Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.
Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?
In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?
|Publisher:||The Crown Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Sarah Sundin is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.
Tricia Goyer is a prolific author of nearly forty books, including Chasing Mona Lisa, and a speaker and blogger.
Read an Excerpt
by Cara Putman
Excerpted from Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin
Thursday, October 29, 1942
Tackle your greatest fear?
Professor Plante had smiled as he issued his challenge, as if the assignment was easy to achieve. Even a privilege. Yet five minutes after class ended, Abigail Turner remained frozen at her desk. A school project worth twenty-five percent of her grade tied to her greatest fear? And one that had to be developed and completed before the holidays? The professor called it a simple way to overcome the past by focusing on the future. A way to explore the principles they’d discussed and apply them to their own lives before trying the ideas on future clients. Didn’t he see how tied the two were? How there was nothing simple about confronting dark moments in the past that were best avoided?
Abigail pushed back from the desk and joined the last students streaming through the door to the hall. She didn’t notice anyone else who had broken into a cold sweat at the professor’s instructions. In fact, most joked and bantered like another week of school was almost over, leading to another weekend of studying, Purdue football, and any odd jobs they worked. Maybe her fellow students didn’t carry the fears and weight of the past as tightly as she did.
She tried to shake it off as she’d done over the years. She still had weeks to create the right experience for the project—at least until the end of the semester. Professor Plante had even made it sound like the students could have longer if they didn’t mind an incomplete on their transcript.
As Abigail entered the hallway of Purdue’s University Hall, she froze. The October wind gusted through the door and toyed with her hat, but that didn’t account for her inability to move. No, she could only blame that on the reality that if she was truly to do this assignment, she had to find a way to open her heart to someone else. How could she make Professor Plante or anyone else understand that she couldn’t do that? Not when it risked someone else leaving her.
“I have to get to work.” She whispered the words as she tightened her grip on her bag, which was loaded down with textbooks, then forced her legs to move.
What would her life be like if Sam Troy, her high school love, hadn’t enlisted and then died that terrible day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor? With his death, her carefully constructed dreams for the future crashed into an abyss, one she couldn’t seem to climb from.
She glanced at her watch and frowned. If she dawdled any more, she’d miss the bus that would carry her down the hill, across the Wabash River, and to downtown Lafayette in time for her shift at Glatz Candies. With the weekend approaching, she looked forward to a couple of days to concentrate on the confections that made the restaurant and candy shop known around town. Soon she’d learn the secret to making the popular candy canes. Maybe she could coax the owner into teaching her the tricks to the twisted sweet that night.
“Slow down, Abigail.”
Abigail grinned as her classmate Laurie Bertsche hurried up, her polo coat buttoned to her throat.
Abigail nudged her friend in the shoulder. “It’s not cold enough for that coat yet.”
“I’m from Florida. We don’t do cold.”
“Then why pick Purdue?”
“It picked me, since it was as far away from home as I could afford.” Laurie shuddered and gripped the coat around her throat. “What do you think of that assignment?” She rushed on before Abigail could interrupt. “It should be fun to think of something. There are so many people who need help.” Laurie paused, frowned for a moment, then shrugged. “I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. Do you have ideas?”
“You’re so intense; I know you’ll come up with something brilliant.” Merriment danced in Laurie’s green eyes. “I need a favor tomorrow night. One of the guys I know from town asked me to a movie and dance. I said yes, but the problem is he has a buddy. Say you’ll join us.”
“You know my stance on boys.”
Laurie singsonged as they waltzed through the doors. “No dating until this war business is over.” She paused and a serious glint entered her expression. “This isn’t a boy like you’d see here. He’s not a student, but a man supporting his family.”
“I can’t, Laurie. If he’s not in the military yet, he will be any day. Life is too uncertain to risk even friendship.” Abigail had certainly learned that lesson between Sam, her brother Alfie, and her sister Annie. Professor Plante wanted her to confront her fears by acting in opposition to those very fears that life had branded into her. How could she do something and then write an essay explaining how the action had changed her? What if she did something and found she was still afraid of losing someone she loved? Should she help the military boys in some way? Or should she focus on children? Would either satisfy her professor?
“You mean you won’t. I intend to have a great time with Joey, but I wish you’d come. Joey’s friend seems nice, and you don’t need to worry that it will be for more than one night. Now if something develops with Joey, that’s just icing for me.”
“Try ice on the Wabash,” Abigail mumbled. “The kind you fall through.” The kind that broke your heart into shattered pieces, like the fragile ice coating the wide river, and left you frozen inside when you fell into the cold current.
Laurie shook her head. “Too early for that kind of ice. I’ll have enough fun for the two of us. Call if you change your mind. If not, I’ll see you in class Monday.”
The rumble of the bus on State Street warned Abigail she’d better hurry.
Don’t leave! I can’t be late for work.
She waved frantically as the driver shifted the bus into gear. She rushed into State Street, waving. Brakes screeched and someone tugged her back to the curb right before a car whizzed by, horn blaring. Her heart stuttered in her chest. She’d come too close to landing under the wheels of that car.
“You all right, miss?”
“Thanks to you.” She turned to her rescuer, and his gaze captured her, a mix of sadness and concern swirling in his eyes.
“You coming? Or standing out there all day?”
Heat flooded Abigail’s cheeks at the bus driver’s barked words. After checking for traffic, she hurried across the street, then tripped up the stairs, thrust a token into the box, and stepped down the aisle, barely noticing the young man who had rescued her following with a slight limp. The grinding gears and the bus’s accompanying lurch pushed her down the aisle, and she collapsed onto an empty seat. The young man took the one opposite her.
She glanced at him under her lashes, noting the broad shoulders that indicated a life of work. There was something about him, as if his dog had just died, that made her want to reach out.
He slouched in his seat, hands clasped in his lap, shoulders slumped forward. A hat was crammed on top of dark hair that curled at the nape of his neck, longer than the regulation cuts worn by enlisted men. There was something familiar about him, yet she was certain they’d never been introduced. Abigail shrugged off the feeling. Even in the United States’ heightened war machine during 1942, Purdue’s campus flowed with men. The difference was many wore a uniform. This one didn’t. Why? Could it be whatever had caused his limp?
His glance rose, colliding with hers. Caught. He’d discovered her staring. Still she couldn’t look away, not when such uncertainty resided in the pools of his hazel eyes. Something inside her froze, caught between wanting to help and distancing herself from the pain she saw reflected in the depths of his gaze.
Maybe the pain was what she recognized.
She swallowed around a sudden tightness in her throat. “Thank you for what you did out there.”
“You’re welcome.” His deep voice made it sound like it was nothing. He simply took heroic actions every day.
“I’m Abigail. Abigail Turner.”
“Jackson Lucas.” He looked back down at his hands.
Abigail felt the chill of the disconnection. She yanked a psychology text from the bag at her feet and opened it to the next chapter. The short ride would be better used preparing for Monday’s class than wondering about the man seated across the aisle from her.
Her vow to avoid romantic relationships, no matter how casual, had not been some fly-by-night decision. She had carefully considered her course after Sam’s death.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
by Sarah Sundin
Excerpted from Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin
Friday, December 3, 1943
Grace Kessler poked harder at the typewriter keys, trying to drown out the song. Her fingers betrayed her and tapped to the rhythm. Why did Ruby Schmidt insist on singing in the secretarial pool? Why did she have to choose Christmas songs? And couldn’t she at least pick a song with a faster beat?
Grace deciphered her shorthand notes on the spiral-bound tablet to her right and finished a business letter from Mr. Dubois in Alcoa’s procurement department to Mr. Parkhurst with the War Production Board. She zipped the letter out of the typewriter, removed the carbon paper, and laid the original in her outgoing basket and the copy in the file basket.
Alcoa was America’s top producer of aluminum, crucial for the production of airplanes and other defense materials. A secretary’s work might not be as glamorous as a nurse or a WAVE or a Rosie the Riveter, but it allowed Grace to support both her daughter and the war effort.
Grace’s gaze slid to the silver picture frame on her desk, which held the last photo taken of George and Linnie together, over two years earlier. Linnie had just turned four. She sat on George’s lap, and father and daughter grinned at each other with total adoration. No little girl could have loved her daddy more.
Pain rose in Grace’s heart, and she ripped her attention back to the typewriter. The faster she typed, the faster Alcoa could produce aluminum, the faster planes could come off the assembly line, and the sooner this war would be over and no more men would be shot down by Japanese bullets over Filipino jungles.
They never even found George’s body.
“I’ ll be home for Christmas . . .” Ruby’s song drifted closer.
Grace winced. No, he wouldn’t.
Something scratched the top of Grace’s head, and Ruby giggled.
“Ouch.” Grace extracted a little leafy branch from her hairdo—and a couple strands of her own dark brown hair.
“Mistletoe, sweetie.” Ruby puckered lips as red as holly berries. “You need some Christmas spirit.”
Grace replaced a bobby pin and forced herself to smile and wink at Ruby. “I need to get back to work, and so do you.”
Ruby fluffed her platinum hair. “You need a date in the worst possible way. Bobby knows the nicest young man—”
“No.” Grace pinned her strongest look on the girl. “No blind dates. Besides, who in this town would agree to baby-sit Linnie?”
“She’s a handful, isn’t she?”
“Yes, she is.” Grace rolled new paper into her typewriter, flipped the release lever, and aligned the sheet. “You’d best get back to work before Norton sees you.”
Sure enough, the door to the supervisor’s office swung open. Grace swept the mistletoe into her lap and handed a blank piece of paper to Ruby. “Thank you for taking care of this, Miss Schmidt.”
“You’re welcome, Mrs. Kessler.” Ruby skedaddled back to her desk.
“Mrs. Kessler.” Mrs. Norton glared at Grace. “Phone call. Your baby-sitter.”
Sympathetic murmurs rose from the other secretaries, but Grace’s lips and fingertips went numb. Not again.
Somehow she stood. She hid the mistletoe in the hip pocket of her bottle-green suit jacket and walked on wobbly ankles down the aisle between all the clattering typewriters.
“Thank you, Mrs. Norton.” She edged past her matronly supervisor and through the doorway to the office.
Mrs. Norton crossed her plump arms. “You’re the only one, Mrs. Kessler. The only one who takes so many personal calls. You need to get a handle on that child of yours.”
“Yes ma’am.” Grace turned her back on her supervisor to hide her anguish, and she picked up the receiver. “Mrs. Harrison?”
“I’ve had it. I’ve had it up to here.” The baby-sitter’s voice climbed and shivered. “When she’s here . . . oh, my nerves! And when she goes wandering, well, just how much can a woman take?”
Grace clenched the cold black receiver. “Is Linnie there?”
“Of course not. She’s trying to kill me, I’m sure of it.”
Inside Grace, frustration with Mrs. Harrison wrestled with worry for Linnie. The clock read 4:05. Linnie should have arrived half an hour earlier. Teaching her daughter how to ride the bus had been necessary when Linnie started school in September, but it only encouraged her wandering. Her searching.
Mrs. Harrison jabbered about her nerves, and guilt filled Grace. What kind of mother allowed her six-year-old daughter to roam the city alone?
“Excuse me, Mrs. Harrison. I need to call the police.” Again.
“This is it. This is the last time. I simply cannot take it any longer. I quit.”
Outside the tiny office window, Alcoa’s red brick smokestack jutted into the gray sky. Grace laid down the receiver, missed, and finally settled it in place.
Mrs. Norton sniffed. “Don’t even think about asking to get off early.”
“I know, ma’am.” Grace’s voice came out choked. “May I make another call, please?”
“I ought to charge you.”
Grace dialed 4045 for the Lafayette Police Department, a number she knew by heart. While the phone rang, she rubbed the aching knot at the base of her skull. Lord, please keep my baby safe.
So many horrible things could happen to her little girl. And her job. She’d worn out every available baby-sitter.
How could she stay employed without a baby-sitter? And without a job, how could she pay the bills?
Worst of all, Grace’s love wasn’t enough for her daughter.
That knowledge hollowed into her soul.
Lieutenant Pete Turner trudged down Sixth Street, hands deep in the pockets of his olive drab trousers, his pilot’s crush cap shoved low on his forehead.
He passed Glatz Candies on the far side of the street, angling his head away from the cheery red-and-white awning. A year ago, he would have bugged his little sister Abigail behind the counter and savored an ice cream soda.
Not now. Nothing sounded good. Not ice cream, not teasing, not even family.
A two-hundred-hour combat tour flying a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter plane over Nazi-occupied
Europe had drained him of all grief, all anger, and all joy. So many deaths. So many good young men gone down in flames.
The marquee of the Lafayette Theater advertised For Whom the Bell Tolls. Pete had read Hemingway’s book. He’d memorized John Donne’s poem at Jefferson High.
“Never send to know for whom the bell tolls,” Pete muttered, “it tolls for thee.”
Today even Pastor Hughes hadn’t helped. All Pete wanted was a few words of wisdom and comfort to make him feel again. Feel anything.
The pastor had gotten him through his big brother Alfred’s death back in ’27, when Pete was fifteen. Pete owed Pastor Hughes for his salvation, for his very life.
But today? Pastor Hughes had leaned back in his leather chair, holding his reading glasses and rubbing them with a handkerchief while Pete talked. Didn’t he understand how hard it was for Pete to spill his guts? And the pastor just rubbed his glasses.
When Pete was done talking, Pastor Hughes leaned forward and said, “Give.”
“When you’re empty inside,” Pastor Hughes said, “the best thing you can do is give. Find a need, step outside of yourself, and give.”
Pete turned right onto Columbia Street. Maybe the pastor was going senile. Pete was an empty pitcher. How could he pour anything out from nothing?
He’d have to find his own way to fill up again. And soon. On January 1, he had to report for transition training with the Air Transport Command Ferrying Division. He had to fly again.
Maybe that was why he was roaming downtown. To fill up on all the sights he’d grown up with. The memories of a lifetime called out from each brick.
He squinted at the buildings, at the trees in their square holes in the sidewalk, at the overcast sky. He trained his senses to the chill in the air, the sounds of traffic—light as it was—and the conversations of passersby. But he didn’t feel anything.
Ahead of him rose the high pointy dome of the Tippecanoe County Courthouse in all its Victorian glory. Pete and his best friend, Scooter, had loved running around the grounds, playing cops and robbers. How many times had they decorated the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette or added soap to the fountain at his feet? How many times had they been caught?
The thought should have summoned up either guilt or a smile. Nope. Nothing.
He headed down the left side of the street, across from the courthouse. A few blocks more and he’d reach the Wabash River. Maybe the sound of running water would awaken something.
The door of Loeb’s department store opened, and Pete held the door for two ladies burdened with packages. When they thanked him, he said, “You’re welcome” but couldn’t smile. How could he with that infernal song billowing through the open door?
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
by Tricia Goyer
Excerpted from Where Treetops Glisten by Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin
Thursday, December 21, 1944
Nieuwenhagen, the Netherlands
Gray. The color of the sky outside the makeshift hospital. Gray. The bare tree limbs that reached into the horizon, as if offering naked prayers for the Dutch countryside and its war-torn people.
Gray. The ashen faces of the soldiers as the stretcher bearers carried them in on litters. American soldiers, mostly, but Germans too, like the man who lay on the cot before her.
Meredith Turner tried to be gentle as she bandaged the shoulder of the unconscious German before he awoke confused and in pain. The bleeding from his ears meant he had a concussion—a serious one—but there wasn’t much they could do for that except keep him still.
She worked quickly. Her fingers did their job with skill and speed so that she could get back to the cleanup work in the operating room.
Not ten minutes ago, Dr. Anderson had shaken his head, telling her their patient hadn’t made it. They’d tried their best to save the young American soldier, but his injuries had been too extensive.
She’d stood there, clamp in hand, unmoving. Another life gone. Another family whose boy wouldn’t be coming home. Pain knotted her gut.
Dr. Anderson had looked at her with compassion. He was one of the few field doctors who understood the nurses’ pain when seeing the limp bodies of the soldiers being carried away.
“Change the bandages on that German brought in earlier, and then you can come back and deal with the mess,” he’d told her and then walked toward the front door, going outside for fresh air and to clear his head.
Meredith couldn’t help thinking of her brother Pete as she bit her lip and finished winding a clean bandage around the arm of the injured German. Pete was home. He was safe. She thought of another man she’d loved once, wondering if he was in harm’s way, but she quickly pushed the memory of David’s handsome face from her mind. She wouldn’t think of him now. To do so would only bring hurt, and she was carrying enough of that.
Meredith gazed down at the dark-haired man before her. His head was traumatized, and shrapnel had been dug from his arm, shoulder, and neck. His wounds weren’t any worse than many others. In time he’d recover and return to his family, who probably waited and prayed.
While it wasn’t popular to say, German mothers loved their sons as much as American mothers, she supposed. German hearts loved too.
She’d known that kind of love. She’d seen it in David’s eyes. The only thing that pushed his abandonment from her thoughts was caring for the soldiers who returned from the front lines in the ambulances’ steady flow. Her mind stayed busy doing her part in making sure those men returned home.
Someday she’d return to Lafayette, Indiana. She wanted that more than anything. But since she wouldn’t be returning anytime soon, did she dare hope that the Germans wouldn’t get too close? That their American field hospital would stay out of harm’s way? And maybe, well, was it too much to wish for a little music this Christmas, singing around the piano as they always had in the Turner house?
Looking back, she couldn’t believe she’d run so far, leaving behind the family she loved. Meredith had thought she was too big for that town. She couldn’t wait to see what the expansive, wide world had for her. To find sunshine and worth. But it hadn’t worked.
Meredith shivered as a cold wind hit the window of the schoolhouse where their unit had been set up. The school had four wings, and they put them to good use as a receiving room, a shock ward, surgery, and post-op. She liked working in the post-operation room the best. Even though it tugged on her emotions, she liked being there when the soldiers awoke from surgery. She liked encouraging them, talking of home, and praying with them. She wanted to be the first friendly face they saw when they realized that the war was over for them. Because their injuries were debilitating, for most of them it meant they’d be going home.
There was also a wood-burning stove in each room. There wasn’t enough wood to keep the place much above freezing, but the walls offered some relief from the frigid chill outside.
At least it was more protection than the medical tents she’d been working in since July. The maps, posters, and children’s pictures pinned to the walls of the schoolhouse brightened her spirits. They reminded her of why she was here—who the American soldiers were fighting for.
She and the other nurses had landed on Utah Beach July 15, a month after D-Day. She’d expected to see signs of the struggle. Blood on the sand. Even though the beach was broken up, hit by war, there was no evidence of the thousands and thousands of lives lost there. What the soldiers hadn’t cleaned up, the sea had washed away.
From France, they’d moved leapfrog-style, following the movement of troops to the front line. There were three field units in the 53rd Field Hospital. Meredith was in the 3rd Unit. Soldiers with stomach and chest wounds who needed immediate care were sent to them first. And the sooner the better. Everyone called the first hour after an injury the “golden hour.” Depending on his injuries, if the field hospital could get the wounded soldier within that time frame, stabilize him, and treat him for shock, then the chance for survival was good.
Another round of artillery boomed in the distance, causing a shudder to move through the small brick school.
Meredith willed the front lines to stay far away and the supply lines to stay open. She released the breath she’d been holding. Her fingers trembled as she worked, and she wondered if she’d ever be used to war.
Footsteps sounded outside, and two ambulance drivers rushed into the hospital with an injured man. The wounded soldier shivered. His face was as pale as the snow outside.
“He’s in shock. We need plasma now!” Dr. Anderson called from across the room. He’d returned without Meredith seeing him.
Dina, one of the other nurses, rushed to assist him. They all took turns with the bad cases. Meredith was thankful it was Dina’s turn. She had cleanup to attend to. Would she be able to wipe up the spilled blood without shedding a few tears for the lost soldier this time? She doubted it.
Meredith tried not to think about that as she listened to the shuffle of nurses’ feet scurrying around the room. She finished her bandaging, said a quick prayer over the German soldier, and moved to the bucket in the corner to retrieve the mop. Thankfully someone had brought in clean water.
The last operating area waited—empty, silent. She moved toward it and with a swish of the mop started sopping up the blood. As the mop swished in a swooping pattern, she looked out the window at the mother and three children who hurried by with bundles of wood in their hands. They’d been fighting for those kids. For their freedom. The Dutch people had been under Nazi occupation for years, but the Americans had freed them. The big booms of the distant artillery and the news from the front lines that trickled down to them proved the Nazis wanted to reclaim their lost hold, but the American boys were here to make sure that wasn’t going to happen.
Meredith was witnessing history, and all the nurses were glad to be doing their part, though their part was far from easy. A few nurses had already lost their lives on the front lines. To the readers of Stars and Stripes, they were sad stories, but to Meredith they were Francis and Betty. Friends she’d laughed with and talked late into the night with, sharing secrets and stories.
Meredith returned the mop to the bucket. As she plunged it down, the water turned red. How much blood had been spilled on foreign soil? Too much. That was why it was so important to find a way to make Christmas special for the injured. Special Christmas music—it was the one thing that wouldn’t leave her thoughts. Meredith knew how to sing a number of Christmas carols, and she was sure they’d find more talent among the other nurses and doctors. Maybe they could even practice a few new numbers to help the soldiers feel not so far from home.
In the classroom next door, Dr. Anderson’s frantic voice interrupted her hopeful thoughts. The injured soldier who’d just been brought in had been placed on the operating table, and Meredith could hear Dr. Anderson’s pleading.
“C’mon, boy. Hold on. Your mama wants you home, son . . .”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really hated this novel this end, but no matter how long I took to read it, the end was inevitable. After I finished each story, I wanted so desperately to see a screenwriter take this to some big production company and make this one into a movie that I could only compare to It's A Wonderful Life if it were to make it on the big screen. Oh how I wish I had the money because I firmly believe we all need something like the stories tucked between the pages of the novel Where Treetops Glisten, a collaboration of three of the finest World War II authors I've ever read. Each of them as a stand alone author is truly a best selling author in their own right, but when you couple such talent, you are bound to capture something that truly transcends the ability to capture it all in words. I only hope I can do it justice as a book reviewer. For anyone who loves WWII and romance set amid the backdrop of Christmas, then you will LOVE this collection. Each of the authors have agreed to take the children of the Turner family, one that lives in the small town of Lafayette, Indiana each set to one of three Christmas songs that were written or became popular during the war. They are each uniquely different but connected so that you can transition from one family members lives as they each share their story. In White Christmas, Cara Putman showcases her talent with Abigail Turner, who is a recent widow trying to move forward in her life without her husband working for Glantz Candies, famous for their candy canes. She isn't looking for love and is trying to figure out where God is in her life. She meets a stranger on a bus one night and can see he is carrying some great burden on his shoulders even though he meets her eyes with a smile. She knows that helping others is the perfect way to get rid of the loneliness during Christmas and takes your mind off your own troubles. Is he the answer to her prayer? I'll Be Home For Christmas by Sarah Sundin, was my favorite of the three because it felt like A Miracle on 34th Street with a WWII setting. Pete Turner, Abigail's brother, is on furlough for a month to celebrate Christmas with his family before heading back into service flight planes. He finds a lonely little girl, Linnie, standing outside a store window without her mother, and offers to help her find her way home after she explains she has wandered off, yet again. He wasn't planning on her mother being Grace Kessler, the little girl he used to bully when he was younger and by the look on Grace's face when she sees him, she has no plans on forgiving him even though he managed to bring her daughter home. Finally Tricia Goyer takes a spin at Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with Meredith or Merry Turner who has taken up training as a combat nurse in the Netherlands. She had hoped that she can find a way to mend her broken heart while patching up the wounded servicemen instead. But she can't help but wonder how she missed all the signs that pointed to the man she loved was a German spy. How can God redeem her broken heart while trying to mend the soldiers injured in war to send them home for the holidays? I received Where Treetops Glisten by Cara Putman, Tricia Goyer and Sarah Sundin compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I know I will be rereading this one again as I sit back during the Christmas holiday and reminisce about WWII where so many men and women gave their lives as they continue to do so currently for the freedom and peace we all enjoy in countries far from home. The messages that can be found in each of these stories is about hope and love in the midst of adversity and I think Tricia Goyer summed it up the best with these words, "The thing about love is that it's slow to fade. It's not a bad thing. Love is meant to last." (pg 289). You can definitely tell the authors worked hard to keep their stories separate but connected in a way that truly defines who Abigail, Pete and Merry Turner are and the love they share with not only their family but with others around them. That is the true meaning behind Christmas is that love is meant to last just like Christ's love for us is eternal. Hands down a true 5 out of 5 stars and the perfect gift for the romantic or service men or women in your life for Christmas!
by Andrea Renee Cox This was a beautiful collaboration novel with three wonderfully talented authors. It makes a great gift, especially around Christmas. Earlier in 2014, I discovered Cara Putman when I read Shadowed by Grace. As you may remember, I absolutely loved that book. Well, when I found out she’d teamed up with Tricia Goyer, I knew I couldn’t resist such a treat. Cara immediately brought to life the time period that served as a backdrop for World War II in Where Treetops Glisten. Her research must have been quite thorough, for I felt completely immersed into the lives of Abigail and Jackson, and sometimes tripped my way back to reality when real life called for my attention. If Shadowed by Grace made me an instant fan of hers, her novella, White Christmas, ensured I’ll be a lifetime cardholder (a nod to former times when members of clubs held cards stating their membership). I’ll Be Home for Christmas was my first sampling of Sarah Sundin, and I’ve got to tell you, it took my breath away. The character journeys all wove together perfectly, making me laugh and bringing tears streaming down my face. There’s an innocent quality to her work that is difficult to bring across in novels and even harder to describe. This woman had a challenge ahead of her with Pete’s journey, but she pulled it off with grace, talent, and a big dose of faith, which I love seeing in books. She’s definitely on my list of authors to keep my eyes out for. Tricia Goyer has yet to disappoint me with her historical fiction novels, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is no exception. The thing I find most satisfying about her books is how she seamlessly knits God and faith into her characters’ lives. Even when they struggle to find the footing of their faith, her characters seem to emanate whatever scrap of it they’re clinging to. The journey to strengthen their faith often helps me to bolster my own faith, as well, which is something I definitely appreciate in Christian fiction novels. When fiction meets reality … that’s where I feel most at home. I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.
I got this book hoping I could read it around Christmastime, but it didn't arrive until just a few days before Christmas, I believe. I started reading it right away but didn't have time to read all of it before Christmas, so I've slowly been making my way through it since. I did put it aside for a while to finish another book, and then picked it up again a month or so ago. It was good for what it is---three novellas centered around Christmas. I don't normally go for Christmas stories as they tend to be a bit cheesy in my opinion, but I thought this one might be good because of the time period it takes place. Each of the stories were short and sweet, but nothing too incredible. I found the first one to be a bit boring because it dealt mostly with this guy's money problems, but the second one I really liked. It was more interesting and I guess I liked that author's writing style the best out of the three. I thought I'd like the third story because it sounded like it'd have more action and be a bit more interesting... but it actually ended up being a bit boring as well, and seemed to repeat a lot of things and focused way too much on people talking and sitting around thinking about things rather than doing things, which is much more interesting in my opinion! So overall a quaint little read if you want something cozy to read around Christmas time, but certainly not something you HAVE to read. I received this book for free from Waterbrook Press in exchange for my honest review.
Very often a novella collection just seems to hit the spot, and there's something special about a Christmas collection. Where Treetops Glisten is a seamless collaboration by three talented writers who just happen to know quite a bit about World War II - Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin. With its family emphasis, spiritual insights, World War II theme, romance, and the clever use of beloved Christmas carols that debuted during the era, this collection stands out among other Christmas stories. While the authors' writing flows together effortlessly, I liked that I could recognize each one's unique voice. These entertaining and uplifting stories couldn't be more perfect for the Christmas season! Spanning three Decembers from 1942 to 1944, Where Treetops Glisten centers on the Turner siblings and their experiences during the war. Characters are richly drawn, the romances are heartwarming, and the realities of war are not downplayed. Whether set at home in Lafayette, Indiana or on the front in the Netherlands, the characterization and historical detail makes each story feel real. The contrast in mood also worked extremely well, making the overall collection very appealing. I enjoyed each story and wouldn't want to pick a favorite, for they felt like three parts of a whole. ____________________ In Cara Putman's White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements---until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help. It was in Cara's story that I first connected with and fell in love with the Turners, a family who had known deep grief, but still believed in God's providence during tumultuous times. The wise grandmother, Louise, gives the stories cohesion, but Mr. Turner is a strong character in White Christmas and the mutual love and respect between he and Abigail was moving. Abigail's sensitivity made her so easy to connect with - a college student who "felt overlooked in between a fighter pilot and soon-to-be nursing sensation." Cara's story brings out how God places people in our path when needed, and I thought Grandma's words to Abigail especially meaningful: "No tears are wasted, unless you allow their cause to freeze you in place." ____________________ Abigail's brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin's I'll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete's friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he's no longer the bully she once knew? Sarah's story focuses on a war hero returning home with memories he can't forget, a man who had retreated into "numbness, hard work, and solitude." There's good character depth as we see the contrast between Pete's old life and the person he had become in Christ. And Grace's daughter, Linnie, will steal readers' hearts! Sarah's story contains another voice of wisdom that I appreciated, and that's Pastor Hughes. I think his advice - not to try to be as good as someone else, but to be the best we can be - speaks to all of us from time to time. And his words to Pete offer godly wisdom when we just can't seem to move forward: "When you're empty inside, the best thing you can do is give. Find a need, step outside of yourself, and give." ____________________ In Tricia Goyer's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, "Merry" to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that's precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart. Tricia's moving story takes us to the frontline, in a field hospital in the Dutch village of Nieuwenhagen, and enables the reader to feel the horror of war. Merry, who wanted to leave the small town of Lafayette behind, comes to realize that she is here by God's design - and there's a romantic twist that readers will love. Daaf, who worked at great risk "to save the lives of the defenseless and helpless," is a character I greatly admired. The words of his uncle are speak to us all: "Remember that there are times when your life must take a backseat to the needs of many. . . . Remember that there are some things worth fighting for." Where Treetops Glisten is one of my favorite Christmas reads and I highly recommend it to all readers. Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
This book is a perfect companion for the Christmas season. Rich in historical detail, the three charming novellas are connected beautifully, with characters you can fall in love with right away, and story lines that will tug at your heart. I love reading collections like this during the busiest season of the year. It's low-commitment--meaning, if you think you'll only have time to finish one novella, you'll still get a satisfying read. But if you're like me, after reading the first one, you'll find time you didn't think you had in order to read the rest. ~Jocelyn Green, author of Yankee in Atlanta
If you have an historical romance lover on your Christmas list, get them this book! It is three novellas that weave together the story of the Turner siblings during World War II. Sarah Sundin sets the stage for the whole book in her prologue entitled Winter Wonderland. You are introduced to Abigail, Pete and Meredith and given a bit of background on the whole family. I fell in love with them right from the start! As you progress through each of the stories you not only experience what was going on during the war effort overseas, but what was going on in America in everyday lives. The story line takes place over a couple of different years and Christmas seasons so by the time you reach Tricia Goyer's portion you have a nice little wrap-up of what the rest of Abigail's story is. These three authors did a marvelous job of carrying the characters' particular traits and nuances throughout the book. Each author of course has a distinct voice in their particular section but it blended well together, making the book feel whole and complete rather than jumbled. By the time you reach Cara Putman's Epilogue entitled Let It Snow, Let It Snow you will feel as if the Turner family is just a branch of yours. To cap off the delightful story, the authors have included delicious sounding recipes for a yummy cookie exchange from some of the characters featured in the story. There is also a reader's guide in the back which would make this an awesome selection for your book club. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Familiar Christmas Themes of Courage, Faith, and Romance – Mid America during World War II “Where Treetops Glisten” is a collaboration of a trio of favorite Christmas romance authors Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, and Sarah Sundin. The book features three much loved Christmas themes that will bring back nostalgic memories of the past for many readers and a new sense of appreciation and understanding of the past by, a new generation, and future generations of readers. Louise Turner permeated faith, wisdom, and joy. She longed to instill these same virtues in her family at a time of turbulence in a world torn apart by war. These deeply moving stories revolve around the lives of three of the Turner family and illustrate how personal loss, wrong choices, and betrayal can become tools in God’s hand for building character, faith and hope. In Cara Putnam’s story “White Christmas” Abigale Turner discovers an unexpected sense of deep peace when she reaches outside her personal inner fears and confusion to help someone else in their time of struggle. Pete Turner’s homecoming is a big disappointment for Pete; he is unwelcome in his own hometown. Sarah Sundin tells Pete’s story in “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Pete Turner has to prove to the community that his life has changed since the bad choices he made in his youth. Meredith Turner experiences a sense of serious betrayal in Tricia Goyer’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” To escape heartbreak she turns her life to serving wounded serviceman as a nurse in an Army outpost emergency ward on the German border. An intentional act of forgiveness and trust provide her with an unexpected sense of freedom and fulfillment The Turner family story takes the reader full circle from Christmas 194l through Christmas 1945 when the whole family is reunited in their hometown, Lafayette, Indiana. Warm nostalgic Christmas reading, with a balance of realism and romantic fantasy. Entertaining, faith building, and a reminder of God’s providence. A review copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.
Wonderful stories, well written and a joy to read!
I was so excited to start my Christmas reading with this anthology of three completely amazing Christmas stories! Each story was wonderful, unique yet connected, and perfectly Christmassy, which was just what I was looking for! I loved each one equally and don't even have a favorite. The settings were interesting from delightful Lafeyette all the way across the sea to war infested Europe, all taking place within one family during WWII. These stories brought the time period to life and filled it with the faith, fear, hope, hard work, self discovery and Christmas spirit that is so inspiring from that time period! Each sibling had been affected by the war in different ways, different circumstances leading up to their story and what makes it so special, but they all have their family and Christmasiness (I'm not sure if I just made up that word or not, but I like it) in common. It was inspiring to read about the characters efforts to help with the war effort, I loved the special touch that the references to "new" Christmas songs being made brought to the stories, the feelings of Christmas, hope, family, faith, and self discovery, as these characters came to trust in their Savior again! If you're looking for a great Christmas story(or three) of faith, hope, and family you must get this book - trust me there's something in it for everyone! I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
This collection is perfect for putting you in the holiday spirit. Nostalgic song titles, scenes set in beautifully decorated Christmas venues, and holiday memories make this a book I'll return to every Christmas along with my favorite Christmas movies. White Christmas - Cara Putman's story is like all of your favorite things about Christmas wrapped up together in one lovely package. Abigail Turner works in a candy store and Jackson Lucas works at a toymaker's. (After reading this I had to YouTube candy cane making so I could see how it's done.) Jackson's financial trouble could ruin Christmas for his family. Already uncertain about risking her heart, Abigail wonders what else Jackson is hiding. I'll Be Home for Christmas - is Sarah Sundin's story about second chances. Ever since Grace Kessler's husband was killed in battle, she's had trouble handling their six-year-old daughter who likes to slip away from her nanny and roam the city alone. Pete Turner sympathizes with little Linnie . Once he was an ornery kid and he'd spent a fair amount of time getting Grace's brother into trouble, as Grace remembers all too well. Has Pete matured enough to trust him with Linnie...and with her heart? Great romantic tension. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - OK, I'll admit I didn't catch the pun until just now as I was typing it. Merry Turner & Title of the Novella ...maybe I'm just slow. Merry Turner had her heart broken when her prewar boyfriend left the States to fight for the fatherland. As her nursing unit approaches the German border through the Netherlands she can't stop hearing David's voice in the local accents and catching glimpses of his features in the faces of the injured German soldiers. I don't want to say too much, but this story has a fascinating "what if?" to keep the conflict strong. So maybe it's bad form for authors to mention their own writing experiences in a review. If so, please forgive me, but I have contributed to a novella collection before and what impressed me most about this collection was the interlocking story lines. Each story featured a Turner sibling and included a lot of family background and shared characters. This is not easy to do when the story is a cooperative effort between three authors, but the Misses Putman, Sundin and Goyer do a remarkable job of keeping the events flowing seamlessly. If you are interested in behind-the-scenes information, don't forget to read their Author Chat in the back of the book where they discuss the lengths they went to in order to keep their characters and settings consistent. Fascinating!
This book is a collection of three books comprised into one. Each book is written by a different author. The book as a whole is based on the same family, but each author highlights a different family member’s story leading up to the Christmases of World War II. Each author interwove a familiar Christmas carol within their story, which brought a warm sense of nostalgia to the stories. Strong spiritual threads of faith, healing, and forgiveness are written into the text of each story. White Christmas, by Cara Putman, is about a young lady who has lost a former boyfriend to the war and is afraid to love again. It was a little slow to start, but soon after, grabbed my attention and carried through to the very end. I’ll Be Home for Christmas, by Sarah Sundin, involves a little girl, who has lost her daddy in the war. This story captured my attention on the first page, and captivated my heart on the second page. This is a story that, while sad in many ways, will warm your heart. If you have a heart for children, you will love this book. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, by Tricia Goyer, takes place in a school turned into a combat hospital, and tells a story of a combat nurse who has been betrayed by the one she loved. This story involves a lot of graphic war injury details that were not very appealing to me in a Christmas book. The book is well written, but felt more like a war story than a warm Christmas story. A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you to Litfuse and Waterbrook Press for a copy of this novel. I was given a copy for an honest review. This novel has three great authors of Cara Putman, Tricia Goyer, and Sarah Sundin. Each author wrote a story of a child in the Turner family that have a Christmas to remember. Synopsis: Grandma Louise is excited for Christmas to come each year, but with a second world war what will happen to her grandchildren? Will Abigail be able to heal from the loss of a loved one at Pearl Harbor? Will Pete be able to find purpose after seeing combat in Europe? Or will Meredith be able to forgive losing a true love as she serves the wounded troops in Europe? My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this Christmas story which is written by three different authors Sarah Sundin, Cara Putman, and Tricia Goyer. The structure of this novel is Sarah Sundin wrote the Prologue and Pete’s story. Cara Putman wrote Abigail’s story and the finale. Then Tricia Goyer wrote Abigail’s story. My one regret was that I didn’t have one afternoon to just sit and read this novel through to the finish. Something that will be helpful to readers is to know that these stories take place at the Christmases from 1942 to 1945. I was a little lost at first and didn’t put the details together at first when these stories took place. I spent the first years of my life in Missouri and often spent Christmases in Illinois. I remember crossing the Wabash River. Since this river is mentioned as a setting for the story I looked it up on google maps to see where Lafayette Indiana is. What a great setting for a Christmas story! It definitely captured the magic of Christmas and celebrating the savior’s birth! by Jencey Gortney/Writer'sCorner
This collection of stories was a pleasure to read and will make a great Christmas gift! Each story is very different yet connected by familial ties and common themes of service and giving. The first by Cara Putman was the sweetest with Abigail overcoming her fears and reaching out to someone with burdens greater than her own. The second by Sarah Sundin was the most dynamic since the relationship between Pete and Grace is turbulent and undergoing a change from resentment to love. The last story by Tricia Goyer brought the atmosphere of service on the front lines and the compassion that Merry has for the soldiers she nurses. Although they are not full-length novels, the stories don't feel rushed, but fully formed and well-resolved at the endings. (Thank you to WaterBrook Press and LitFuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Three Magical Christmases! Three much-loved authors have composed their fictitious renditions of a World War II Christmas, each based on one of the siblings in the Turner family. Family and faith are very strong elements in these three tales of the Turner siblings. I found each of the stories very touching, inspiring and filled with love and devotion. Although the writing styles of these authors vary, they have each woven a very heartwarming, romantic and inspirational story surrounding their particular character. I highly recommend this romantic, sentimental collection of Christmas stories that occur during a very difficult time in our nation's history. I will undoubtedly read this book again. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from LitFuse in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
I love books like this, three different authors connecting the stories, using characters related to the other main characters. What I don't like is I am never able to pinpoint which is my favorite story, because I like each of them so much. This book was no exception. Each story was wonderfully written and told. This is a great book for holiday reading by the fireplace. I loved the cover too, it made me anxious to read the book. The Turner family had me rooting for them all the way, my heart was touched by each of their stories. A great compilation that you must read this Christmas Season. 4 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
My Review: What a great book to put you into the Christmas Spirit. I really enjoyed reading this book, I enjoy reading about Christmas' from the mid 1900's, I find the era from the 1930's to the early 1960;s to be very enjoyable to read about, so this book didn't disappoint me on that level. I also liked that each novella in the book was connected as each one is about a sibling in the Turner family during WWII. I think I liked the first novella "White Christmas" by Cara Putman the best as I related to Abigail better than I did the other Turner siblings, but that isn't saying the other two novellas weren't great also, it was a hard choice. If you are looking for a great holiday read, then don't pass up this book. I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
I cannot speak too highly of this collection of Christmas novellas! All three of these stories are so very good! Be prepared to be transported back in time to the turbulent WWII era and follow the lives of three siblings as they find love during Christmas time. I loved all three stories and I really enjoyed how these books were connected. There are many neat things about how these three stories flow together. Each novella, as well as the prologue and epilogue are titled with Christmas tunes that debuted during the time period. I thought that was extremely clever and works so well for the book. It also put me in the right frame of mind as I was reading the stories. I grew up listening to music and watching movies from this era (thanks to a mother and grandmother who love all things classic). So, I was really able to “get into” these stories. White Christmas by Cara Putman – The first novella follows Abigail Turner as she works her way through college and tries to determine the path that God set out for her. She certainly does not believe that the path includes a romance with Jackson Lucas. How could God expect her to put her heart on the line a second time, after she has already suffered so much loss? This is a beautiful and sweet story about trusting God and not allowing fear to rule your life. I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Sarah Sundin – Abigail’s brother, Pete Turner, is home on furlough. He’s a fighter pilot and former wild child who has done a lot of things in the past that he regrets. When he comes face to face with a woman whom he used to torment as a child, and he realizes that God wants him to offer to help her by giving of himself, it makes for a very tension-filled story. Can Grace Kessler, a widow who struggles with trust issues, ever truly believe that Pete has changed? Grace’s daughter, Linnie, is precious and hurting. The kind way Pete cares for her and the patience Pete shows toward Grace really endeared him to my heart. This story does an excellent job of illustrating the way that God can thoroughly change a person’s heart, making them new from the inside out. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer – Meredith Turner, aka Merry, is serving as a nurse overseas. Having barely survived the betrayal of the man she loved years earlier, Merry doesn’t see how she can ever really get past that life-changing day when everything fell apart. This story has danger and excitement in it, as well as the hand of God bringing together two people who have been giving their all for others throughout the war. I highly recommend this great collection of WWII Christmas stories. I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah, through Litfuse Publicity, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
Where Treetops Glisten is a wonderful and heartfelt Christmas setting of three novellas set back in World War II. What makes this book unique is that all the stories are connected with family siblings. I loved all the stories but "White Christmas" was my favorite because it starts the warming and heartfelt feeling you get as you read this book. It is well written and you will love reading this book as I did. I would like to see more novellas like this. You Ladies are Awesome! I received this book for my honest opinion.
Where Treetops Glisten is a NEW favorite of mine! WOW! Tricia Goyer, Sarah Sundin and Cara Putman have presented a unique collection of wonderful stories for their readers to enjoy this Holiday season! (Personal note… before I read this book… for some reason, I was certain her name was Cara Putnam. I dunno why…) We follow three siblings on their journey through the Holiday season just after the start of World War II. It is a unique look at how the Great war affected families in our beloved country. And with three such amazing authors, it’s not a story you’ll want to miss! It is amazing to see how Tricia, Cara and Sarah have crafted beloved stories that skate the line between fact and fiction – while reminding us of why our country is so great and why we all need to remember family! And Tricia, Cara and Sarah have a way of showing us how, even in the midst of such confusion and tragedy, there is always room for the healing power of Love! I never was all that fond of the WWII stories before reading Sarah Sundin’s Wings of Glory series. But these three authors have made a FIRM READER of World War II fiction out of me! I know I’ll be enjoying White Christmas, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas for years to come! How about you? I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
Three tied together stories of the Turner family, Abigail, Pete, and Meredith, all set during World War II, by three different authors, and smoothly brought together. I love these stories, and found myself right back in the 1940’s with them. Whether it was in Lafayette, IN or in the Netherlands, I felt I was there, and completely absorbed in this read. There has been heartache in this family, but the love of God has made this early life the joy that they have found. There is mention of lost siblings, and they are carried and mentioned in each of the novellas. Do you love, or not, if you do you might be hurt, or someone could die. Yes, that is life, and you find this theme being brought forward by these authors. Enjoy the Holiday season, and especially the Gift of Christmas shown though the sharing of these stories. I loved it, and wanted a lot more. I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime siblings forging new paths, finding love in three stories, and filled with the wonder of Christmas Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana. White Christmas by Cara Putman is the first one in this collection. Abigail and Jackson’s story starts out with a bit of mystery involving Jackson and it’s really the line that moves this story forward. Abigail's story is more along the emotional side as she deals with wanting to protect her heart. I'll Be Home for Christmas by Sarah Sundin is the second one. Precocious children have a way of bringing humor into a story. Sundin's novella included such a wonderful message, about how we all have a God-sized hole in our hearts and only He can fill it. The struggles that Pete and Grace have and the ways they look to find peace, unfold with plenty of Christmas romance. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer is the third story. Merry Turner is working as a combat nurse overseas in the Netherlands to help the war effort. She's faced with a betrayal and God plans to redeem her broken heart. Merry must trust in the Lord to heal her and plan for her future. This story has a strong focus on the gifts and blessings that God places in our lives and how much better off we are when we choose to accept those gifts. Where Treetops Glisten is a charming collection of three heartwarming Christmas romances, of one family told through the backdrop of World War II and the relationships that connect them. Great way to get into the Spirit during the holidays. I cannot wait to try the cookie recipes; what a wonderful bonus! I received copy of e-Book from Blogging for Books Program for my review.
Sarah Sundin, Tricia Goyer and Cara Putman team up in their new book, “Where Treetops Glisten” published by WaterBrook Press to give us Three Stories of Heartwarming Courage and Christmas Romance During World War II. From the back cover: The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime. Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas. Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana. In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help. Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew? In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart. The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future? Take World War II as the setting, add three stories regarding the Turner family from Lafayette, Indiana, have three different authors write these stories and you have a recipe for success. This is a marvelous idea where the book is more than just a collection of stories around a theme these stories all involve one member of the same family at Christmas time. Through these stories we get to see how the war is affecting each of them not only individually but as a family as well. All three of them are wounded somehow and it takes the work of God to bring about their individual healing during the Christmas season. Each story is a standout and each author has surpassed herself in her writing. Each of these authors give us such wonderful characters that we really do not want their stories to end. I enjoyed this book and look forward to more collections like this. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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.”
MY REVIEW of White Christmas: I love nothing better than a white Christmas myself and that's what Abigail Turner longs for as well. In war times, with rationing and the loss of a beloved boyfriend and a sister and brother serving in the war efforts, it seems that Abigail does need something special to brighten the holidays. This story was very lovely. I was touched by the kind heart of Abigail and the devotion of Jackson for his family. Problems fall on each of us and it seems that when they hit at Christmas time, the problems are compounded. Readers will enjoy watching Abigail and her family assist this devoted young man in solving his problem. I rate this story 5 stars and would highly recommend it to readers. MY REVIEW of I'll Be Home for Christmas: I have an uncle who was killed in World War II, so Grace's plight and suffering after losing her husband who was a fighter pilot in WWII is very emotional for me. I can only imagine being left to raise a young rambunctious daughter alone. Pete has returned with emotional wounds from his time as fighter pilot and falls in love with little Linnie when he meets her. Can he win mom's heart too? Can she forget the brute and bully Pete used to be as a youngster? I truly appreciate the accurate details related to the war and the times. It makes the story authentic and believable. I felt like I was there with the characters. I rate this novella 5 stars and would love to recommend it to readers. MY REVIEW of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: I really like that this series of novellas includes the same family of siblings and we get to know the three siblings quite well by the end. I would love to read a sequel where we find out what happens later with Abigail, Pete and Merry. I will be honest in that I had not considered the possibility that a German soldier and American nurse might fall in love. This novella added a unique perspective to World War II for me. I also appreciated that we heard from Abigail and Pete while the focus of this novella was Merry. I can see why many young women joined the forces as nurses to have adventure and travel in the time period. They obviously found much more adventure than they ever bargained for. I rate this novella 5 stars and am delighted to recommend it to readers. I received a copy of this book from bloggingforbooks in exchange for my honest review.
I love Christmas stories. They are full of hope, as these three historical novellas were. The stories are all set around Christmastime as the sounds, sights, and smells of Christmas are present, such as mistletoe, Christmas treats, gifts, snow, and when family come home to be together. I loved how small gifts, especially those that weren't physical gifts, played a large part of each story. I also loved these characters and how they each found and gave of themselves. It was a time of rationing, walking where you could to limit gas consumption, only being able to purchase cardboard toys because metal and wood were in high demand for the war, and using everything you had. There was such a feeling of gratefulness and humility, but also of unity in heartache for those that had been lost to the war and in supporting the soldiers and hoping for an end to the strife. All of these feelings embody so much of what Christmas is, or at least should be, and were woven through each story. Cara Putman’s White Christmas didn't connect with me as well as the other two stories. The pacing was fairly slow and I think maybe the resolution was almost too easy. I did love getting to know more about the Turner family. The parents and grandma were all great characters and added much to the story. I also enjoyed seeing first love through the eyes of Abigail and Jackson. It was rather humorous that Abigail had committed to one thing only to find that she had no control over what her heart decided. Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas grabbed me from the beginning. I loved how Pete and Grace met and how cute and fun Grace's little daughter, Linnie, was. I also loved the feel of tension that turned into something much more meaningful over time. There was a heaviness to the story from the burdens these two main characters' carried, but also a playfulness and feeling of hope for what might come if they would both only learn to trust each other, and also God. I loved their interactions and the interactions between the whole Turner family with Grace and Linnie. Her precious Christmas gift was a definite highlight as was the sample spoons. I really loved this story! Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas started off so sad. I literally began tearing up reading about these injured men and these doctors and nurses who fought to help heal both their physical and emotional wounds. Merry was so brave to volunteer to help, even risking her life to do so. I enjoyed getting to know Merry better and also enjoyed getting to know David or "Daaf" as he's called. There were quite a bit of inspirational moments as both characters tried to figure out what to do. This was another sweet and enjoyable story. I especially enjoyed the end when the Turner family was gathering to celebrate Christmas again. Where Treetops Glisten was filled with three lovely, sweet, and heartfelt stories. Stories that reminded me of the best feelings of Christmas, of family, friendship, learning to carry on, forgiveness, the spirit of giving, gratitude, and love. Each story touched my heart in some way. They were short and hopeful stories, and left me with a feeling of happiness. Content: Clean Source: I would like to thank the publisher, WaterBrook Press, and Litfuse for my complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way.
Oh goodness! This book was fantastic! It sure put me in the Christmas mood and it’s only October! Shhhh, don’t tell anyone but I found a Christmas station on Pandora that is getting a lot of use! All three of these stories are fantastic and filled with a strong Christian message and I can’t really pick a favorite out of the three. There were so seamlessly written and enjoyable. I was also able to share this book with my thirteen year old daughter and she enjoyed the story very much. There were a lot of serious moments but there was also love and humor in this book. I suppose, being in the WWII genre, it would be nearly impossible for there to not be a more serious overtone but amidst the loss, the fear and even war—love still exists. If you’re looking for an easy read that will put you into the upcoming holiday spirit—I strongly suggest this book!