One Holy Night

One Holy Night

4.7 13
by J. M. Hochstetler
     
 

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In 1967 the military build-up in Viet Nam is undergoing a dramatic surge. The resulting explosion of anti-war sentiment slices through generations and shatters families. In the quiet bedroom community of Shepherdsville, Minnesota, the war comes home to Frank and Maggie McRae, whose only son, Mike, is a grunt in Viet Nam.

Frank despises all Asians because of the

Overview

In 1967 the military build-up in Viet Nam is undergoing a dramatic surge. The resulting explosion of anti-war sentiment slices through generations and shatters families. In the quiet bedroom community of Shepherdsville, Minnesota, the war comes home to Frank and Maggie McRae, whose only son, Mike, is a grunt in Viet Nam.

Frank despises all Asians because of the horrors he witnessed as a young soldier fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific during WWII, and especially because of his brother's brutal death in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. So when Mike marries Thi Nhuong, a young Vietnamese woman, Frank ignores the pleas of his wife, Maggie, and daughter, Julie, and disowns his soldier son. At the same time Frank desperately bargains with a God he hardly knows for Maggie's healing from cancer.

When his world is ripped apart, Frank is forced to confront the ugliness of his hatred in an unforgettable moment of truth. What happens next is nothing less than a miracle. For as on that holy night so long ago . . . in a world torn by sin and strife . . . to a family that has suffered heart-wrenching loss . . . there will be born a baby . . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One Holy Night by J.M. Hochstetler is a powerful novel of anger and redemption. The McRae family is facing serious crises in 1966. Frank and Maggie are facing the deployment of their son Mike to Vietnam while Maggie is fighting ovarian cancer. The events of the next thirteen months will leave them all changed forever, including their daughter Julie and her husband Dan. Hochstetler unflinchingly portrays the anger of bigotry and its effects through Frank. His words are difficult to read, but the author uses them to at first define and then eventually redeem the character. One Holy Night contains a miracle that can change even the hardest of hearts. I was impressed at how Hochstetler let her characters talk about their faith to unbelievers without proselytizing. It's a perfect novel for Christmas with a story full of hope and love." —Christy Lockstein, Christy’s Book Blog

"Within these pages you will discover the most beautiful modern-day essence of Christ’s nativity, mercy, and grace you’ve read in a very long while. Set amid the turmoil of the Viet Nam War, the McRae family’s story is one riddled with difficult situations and trials that rock the foundation of their faith. Frank is particularly torn as his son leaves for a war he doesn’t believe in, and his wife Maggie must engage in a fight for her very life against an unseen enemy. Frank is still battling his own nightmares from his time fighting in the Pacific during WWII. The battle rages around Frank on every front. Will God equip him for the battle or allow him to be destroyed on the battlefield? The final battle is waged in Frank’s heart and mind during a Christmas Eve blizzard. The decision he makes that night determines life or death for two innocent people. As the story unfolds its final scenes, the reader is left with renewed hope in God’s sovereign design for each of our lives and His miraculous ability to bring good out of even the darkest circumstances. One Holy Night was my introduction to J. M. Hochstetler’s work, and I have to tell you it was really terrific! She richly captures the turmoil surrounding the lives of those affected by the Viet Nam War, and the many emotional conflicts that raged on as a result. I look forward to reading her other books, and I highly recommend this one to you!" —Kim Ford, Window to My World blog

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780979748509
Publisher:
Sheaf House Publishers, LLC
Publication date:
04/01/2008
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“J. M. Hochstetler makes another mark on Christian fiction with One Holy Night, a moving and inspirational tale of family, love, war, prejudice, and heart-wrenching loss. Though I’m not usually interested in stories set during the Vietnam war, I quickly became caught up in the lives of Hochstetler’s characters and felt their joy, pain, and struggle to either hold tight to their faith or open their heart to God. Warning: The deeper you journey into this painfully honest tale, the more you’ll need a ginormous box of tissues close by. Very recommended!”—Tamara Leigh, bestselling author of The Redeeming

“J. M. Hochstetler dug deep into the well of emotions and came up with a story that strikes the heartstrings in a tender and yet also provocative manner. The characters are so well drawn, they’ve stayed in my mind long after reading the book, almost as if they were real people that I’ve known for a long time. Being the daughter of a Vietnam Vet, I also appreciated Hochstetler’s gentle handling of one of the most tumultuous times in our country’s history. And even though it’s set during the Vietnam era, there are lessons to be learned and truths to be taken away from this beautifully crafted story for today. Highly recommended.”—Kaye Dacus, author of Follow the Heart

“Since savoring the last page of J. M. Hochstetler’s story, I have found myself revisiting the characters regularly as if they were members of my own family. The rich characterization and lush description place the reader comfortably in the midst of the story setting: the heartland of America near the end of the Vietnam War. Any reader who can’t relate to this turbulent era in U.S. history will grow in understanding, and those who lived during that time will be reminded of the division it created.Amazingly, Hochstetler tackles several big issues—love, loyalty, war and death—while maintaining a positive thesis. Family can survive. Human love is grander in weakness than in strength. And faith is, by necessity, stronger in tragedy than in triumph.One Holy Night is a soon-to-be-classic ‘miracle story’ with an inspirational message that will warm your heart with love. It is a wonderful statement of faith and a gift of hope.”—Kathy Harris, author of The Road to Mercy

“One Holy Night is powerful yet gentle in both its method and message. Set in the 1960s amidst the divisiveness of an unpopular war, a family’s very faith and foundations are tested as memories and cultures collide. Hochstetler’s “lighting the past . . . and leading you home” signature couldn’t be more appropriate than in this sacred tale of hope rising sweetly from the ashes of sorrow. . . .”—Kathi Macias, author of Last Chance for Justice

“Author J. M. Hochstetler has crafted a story that will drive us to tears but also lift our spirits at the same time. It is a ‘family’ story that all readers can enjoy and one to which they can relate in some way. Each person described in the story comes alive and takes his/her place in the order of things. The author even brings in side characters to flesh out the story and she does it with inventiveness and skill.”—Jackie Cooper, author of Back to the Garden: The Goal of the Journey

“Provocative and insightful, One Holy Night shows in rich detail how God can use the most trying circumstances to bring people around until they see how much they need each other, and need Him. This life-changing story will move you to tears as you experience the humility of a young Vietnamese woman, her husband’s desire to see his father heal, and the trials that bring them together in one desperate attempt to save another’s life.”—Michelle Sutton, author of Somebody Love Me

“Author J. M. Hochstetler depicts a family in crisis during the Vietnam years. Tenderly written and poignant, One Holy Night is relevant to our lives today. The ending moved me to tears.”—Kacy Barnett-Gramckow, author of A Crown in the Stars

“Within [these] pages you will discover the most beautiful modern-day essence of Christ’s nativity, mercy, and grace you’ve read in a very long while. . . . As the story unfolds its final scenes, the reader is left with renewed hope in God’s sovereign design for each of our lives and His miraculous ability to bring good out of even the darkest circumstances. [Hochstetler] richly captures the turmoil surrounding the lives of those affected by the Viet Nam War, and the many emotional conflicts that raged on as a result of that war.”—Kim Ford, Window to My World blog

One Holy Night contains a miracle that can change even the hardest of hearts. I was impressed at how Hochstetler let her characters talk about their faith to unbelievers without proselytizing. It's a perfect novel for Christmas with a story full of hope and love.”—Christy Lockstein, Christy’s Book Blog

Meet the Author

An award-winning author and editor, J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers, a graduate of Indiana University, a professional editor, and a lifelong student of history. She is the author ofthe American Patriot Series, the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution.Her contemporary novel One Holy Night was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year and finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers 2009 Carol Award.

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One Holy Night 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Diane_Moody More than 1 year ago
One Holy Night by J.M. Hochstetler is a heartwarming story of forgiveness. But such a description sounds much too glib, because this is the gritty kind of forgiveness-the kind that must first endure the deepest despair imaginable. In 1967, Frank McRae still nurses his bitter hatred toward all Asians after witnessing unspeakable atrocities on the battlefields of the South Pacific during World War II. When Frank's only son Mike falls in love with a young Vietnamese girl while fighting in the war there, then marries her, Frank disowns his soldier son. On the home front Frank bargains with a God he hardly knows in a desperate attempt to keep his wife Maggie from dying from cancer. With his family torn apart, Frank comes face to face with the ugliness of his hatred in an unforgettable moment of truth. What happens next is one of the most touching scenes I've ever read in a novel. I'm so proud of Hochstetler for weaving this story through the Viet Nam era and embracing the genuine, raw emotions of that tumultuous era of our history. This is a very different kind of Christmas story and one that stayed with me long after I reached the end.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
One Holy Night is about a family during the 1967 Vietman War era. Frank McRae witnesses horrible things in the South Pacific during World War II and becomes to dislike all Asians. His wife, Maggie, is fighting a battle with cancer. His son, Mike, is in Vietnam, falls in love with a young Vietnamese girl and marries her. Frank becomes livid and refuses to have anything else to do with Mike Then tragedy strikes before Christmas. What will happen when a baby is born on Christmas? This is such a heart wrenching story. If you read this book, be prepared to have your tissues ready. I thought this was a great story! Such a powerful message at the end. I would definitely recommend this wonderful Christmas story. 5 stars. 
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
The Title Says It All - One Holy Night! This is one book you don’t want to miss.  The emotional ride that this author takes you through is one you won’t soon forget.  The setting of this book is 1967 during the Viet Nam War. The characters in this story are unforgettable.  Frank McRae is struggling with his faith in God.  Why would a loving God put him through this much pain?  Where is God when he needs him?   Frank has a lot of pain, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness bottled up inside of him.  Can his wife Maggie help him to let it go?  Can God work a miracle in Frank’s life after Frank does something that I can only describe as detestable? As this story unfolds and holds the reader spellbound we find that God is truly at work in each character’s life.  They experience the joys of life, the pains of life, the heartache of a broken marriage, a terminal illness and a miracle waiting to happen. I broke down and cried at the end of this book.  The sadness, the pain, the bottled up anger, and then the miracle.   This is the first book that I have read by J.M. Hochstetler.  I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
Set in Minnesota during the Viet Nam Era, Maggie, a mother fights ovarian cancer while her son goes off to war. Thankfully, her married daughter, Julie, a nurse is close at hand. Maggie's husband, Frank, a WWII veteran, is a man filled with prejudice and hatred toward the "enemies." The ugliness of war can destroy lives. Can God restore?

The story is predictable, and the characters are one-dimensional. However, there's much good inside these covers. Obviously, the author worked hard to get the details correct. The wrestling with God is dramatically realistic. Forgiveness and God's love are the themes, and these are lessons we all need to learn and relearn. A Study Guide is included. This is a different Christmas story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gives a thoughtful glimpse into a time of great struggle for our country. It also gives the gifts of laughter and tears. You can't read One Holy Night and not examine your own life. It compels the reader to think about honor, family and forgiveness. Don't we all need a reason to think on those? This is a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ONE HOLY NIGHT is a powerful, thought provoking tale of the battles many of us are faced with at some point in our lives - war, health, ingrained prejudices, overcoming heartache and loss, and, inevitably, the significance of having a Christian faith. I was deeply moved by the parallel J.M. Hochstetler created between the ongoing battle with Maggie's cancer and the battles her son fought in Viet Nam. I was also touched by Hochstetler's character Terry, and how she used him to illustrate to her readers that our soldiers are never the same once they've gone off to war. But God heals all wounds, even if a scar remains. The same is true for Frank who has gone through so much in his life. It was especially satisfying in the end to witness God's miraculous transformation of Frank and to see Romans 8:28 fulfilled to the highest degree! Well done, Ms. Hochstetler!
MichelleSutton More than 1 year ago
Provocative and insightful, One Holy Night shows in rich detail how God can use the most trying circumstances to bring people around until they see how much they need each other, and need Him. This life-changing story will move you to tears as you experience the humility of a young Vietnamese woman, her husband's desire to see his father heal, and the trials that bring them together in one desperate attempt to save another¿s life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One Holy Night is a stunning first release from Sheaf House, a new boutique publisher based in Tennessee. One of the best things about this book is its reader friendly design. The font size and legibility, along with premium paper, contribute to easy reading, even in low light. Kudos to the design team at Sheaf House! Since savoring the last page of J.M. Hochstetler¿s story, I have found myself revisiting the characters regularly as if they were members of my own family. The rich characterization and lush description place the reader comfortably in the midst of the story setting: the heartland of America near the end of the Vietnam War. Any reader who can¿t relate to this turbulent era in U.S. history will grow in understanding, and those who lived during that time will be reminded of the division it created. Amazingly, Hochstetler tackles several big issues¿love, loyalty, war and death¿while maintaining a positive thesis. Family can survive. Human love is grander in weakness than in strength. And faith is, by necessity, stronger in tragedy than in triumph. One Holy Night is a soon-to-be-classic ¿miracle story¿ with an inspirational message that will warm your heart with love. It is a wonderful statement of faith and a gift of hope.
Guest More than 1 year ago
J.M. Hochstetler makes another mark on Christian fiction with ONE HOLY NIGHT, a moving and inspirational tale of family, love, war, prejudice, and heartwrenching loss. Though I'm not usually interested in stories set during the Vietnam war, I quickly became caught up in the lives of Hochstetler's characters and felt their joy, pain, and struggle to either hold tight to their faith or open their heart to God. Warning: The deeper you journey into this painfully honest tale, the more you'll need a ginormous box of tissues close by. Very recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A heart-wrenching story of a war few believed in, a son's duty, a mother's fight to survive cancer, and the devastating results of prejudice. One family's faith is tested to the limit...and beyond.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One Holy Night is a story of true forgiveness, but not easy forgiveness. Frank McRae¿s losses span over 20 years and go so deep that he will probably never change and he doesn¿t want to change. His family won¿t give up hope though, and they continue to pray for this devoted husband and family man. What they need is a miracle, a true miracle of the heart. Set in the Vietnam War era, One Holy Night takes you back to the real story, not the protests or the politics, but the story of a family with a son and brother on tour of duty in Nam. J.M. Hochstetler weaves a captivating and often heart-wrenching story that is well worth the read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One Holy Night offers a poignant look into the lives of one family touched by war and loss. The McRae¿s are a real- to-life family, struggling to cope with the range of emotions and experiences that humans encounter. While Maggie (mother) battles cancer, Mike (son) fights for his life in Vietnam. While Dan and Julie (daughter) teach their parishioners and community to love through their ministry and example, Frank (father) struggles with deep-seated bitterness and hate that threatens to tear them all apart. Each member of the family has his or her personal demons to face, while working to relate to the family as a whole. The plotlines combine to create a touching story with characters that you will feel like you know. Be prepared with tissues. You will need them as you follow their stories through to the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Set in the sixties, One Holy Night offers so much more story than the title infers. Hochstetler's writing enables you to suspend disbelief and enter the 60's, that era of awakening from small-town innocence to the awareness all is not right with the world. The author is a master at building complex characters that will steal your heart. This poignant tale of forgiveness and healing is a far cry from predictable. And it definitely wasn't what I was expecting, but so much more. It's a tale of Frank's family as they journey through sickness, unbelief and war. His son, Mike, struggles with not being there for his mom, Maggie, in her battle with cancer. Mike's letters from the battlefields in Viet Nam reveal some of war's stark reality. Big sister, Julie, shares her mother's faith along with her pastor husband, Dan, but despairs over her dad's lack and her brother's uncertainty. The faith journey is a realistic one. I loved how Hochstetler portrays Julie questioning God. Too often writes give us plastic icons, bearers of strength and platitudes. Not so in One Holy Night. But how they deal with the hurt is something I could relate to. And isn't that what we want in inspirational fiction? I give One Holy Night a very high recommendation.