Evergreen: A Christiansen Winter Novella

Evergreen: A Christiansen Winter Novella

by Susan May Warren

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An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn’t be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He’s sure she’ll love it. What’s more romantic than Christmas in Paris?

Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then—because disasters strike in threes—an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.

As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid’s marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496400109
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2014
Series: Christiansen Family Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 341,847
File size: 2 MB

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Evergreen: A Christiansen Winter Novella 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
It was a joy to visit the Christiansen family again! Ingrid and John are the heart of the family and learning more about their personal dreams and heartaches was just as emotional as the other books in the series. I loved the theme of unconditional love for family as their teenage nephew Romeo joined them. Ingrid and John both approached his care differently with fears and pain lingering from the past and struggled to become united in their efforts. Most fascinating to me was how each dealt with the emotions of having an empty nest, since I haven't experienced that yet. This is a wonderfully cozy book that captures the ups and downs that feelings during the Christmas season can bring... along with a sweet dose of humor and romance. (Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
4Gazpacho More than 1 year ago
The Christiansen family, like the rest of us, go through seasons in their lives. It's now Mom and Dad Christiansen's turn in this heartwarming series to face their own seasonal shift. For Ingrid Christiansen, this season or stage seems to offer more challenges than usual. All six of her children are scattered, living on their own or experiencing newlywed life for the first time. Yet her sons Owen and Casper are at odds with each other and she desperately wants to do something to fix her brood. She just isn't ready for the empty nest yet. And there's another secret fear that she holds close to her heart, unwilling to even think about it much less tell anyone, even John--especially John, about it. So when Ingrid's sister breaks a sixteen-year silence and asks her to take care of her son until Thanksgiving, Ingrid snatches the opportunity to once again mother a hurting boy. John Christiansen was eagerly looking forward to a new season in his life with his wife. He envisioned a variety of activities, including a surprise trip to Europe to renew their vows, then travel on to Prague to visit their youngest daughter at the university there for Christmas. He looked on the "empty nest" as an exciting new adventure to relish and even re-kindle some spark in their relationship. What relationship couldn't use a little more sparkle? But to his surprise, Ingrid didn't share his enthusiasm at all. When the family dog, Butterscotch, became deathly ill and needed surgery, he had to give up the surprise trip to pay for the aging dog's operation. That was when he finally woke up to the struggle Ingrid was experiencing. Not that he fully understood what she was feeling, but when his nephew arrived for a short stay, he saw her issues visibly with this new opportunity to mother someone. All John could think of was his desire to protect her from getting hurt again when this nephew had to leave. Unfortunately, Ingrid did not want his protection. The one word that comes to mind as I think back over this book is nostalgia. In the previous book of this series, focus has been on the six Christiansen sons and daughters as they reached adulthood and found their purpose in life. Now it is Ingrid and John's stage that is in focus. Their period of adjustment to a new phase in their married life is what makes this novella a classic. And yet the story is not over because Owen and Casper have yet to settle their differences and find their way. So this story is as much about looking forward as it is about the present. It is the scope of this series that is attractive to me. I also love this author's use of symbolism in this book. The evergreen symbol encapsulates the purpose of the phase in the family's life. It is beautifully written. "We love living in the north because the seasons are ever changing. But there also remains a constant. It's a miracle how, when an evergreen burns, the pinecones burst open, dropping seeds into the fertile soil of the charred land. Saplings now edge our property, sprouts of green against the white landscape. In the wake of good-byes, life endures. Even flourishes." For those of us in this stage it offers up a hope for the future, a new way of thinking about the transition of our lives, and encouragement to press on--together, if at all possible. Another thing I took away from this novella was that in life there are times that will take us by surprise, challenge us, cause us to question our direction, and offer us new perspectives. It's ok to struggle through these shifts, and easier if we decide to face these new facets together, and in faith in God, rather than fighting the shifting relationship along with the other challenges. This book is a beautiful addition to an already wonderful, touching series. I highly recommend it. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. through their Blog 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.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Evergreen," a Christiansen winter novella is a delightful story set during the Christmas holiday season in Minnesota. John and Ingrid's marriage has been strained and John envisions a trip to Europe to ease the tensions. Ingrid commits to chairing the live Nativity for church this year. Their old dog Butter gets ill and their nephew, Romeo, comes to live with them, so things don't turn out quite like John expects. The story deals with the emotions of the "empty nest". It is a beautiful Christmas story.
Maciemollysdad More than 1 year ago
Another excellent Susan May Warren book from the Christiansen Family series!! As always the writing here is top notch & the characters are so believable. As with all of Warren's other books I found it hard to put this one down. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series in the coming weeks. I hope that at some point they start making Susan May Warren's books into movies!!
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
What happens when you read 6 books about 6 different siblings? I started to wonder about the parents. Luckily I had this book in my TBR pile. This book gave me insight to where these kids came from and how they might turn up in a few years. Anyone that has moved out of their parents house can relate to going home for the holidays. Well this year no one can make it home. This leaves Ingrid and John alone and they each have different ideas for the perfect holiday. I am a pet mom and I can relate to emergency surgery, so I know how stressful that can be. The writer has a certain way of writing about people that seem real. They face real issues. The pivotal point of their relationship was based on the lose of a baby (stillborn or in the womb). Any woman that has gone through this can easily relate, and can feel for the characters loss. I wanted them to make up and move past this horrible thing that happened to them. With God anything is possible. I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.
RachsRamblings More than 1 year ago
I'm not a fan of novellas, but I thought I'd give this one a try. I'm thrilled that I did. Several life lessons are woven in a beautiful short story. The characters seem so real, and this book pulled me in from the start. The storyline is a totally believable one...and I venture to say most of us can relate to parts of this story. The story of how two partners in a marriage find that somewhere along the way they lost sight of God and each other. This book was a treat to read. "... Our children are destined to leave us from the moment they're born. And the paths they walk are theirs, not ours. We can only give them a place to come home, stop in, find comfort. But we can't walk their journey for them. Eventually they have to stand before God by themselves." Evergreen by Susan May Warren Treat yourself to a sweet, but poignant read. I received this book from bookfun.org for my honest opinion which I have given.
Robbi44 More than 1 year ago
This sweet novella is the story of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is a story set in the empty nest era of life when husband and wife can no longer hide a strained, troubled marriage behind their roles of raising the children. John and his wife, Ingrid, have suddenly found that their home houses just the two of them and their shattered feelings from fourteen years previous when Ingrid suffered a miscarriage. Their six children have all grown and are beginning their own lives. It is a story which brings tears as well as joy as the reader feels the emotions and heartache of this couple. The year before the onset of the empty nest, their livelihood was destroyed when their resort cabin business was burned to the ground by a forest fire. This meant the loss of belongings and special family history/mementos as well as their livelihood. That was the beginning of several “triggers” that brought back unresolved memories and hurts that had followed the death of their child. About the same time, their fourteen year old family pet dog developed a condition that needed an expensive operation without any guarantees that it would be successful. This caused more tension between the couple. It seemed to be a “no win” life for either John or Ingrid. It is quite a story and it is done well. The author takes the reader through many emotions as this couple works toward what seems the impossible goal - forgiveness and reconciliation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Evergreen, written by author Susan May Warren is part of her Christiansen Family Series. It is a winter novella, 208 pages, and comes in 3.5 in her series published by Tyndale House. I had not read the first three books in the series and was afraid I would be lost, but the author did a great job filling in bits and pieces of the back stories. Now I want to read the entire series. This book opens with the main characters John and Ingrid Christiansen as they begin their lives as empty nesters. Previously their house was full with six children and now it is just the two of them and their beloved dog, Butterscotch. As in the real world, these two characters have different ideas and plans for the future, and as we all know, God has plans of His own for them in the form of Ingrid's teenage nephew, Romeo. The book is insightful as it takes a look at marriage, family problems, strife, disappointment, faith, trust, and holidays. There are more tears than laughter but sadly that happens sometimes in life. Like most families, this one might look perfect from the outside but it is far from it. There are many issues that are unresolved. While it is inspirational it is not preachy. It does stress the importance of trusting God and forgiveness. I would definitely recommend this book. It is full of real life issues, husband and wife perspectives, family drama, and has a family pet, which I always enjoy. The main and secondary characters are lovable and relatable. We have been in their shoes or know them. It was interesting and hard to out down. I am looking forward to reading the entire series now. I received a copy of this book for my honest opinion through The Book Club Network. I rated it a 5 out of 5 stars.
psoccermom More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this novella. I read it in one sitting feeling that if I put it down I may miss something. I feel for this couple John and Ingrid being empty nesters and all the changes that come with it. They are not only dealing with being empty nesters, they are dealing with the pain of a sick pet and loved member of the family. Also ghosts from their past are bringing up sad and painful memories thought lost forever. John tries to do something special for Ingrid during the holidays because he knows this will be the first without everyone home. Problem with this plan is that Ingrid other things in mind. John is a fixer and protector and doesn't understand why he is not able to fix the problems in their family as well as their marriage. Then God has other plans for them that totally throws John for a loop. Will they start listening and letting God lead them? Will their family ever be whole again? This was my first book by author Susan May Warren and it will not be the last. I am hooked. Thank you for letting me read and review this wonderful book. God Bless I recieved a copy to review from The BookClub Network for an honest review.
sh2rose More than 1 year ago
I love Christmas books! Evergreen by Susan May Warren exceeded my expectations! Ingrid and John Christiansen are approaching their first empty nester Christmas. As an empty nester myself, I identified with their emotions. Both of them have differing ideas about how to spend the season. At times their conflicts are humorous and other times you can feel something simmering underneath the surface. An unexpected guest arrives which adds to the dilemma of the holidays for the Christiansen family. Will Ingrid and John find their way to a Merry Christmas this year or will they even part ways? This book is truly a treasure! What a joy to add it to my collection! This was my introduction to the Christiansen family. I have not read any of the other books in this series but now I can't wait to read more about them and their children. Susan May Warren has a new fan! I was given a copy of this book by The Book Club Network for my honest review which I have given.
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
Evergreen by Susan May Warren Wanted to read this book because it's about a married couple who are now empty nesters and it's the holiday season. He has a secret trip for her and she's in the dumps and just can't find the holiday cheer as all the kids will not be around for the holiday. We have experienced this ourselves and try to make the best of it. Interesting to see the chain of events, very similar to ones we have had in the past. Further crises occur and you wonder if they will ever have a happy holiday again. Enjoy hearing of the picnics while watching the game. Real start to Christmas is told and the live nativity and much more does happen...Other works by the author are highlighted at the end. I received this book from The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) via Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Evergreen by Susan May Warren was a poignant yet also a heart breaking and heartwarming read. Ingrid and John of the Christiansen family are finding themselves as empty nesters for the first time and most of their children are not coming home for the holidays. While John plans a surprise romantic trip for Ingrid, Ingrid is not dealing with her empty home well. When past feelings long buried begin to resurface, Ingrid and John need to take a step back from their lives and really look at and begin anew with the spouse they married, especially in this new season of life. Enter their 16 year old nephew who needs them as guardians and their older sick dog, and you have some bittersweet holidays in the making. I have always enjoyed reading Susan May Warren books. This one I was pretty much crying through most of the book as I do not look forward to my children leaving the nest. This book for the most part has a happy ending, though we went through much with the characters to get there. I do look forward to reading more of the Christiansen family novels which are about Ingrid and John’s six kids. I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc. for an honest review and the opinions are my own.
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
Evergreen by Susan May Warren is a winter novella in the Christiansen Family series. A quote from the book jacket is “That’s the magic of good-bye….It makes way for something new, an unexpected hello.” This book is the story of the Christiansen parents, John and Ingrid Christiansen. It is their first holiday season as empty nesters. They have grown apart as a couple, and John wants to fix it by scheduling a romantic trip to Europe. Ingrid has other plans for the season. Unexpected events happen, causing financial stress and relationship stress. These things further bring a coolness to their marriage, and each must compromise and forgive the other in order to look forward to a new chapter in their lives and marriage. This short, but very satisfying book, gives fans of the Christiansen Family series deeper insight into the lives of the two who started it all. This can be a stand-alone title, if someone has not read any of the other books in the series. It makes the reader want to read the previous stories of the children in the family. This is a book that will make the reader want to return to Deep Haven, Minnesota, to meet the rest of this intriguing family. Susan May Warren is an author who excels in creating real, appealing characters and compelling issues that face every family. I highly recommend this book and author. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
inspiremichelle More than 1 year ago
Evergreen by Susan May Warren Christian Fiction Tyndale ISBN 9781414394015 Evergreen is a sweet novella. I fell in love with the characters, they touched a chord and pulled at the heartstrings. This Christians Family series starts with Ingrid and John. They find themselves with an empty nest and a strained marriage. After raising six kids, they are struggling in their marriage. The spark is no longer there. The author Susan May Warren touched on all the stages we go through as our family grows up and moves on. The characters experienced great joy, loneness and questionable relationships. They faced the same struggles I did as my children left the nest, tears and heartbreak the a great joy as we adjusted. They were down to earth and faith filled. I loved the way the author explained childrearing on page 132. “Because our children are destined to leave us from the moment they’re born. And the paths they walk are theirs, not ours. We can only give them a place to come home, stop in, find comfort. But we can’t walk there journey for them. Eventually they have to stand before God by themselves.” The author Susan May Warren did an outstanding job with this novella. I highly recommend it and look forward to reading more from this series. This book can be read as a stand along. I had no trouble following even though I had not read the other books in this series. I want to thank the author Susan May Warren and publisher Tyndale for bringing good clean Christian books like this one to readers like me. I would also like to thank The Book Club Network Inc. for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest review.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Evergreen is yet another good read by Susan May Warren. This book has Ingrid and John as the main characters. The book has several moments of “I better grab my tissues” and then finding myself laughing out loud. A good transition between books 3 and 4 in the Christensen Family Series. 4 stars.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
I adore the Christiansen family and was eager to read this winter novella! Susan May Warren is a master storyteller and Evergreen is another wonderful addition to this family series. I recommend reading this series in order, although each story can stand on its own. Evergreen is a very touching novella! John and Ingrid Christiansen are beginning a new season of life as their children leave home. I loved their emotional journey as they navigate these new waters and tackle some important issues in their marriage. Evergreen is humorous and heartfelt and a pleasure to read! I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own and no monetary compensation was received.
Jaquelyn More than 1 year ago
Evergreen is the first book in the Christiansen family series that I have read.  I have really enjoyed other books by Warren and wanted to see what the family was all about.  I really ended up having fun getting to know John and Ingrid, and learned a little about their family along the way.  I found it interesting that this book was about a couple that was already married.  We all dream of having our romance lives rekindled and I found it sweet that John wanted so much to make Ingrid happy.  Warren did a great job keeping me interested throughout the story.  I would really enjoy getting to know them more, and can’t wait to hear more about Romeo, Ingrid’s nephew.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a little bit of romance.  I received a copy of this book from Tyndale and TBCN in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions expressed are my own.  
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Empty Nest Northern Minnesota is the setting and the holidays are approaching. Since they are recent empty nesters John Christiansen sees it as the perfect opportunity to take his wife to Europe. Unfortunately Ingrid doesn't agree with that idea. To top it off, the family dog needs surgery amounting to an all-expense paid trip to Europe! Ingrid gets involved in church Christmas plans, and one thing leads to another. This is the first book I've read from this series. I think it stands alone, but I would love to have had the opportunity to read the rest of the series first in order to understand the background of the Christiansen family. I am very impressed with the author's creativity and realistic portrayal of the characters in this story. A strong message of faith and family is interwoven throughout a variety of incidents that occur in this moving account of sensitive moments in the lives of the Christiansens. I highly recommend this very poignant novella, and look forward to reading more of Susan May Warren's books in the future! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network's For Readers Only program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Evergreen**** by Susan May Warren—from TBCN Evergreen is a short story about John and Ingrid Christiansen. John and Ingrid are facing “empty nest” at Christmas time. John has planned a surprise for Ingrid that he hopes will bring the sparkle back into their marriage. Things do not go as he planned. Ingrid agrees to head up the upcoming Christmas pageant which will mean the surprise will have to be postponed. Added to that, unexpected situations pop up, Ingrid's nephew Romeo is placed in their custodial care over Christmas holiday. But this may be a good thing, as they will have to face their problems together. John learns that Ingrid heartache goes much deeper than their grown children leaving home. Will he be able to “fix” the problems or will he and Ingrid work together to overcome the grief and heartaches they are facing? This is a cute short story dealing with marriage relationships, grief, forgiveness, love and so much more with a bit of humor thrown in. ~I received a copy of this book from TBCN for my honest review~
grammy57 More than 1 year ago
This book struck a personal chord with me. What a great book. I have never read any of Susan May Warren's books before, but I will in the future. She brings her characters to life and the way they work out their problems seem real. There are many people who, I am sure, could relate to at least one of the problems this family is facing. Strife in the family, empty nest syndrome, and more. I don't like giving a synopsis, as you can read that on the book cover, I want to give my impression of the book. I highly recommend this short read. I usually don't care for novellas, but this is great. I was given this book in exchange for my honest review.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
The Christiansen series has each book focus on a sibling, the novellas have focused on the parents with the first novella telling the story of how the parents met and this novella about the start of their empty nesting period.   First, I love the Christiansen series and I would highly recommend starting at the very beginning and enjoying the family from the start.   This novella (which came out in print form!) is a perfect winter story about how a couple can be deeply affected by an empty home and have to create a new normal.  After reading many books and seeing them in the background as this amazing couple, it was nice to read some real struggle that they have as their lives are transitioning.   A novella with the Christiansen series that I highly suggest reading before book 4, which will be reviewed later today.
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of reading Evergreen by Susan May Warren. It was a novella to her Christiansen family series but excellently written. She gave enough detail that since I hadn’t read the other books I didn’t feel lost, I could fill in the blanks but made me want to go out and buy the other books so I could read them all in order. I love the way Ms. Warren writes. She makes me feel a part of the small town and like I’m a friend of the family. She gives complexity to her characters but at the same time makes them relatable. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to read the rest of the series, both the ones before this one to catch up and the ones that will be following. I can’t wait to read more from Ms. Warren and will definitely be telling my friends that this is a book they will want to read…a series they won’t want to miss. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
dhiggins4 More than 1 year ago
What a delightful novella! John and Ingrid Christiansen are experiencing an empty nest. However, John and Ingrid aren't on the same page as to how to solve the absence of their children. In the midst of this, they are in charge of the live nativity scene at church. Then Ingrid's nephew (her sister's child) comes to live with them for awhile. There are many different things going on in the Christiansen home, and they are trying to keep it all together. This was a very delightful and easy read. I am going to have to check out the rest of the Christiasen family books to see all that happened in their lives previously. I would recommend this book to everyone. I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
Oh, how I love to read a book that makes me sigh as I finish the last page—a book that gives me a warm swelling in my heart and expounds on romance and happy endings. Evergreen, a Christiansen winter novella, is such a book. Ingrid and John, the parents of 6 grown children, are now empty nesters, going through a rough spot in their relationship. They’ve both let resentment and anger build inside, and it’s provided a wedge between them. Add their seventeen-year-old nephew, a sick pet, and a church Christmas project into the mix and the stress pot begins to boil over. Evergreen is a full, satisfying story with memorable characters, a variety of emotions, and Christmas spirit. As I read through the pages, I felt the autumn wind, winter snow, and crackling fires. My emotions ran the gamut. I laughed, I cried, I sympathized and got angry. How can so much depth come from a short novella? Well, the secret is its gifted author, Susan May Warren. I have purchased her other books in this series, and can’t wait to read them. As an empty nester, I can relate to Ingrid, and sympathize with her internal struggle of loss and resentment. I also empathize with her husband, John, though he often needs a kick in the rump (In a fun, bookish way.) The couple's relationship, along with the varied relationships with their children, is believable and I’ve grown to care for each of them. I must say, my favorite character is their teen nephew, Romeo. He stole the show, and captured my heart. This book is filled with tenderness, sprinkled with forgiveness, belief, and faith. It’s the perfect blend for Christmastime. Highly recommended. Cover: Love it Title: Love it Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Pages: 298 Pace: Steady/fast First Lines: Of all the days for the pastor to expound past the allotted time for his sermon, he had to pick potluck day. The day of the quarterly business meeting. The day of the Minnesota Vikings home opener—against the Green Bay Packers, no less. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Review Copy from Tyndale House. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Evergreen is everything that we have come to love and expect from Susan May Warren. She takes us to the cozy little town of Deep Haven in northern Minnesota. There we once again meet up with a group of characters that we've come to love like our own family. As we enter the story we find John and Ingrid embarking on a new chapter in their lives. They are beginning to navigate the road of empty nesters. To say that John is thrilled with the prospect of some longed for alone time with Ingrid is an understatement. For years he's looked forward to this point in their life and has envisioned being able to pursue things that weren't possible with all the kids at home. Unfortunately Ingrid doesn't feel the same. In fact she feels rather lost and empty. Her life centered around her children but now that they have moved on to lives of their own she's left with a deep sense of grief. The impending holidays just magnify her emptiness. When an unexpected opportunity to nurture a troubled teenager presents itself, Ingrid is thrilled and feels as if she has a purpose again. John on the other hand seems resentful. But there are underlying circumstances that begin to surface that shed light onto the growing distance between John and Ingrid.  Evergreen is filled with flawed characters in need of God's grace. Through them we get to explore what it means to love and to be loved. We learn about giving unselfishly of ourselves to those who may not seem like they deserve it. Above all we are reminded that grace and forgiveness are the best gifts we can give to ourselves and others. If you have a book lover on your Christmas gift list, pick this one up. It is the perfect holiday read. It is a novella so it can be consumed in one lovely evening in front of the fire.  I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.