SRP Review: Holiday Edition III – The Christmas Train, A Married Man’s Guide to Christmas, Orphaned Hearts

Disclaimer: The reviews I post on The Self Rescue Princess won’t be the usual style of book review that talks about all the points and elements of a novel. My intention is to focus on heroines that I believe exemplify the spirit and character of a self-rescuing princess or are on their way to achieving that status.

During this month, the reviews I post on The Self-Rescue Princess will have a different focus as my reading habits change. From Thanksgiving until the New Year, I only read novels set during the holiday season or have a seasonal theme. The Holiday Edition reviews will focus on the holiday spirit in the stories, and I plan to review more than one book in each post. I decided to go with more than one because I find I read more at this time and I want to share as many holiday short stories, novellas and books that I can during this time frame.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci is about a reporter Tom Langdon traveling across the country by train during the Christmas season. Tom meets some interesting people on his journey and also re-establishes a connection with someone from his past. It’s a lovely story of redemption, understanding and a community (the people on the train) pulling together to get through a stressful and could-turn-tragic event. Many sweet moments, a few stretching believability but that’s to be expected with a ‘classic’ feel-good Christmas tale.

 

A Married Man’s Guide to Christmas by Robert Henry is a non-fiction book of humorous essays dealing with the different areas of holiday madness and how guy’s can get through … or muddle through … them. I found some of the stories very funny and some that I’d label as having a little ‘wicked’ humor that didn’t quite work for me … but I know others will love those stories. It was a quick read and a very unusual and funny take on a Christmas how-to/self-help book.

Orphaned Hearts by Shawna K. Williams is one of my favorite books I have read this year, not just the holiday season but during all of 2011. If I was going to put together a list of my Top 10 it would be up there … like 2 or 3.  This is an unusual holiday story as it starts long before the  season, but does wrap-up at Christmas and the heart of this story is the Christmas spirit displayed through the year. It’s a lovely book filled with love, compassion and hope. In Orphaned Hearts,  a young orphan boy who is fostered by the town ‘spinster’ when his soon-to-be adopted parents cannot care for him. The pastor knows the loving heart Sadie has and asks for to care for the boy for a short while other parents can be found. I don’t want to give away to much of the story but I will say this is a ‘heart-melting’ book. I’m not a crier, especially when it comes to books or movies, but this one got me a little teary at the end. I loved the ending. Orphaned Hearts will be a book that I’ll read again. (as of this posting this e-book published by Desert Breeze is on sale for the incredible price of .99 cents)

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