Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Christmas Note... a book review


I just finished my first book of the Christmas season, The Christmas Note by Donna VanLiere.  What a wonderful, uplifting story to usher in the Advent season!

Gretchen Daniels and her two young children have just moved into a condo near her mother to build a new life for her and her family.  On her second day in her new home, a wearied and impatient man knocks on her door looking for the daughter of one of his apartment tenants who has died.  He leaves the information with Gretchen and leaves it to her to break the news to Melissa, her quiet and timid single neighbor, that she has one week to clean out her mother's apartment.

Gretchen offers to help Melissa clean out her mother's apartment.  As they work side-by-side, Gretchen finds a note written to Melissa.  A note that will change her life forever.  As she tries to make sense of the incomplete note and its implications, Melissa only remembers her mother's drinking and carousing nature during her growing up years.  What could her mom offer to her.... after her passing?

An unlikely friendship forms between the two women as they encourage each other through life's challenges.  Just as Melissa lives alone and always keeps to herself, Gretchen is awaiting the time when her wounded soldier/husband is able to return home.  He was critically injured on September 15th in a bomb blast in Afghanistan while playing kickball with the local children. 

Click HERE to reach Chapter 1 and 2!

This is a story of forgiveness, hope, and redemption.  I loved how Donna weaves God's faithfulness through the storyline... Melissa's loving neighbor when she was a child, Mrs. Schweiger's daily prayers for her, and Gretchen's willingness to "come alongside" her during her darkest days.

This is a wonderful book to remind each of us to really 'see' our neighbor and to walk with those around us through their valleys and rejoice with them on the hilltops.  At first I was taken aback by how Donna VanLiere wrote each chapter from the point of view of either Gretchen or Melissa.  As I continued reading, I loved the way that each chapter gave you and insight into their thoughts, feelings, and motivations of each person.  Just like an aside in theater, it drew me into the story... these are not just characters in a book, but "friends" you can relate to.

The Christmas Note is the newest edition in the Christmas Hope Series.  For other books in the series, click here.  I am looking forward to reading them all!

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of The Christmas Note Thomas Nelson Publishers
and the BookSneeze program for my honest review.




  1. Sounds like a great book.
    Stopping by from the Blog Hop.

  2. Sounds like a great book. I like stories of inspiration where average people step up and help their neighbors or those that need it. Helps me feel a little better about the world we live in.

    Heather From and Mommy Only Has 2 Hands!


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