dairy Queen. And yet, unapproachable. As much as she said she did, she couldn't understand our problems. And wouldn't you know it, she had to confide in our parents and let them know our marriage was on shaky ground.

He stared at me, but I couldn't look him in the eye. "I'll call her after we sign the papers."

His eyes were too much. Too blue. Nearly opaque. That was the first thing I remembered about him. Those Eyes—almost penetrating the soul, it seemed.

When I looked up we were nearing a curve, and through the haze and blowing snow I noticed two headlights bearing down on us like our oncoming future. I couldn't scream, couldn't speak, just threw out a hand and pointed.

Instinct. His foot to the pedal. Steering wheel one way, then the other. Fishtailing. A truck's air horn. Jacob reached out for me.

Spinning.

Weightless.

Out of control.

A snow globe shaken and dropped.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from A Marriage CAROL by CHRIS FABRY GARY CHAPMAN Copyright © 2011 by Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman. Excerpted by permission of MOODY PUBLISHERS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

"Nothing hits our hearts like a story. Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman have written a fictional parable that expresses the true pain in and hope available for so many marriages. It’s an easy read that can make big changes in your marriage!" -- Dr. Juli Slattery, co-host on the Focus on the Family daily broadcast

“Sometimes it takes a hard skid and crash before people stop long enough to realize we can’t receive the kind of love we crave unless we’re willing to live it. In A Marriage Carol, Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman illustrate that taking the leap of faith to work through difficulties can result in unexpected blessings and the promise of great reward for those who refuse to give up. A joyous, passionate honeymoon of a story perfectly fit for the Christmas season.” -- Francine Rivers, bestselling author of Redeeming Love

"Two of my favorites dish up a holiday feast of magic and hope." --Jerry B. Jenkins, bestselling author & owner, Christian Writers Guild

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Meet the Author


CHRIS FABRY is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He has written more than seventy books for children and adults. His latest is War Room, a novelization of the film by the Kendrick Brothers. He has also written the adult novels Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, Not in the Heart, Borders of the Heart, Every Waking Moment, and The Song. He has won three Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award. He has also written two books with NY Times bestselling author, Dr. Gary Chapman, A Marriage Carol and Extraordinary Grace. He and his wife Andrea have been married for more than thirty years and have nine children. They live in Tucson, AZ. Chris is a graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, and Moody Bible Institute in Chicago.

GARY CHAPMAN--author, speaker, counselor--has a passion for people and for helping them form lasting relationships. He is the #1 bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages series and director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary travels the world presenting seminars, and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations. For more information visit his website at www.5lovelanguages.com.

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Marriage Carol 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
Don’t Miss This Touching Christmas Read! Maralee and Jacob have had it with their marriage.  The final paperwork for the end will be signed on Christmas Eve.   While driving to their destination the snow falls heavily and the roads are getting very slippery.  Jacob decides to take a shortcut through a mountain pass and this is where Maralee’s journey begins. Can man/woman say when a marriage is over?  What about God?   I found this book to be very insightful, touching, and healing.  If it doesn’t make you think about your own marriage something is wrong.  There is always room for improvement.  A gentler kinder voice, uplifting words, a praise or two when due, maybe even a loving touch. If you are reading this review, I urge you to pick up a copy of A Marriage Carol.   You will not be disappointed!
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Unforgettable! It's Christmas Eve, and Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer have an appointment with a divorce lawyer to dissolve their 20-year marriage. Years of detachment and indifference in their marriage have led to a tragic end. As heavy snow drifts down the car skids along the highway toward their afternoon appointment in the city. Heavy traffic and treacherous driving conditions prompt Jacob to take the shortcut on County Line Road. Marlee recalls that same drive in similar weather conditions after their Christmas Eve wedding so many years ago. She fears they won't make it over the mountain through the heavily swirling snow. Nearing a curve the last things Marlee remembers are two headlights and the sound of an air horn. When she awakens the car is embedded in a snowbank and Jacob nowhere to be found. With no chance to survive the storm sitting in the car alone, Marlee seeks help at a nearby home where she is welcomed by an older gentleman who claims to have restored numerous marriages. He seats her by the fire and goes in search of Jacob. As Marlee's concerns for her three children and her missing husband mount the older gentleman returns alone and takes Marlee on a journey through the past, bringing about haunting memories. The present fills with concerns, and fears of the future nearly break her. How will divorce affect their children? Are they making a mistake? Where is Jacob?    This unforgettable story of a love that has grown stagnant through the years touches a tender place in the heart of the reader. Through the busyness of careers and raising children a husband and wife drift apart to a point where there appears to be no common ground. Our choices affect every detail in our lives. The authors have created a situation that is all too common in marriages, complacency and rancor. In this modern-day Dickensonian tale lessons in compassion and unconditional love warm the heart and invite us to examine our own lives and relationships. The descriptive elements in this story are vivid and memorable. Secrets in the snow play a magical role in this stirring novella. I began reading this book late one evening, and as I headed for bed I sensed a blizzard raging outside the house. I had to look out the window to confirm that it was a typical balmy October night! I awoke during the night to the sound of what I perceived to be a snow plow! Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman did a brilliant job of creating this realistic Christmas Eve! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from River North, Fiction From Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
Fabry and Chapman craft a tale of Marlee and Jacob, a married couple on their way to sign divorce papers on Christmas Eve. After they are in a car accident, Marlee finds herself alone in the car and sets off to find Jacob through the falling snow. She comes across a cabin and is welcomed by an older man who begins to question her about her marriage and helps her remember the past, see scenes from the present, and a peek into the future. This book, a different spin on Dicken's A Christmas Carol, is interesting. It encourages readers to work at repairing their own marriages instead of opting for divorce. I liked the way it showed how Marlee's and Jacob's divorce wouldn't just impact them and their children, but their extended family as well. I also liked the way it provided hope for ailing marriages. I think I would have liked this book more if it were longer. It was predictable and felt a little rushed. It is a small book, so I knew even before beginning it that it was a short story. I think it would have had more of an impact if readers had more time to identify with the characters struggles in their marriage before the accident. We get glimpses of why their marriage is in trouble, but it would have been more powerful to have more time with the characters. It also would have been nice to see more of Jacob's perspective on why he was pursuing the divorce. Overall, I enjoyed this book. The message is clear, that even when the marriage seems dead, there is always hope. I do think it was good that the authors made it clear that this ailing marriage was due to unhappiness and not to abuse or infidelity, which makes a difference in the consideration of divorce. If you are looking for a short, feel good story, you might enjoy this one. Fabry and Chapman are excellent authors with nice writing styles. I would love to read another, longer book from them. I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great holiday read! This could easily be read in one day. The author captured my attention and I could not put it down. Inspires us to look at our own marriage and fight for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MrsYr More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one afternoon. I plan to purchase a hard copy to have as a coffee table read.
sharonka322 More than 1 year ago
Considering the Power of Gary Chapman and Chris Fabry, i think i was expecting a lot more, more theology, more depth. There isn't any. This is a light Christian fiction story, would be great for a women's bible study, women who aren't into incredibly deep bible discussions but do look for God's hand in their lives. Includes bible study questions in the back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chris Fabry's latest story is an easy read with a lot of underlying power. Marlee and Jacob could be any couple who have allowed themselves to become numb to each other. And the choices we make do set the snowstorm in motion. Read A Marriage Carol, and find those pieces of yourself that need to change. Let the melting snow show the truth. Rekindle your love! And if you don't have a lot of hope, I think Chris has enough hope for you to hold onto.
fuzzmom More than 1 year ago
Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer are on the road toward a divorce....literally. Driving through the snow on the way to a meeting with a lawyer to dissolve their marriage of 20 years. There is an accident, and things change. Marlee has an experience that changes her. But is it real? With a clever nod to Dickens, Marlee sees her past, present and future in melting bowls of snow. She realizes that she shares the blame for their "failed" marriage. However, there is hope and possibility for change. No little boy to fetch the Christmas goose, but perhaps a future.
TheReadersCove More than 1 year ago
The snow, falling so thickly, they can barely see the road. The husband, worried that they won¿t reach the divorce attorney¿s before closing, decides to take a short cut. It¿s Christmas Eve, their anniversary and the children are at home. Hope, lost in an ocean of despair, is long forgotten. Numbness is already settling in. What happens could easily be someone¿s reality. Is the future certain or is there yet time to change. A devastating accident or was it? Time shifts and perhaps another chance. Despair, hope, devastation they all surface in one unexplainable night. This story, vividly written and emotionally engaging, will reach the tender places in your heart. It will linger in your thoughts, influence your choices, and offers valuable lessons for each of us.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
On the Anniversary of their marriage, 20 years ago, Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer [Love the twist on names] are heading out to a Divorce Lawyer. Marlee mentions what she thinks about a lawyer being open on Christmas Eve..."must be divorced?" Jacob decides to head down a faster road, and Marlee states the obvious...I "told you so" as they go slipping and sliding. When Marlee awakes she can't find Jacob and goes toward a house with a light. How appropriate that the house is a former "Funeral Home" and now a "Marriage Retreat"! Excellent!!! There is a strong message of following God and not going blindly into the World. That grass always looks greener on the other side. Oh how very true!! What a delightful twist on Dickens Christmas Carol!! You won't be able to put this one down until it is finished! It is a very fast, but excellent read. Don't let the size of this one put you off, you won't regret it! I received this book from Netgalley and Moody Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it! I would and will recommend this book to all of my friends. Jeannie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!!
bp0602 More than 1 year ago
On Christmas Eve Jake and Marlee Ebenezer are driving in a snow storm to sign divorce papers after 20 years of marriage. On the drive they have an accident due to the terrible storm. Marlee goes looking for her husband and ends up at the home of an elderly man named Jay. Marlee experiences the ghosts of Marriage Past, Marriage Present, and Marriage Future (like from Dickens' A Christmas Carol). She learns some valuable lessons from the older gentleman, his wife, and the snow. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and highly recommend it to you. It will really make you think about the choices you make in marriage as well as in life in general. As I was listening I thought how valuable it would be if couples considering divorce would have an opportunity like Marlee had to remember and see the impact their choice will have. I think it is a good book for anyone because of the insight it provides on life, how our choices matter and the importance of remembering the past. This audio version is read by one of the authors, Chris Fabry. He did a great job narrating the story. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this audiobook free from the christianaudio Reviewers Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
harstan More than 1 year ago
Two decades of marriage that began on Christmas Eve is ironically ending on Christmas Eve. The relationship between Marlee and Jacob Ebenezer is colder than the wintry weather outside the car they share on their way to see the divorce lawyer to sign the final papers. Both worry about telling their three kids though they agree to say nothing until after the holidays. Driving on the road to the attorney leads to a fight as Marlee feels with the snow and ice they should remain on the main road while Jacob chooses a shortcut. On a curve with headlines bearing down on them, Jacob loses control. Marlee awakes alone and frozen; Jacob is nowhere in sight; her cellphone fails to work. She leaves the car looking for Jacob but sees lights so heads there. An elderly man Jay opens the door allowing the shivering Marlee to warm up, but he insists no other visitor has arrived. He searches for Jacob but fails to find him. Marlee and the couples' retreat center owner chat while his wife rests upstairs thinking about God and marriage. As her host goes to check on his wife, Marlee sees her past and present through her loving family members, and a future path with two choices. Paying obvious homage to Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman provide an engaging family fantasy that starts off with an emotional question of "When do we tell the kids?" An entertaining parable, the story line focuses on the importance of honesty communicating as the key fuels to maintain loving relationships. Although the cast is never deeply developed beyond relational roles, readers will appreciate this fun contemporary version of the classic. Harriet Klausner
Jenscorner More than 1 year ago
An interesting twist on A Christmas Carol. The story was well told and reminds you that a "live-long love is worth fighting for". I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves A Christmas Carol.
anemulligan More than 1 year ago
A Marriage Carol is a delightful fantasy mixed with a generous heaping of truth. A story of trust, unconditional love, and the choice to let love grown again, and written in the style of A Christmas Carol, it's the perfect book to put on your Christmas giving list. Novel Journey and I highly recommend it.
inparadise More than 1 year ago
With characters named Marlee and Jacob, you might assume this was a "typical" Christmas story, perhaps a takeoff on A Christmas Carol. Wel, there is definitely a nod to Dickens, but Marlee and Jacob are a married couple on their way to sign the papers for their divorce. It's Christmas Eve, and a shortcut on an icy road during a snowstorm changes everything, forcing them to examine how their marriage went from happily ever after to irreconcilable differences. It's a lovely little book, reminding us of the value of being open, honest, and willing to face the truth in our relationships. And it shows us the power of unconditional love. This should be required reading for anyone who is thinking of marrying, is married, but most especially, for anyone whose marriage is in trouble and in danger of divorce.