The Christmas Blessing

The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An emotional read with a feel-good message about forgiveness and redemption. Amelia Richards is a beautician in 1944 who finds herself pregnant out of wedlock with her husband-to-be gunned down in the Philippines. Alone without the support of her own mother and step-father, Amelia turns to the only people she can think of to help her out of this situation: her fiance’s parents. Not only concerned about the social stigma attached to being an unwed mother, but also concerned for the stigma her son will face throughout his life, Amelia is reticent to tell her baby’s grandparents the truth and concocts a scheme to ensure her son gets the life he deserves.

The book paints a very honest picture of the poverty and shame in which unwed mothers found themselves. It also shows the importance of owning up to mistakes and offering grace and forgiveness. All of the characters are sympathetic, and nobody comes across as a villain (okay, except for the Japanese).

The reason I knocked down a point was just a general lack of verisimilitude especially towards the end, but it is a Christmas book. So I guess we can’t fault the author too much for wanting to wrap up the story with a neat bow.

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