Showing posts with label small town Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label small town Christmas. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Christmas Book Review: O Little Town by Deborah Raney, Janyre Tromp, and Amanda Wen

What it’s About:
Stories of small-town Christmas and the enduring love of God from three critically acclaimed authors

In the sleepy small town of Mapleview, Michigan, Christmas is always something special. In this charming collection of romance novellas, join three generations of Mapleview residents longing for love--and finding it--on the most wonderful night of the year.

"Hopes and Fears" by Amanda Wen

Emma Trowbridge is determined to give her students the Christmas pageant of a lifetime. The last person she expected, or wanted, to encounter in her two-room classroom is her childhood rival, Frederick Oberstein. He would rather be far away himself. He wants no part of cheer, Christmas or otherwise. Can they learn to see each other in a new light--and embrace a new season of hope and faith together?

"While Mortals Sleep" by Janyre Tromp

While World War II rages overseas, news reporter Eleanor Sweers returns home to Mapleview to face the repercussions of the death of her sister and her nightmare of Christmases past. But the homefront isn't as far from the war as she thought: a bomb has landed in the middle of the U.S. Now Eleanor and family friend Gideon Braum may have to choose between the scoop of a lifetime and the love of a lifetime.

"The Wondrous Gift" by Deborah Raney

High school football coach Caleb Janssen and music teacher Rachel Hamblin bond when they both lose their jobs at a Christian school. But when they discover their plans for the future are mutually exclusive, the fallout threatens to tear them apart.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading this collection of holiday themed stories. Set in the town of Mapleview, Michigan, three authors create stories from different generations of towns folk. Amanda Wen’s story, set in the early days of the town’s settlement, is a sweet tale of love and forgiveness. Janyre Tromp’s story, set during WW 2 involves intrigue and the most lovable male character, Gideon. Deborah Raney captures modern day Mapleview in her romance of two teachers. I like that the schoolhouse from Wen’s story appears in Raney’s. Each story is unique and thoroughly enjoyable. From historical fiction, to mystery, to contemporary these authors have delivered three engaging and wonderful stories. Add this to your Christmas to be read pile. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hospitality in a Small Town

A woman bundled in a blue sweater and fleece vest hung greenery around the window. Her helper added a sparkly ribbon. Down the street, several people flocked on the bridge and draped greenery and bright red bows. Trees shrouded in lights lined the main thoroughfare. These acts of preparation confirmed hospitality in a small town.

One of the things I love about villages and towns is their tendency to work together for the good of the residents. The town I live in plans a Christmas parade every year to open the blessed season. I grew up in a village. Just before Christmas, many people opened their homes to show and sell their handmade items. Folks gathered, chatted and enjoyed the welcoming arms of their neighbors.

Now when we come home in the evening, we’re welcomed by snowflake lights and trees shining along the street. A little shop in town has an open house as do several other businesses. My husband and I love to drive around and view the displays our fellow townsfolk hang. One of the churches hosts a living Christmas tree where the choir sings the story of Jesus birth. Some years there’s been a live Nativity.

Christmas in a small town is the best. People wave and shout Merry Christmas. They celebrate the reason for the season. As much as I enjoy visiting the nearby city and seeing the fancy lights, I wouldn’t trade in the small town celebration of the holidays.

Do you have memories of small town life during the holidays or do you live in a town now? Share your happy experiences.