Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Where Treetops Glisten," a WWII novella collection by Goyer, Putman, and Sundin great writers of Christian WWII fiction have collaborated in a WWII and Christmas-themed novella collection, focusing on the Turner family of Lafayette, Indiana.  Of the five children, only three have lived to see the war, and each bears scars from the loss of their siblings.  Each tries to do their part for the war effort, whether it's serving at the front or at home.

In Cara Putman's "White Christmas," after the death of her boyfriend, Abigail Turner is determined to avoid men and the heartache of death.  However, a careworn factory worker rescues her from being mowed down in the street, and she feels stirred to help him save his home farm. This story really brings to life the Home Front, especially how the country was balancing the effects of war with the slow recovery from the Depression, which still clung to the country.

"I'll Be Home for Christmas" by Sarah Sundin focuses on Pete Turner, home safe from his combat tour in the air force, but drained from all the death he saw.  To his surprise, a little girl makes him smile again, as does her widowed mother - but will the woman he bullied as a child forgive him and give him a chance at love?  The pastor's advice to Pete stuck out to me, as there are always times in which we feel dried up inside - when you're empty, give; the more you give, the more God will fill you up.

Tricia Goyer's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" follows combat nurse Merry Turner as the front lines move through the Netherlands towards Belgium.  To her surprise, she glimpses someone who looks like the man who betrayed her heart and her country.  I enjoyed the fresh overseas setting in this story; Lafayette is still close to Merry's heart, but this tale offers a different view of it through her memories.

The authors did an excellent job making this a tight-knit collection.  Not only is it all centered around one family, but certain themes carry through the whole collection.  It's clear they worked closely together to make the details true through each story; the mother, father, and grandmother feel like the same characters as they appear in each tale, as does the city of Lafayette. I really enjoyed the historic details that the authors included; the title songs of each of the stories debuted in the year the story takes place, and each song has a small roll in the tale. While each story has a unique spiritual theme, there again is a common thread tying them together - the fear of loss.  Giving that fear up to God and trusting in spite of it - that's what we all need to do when faced with any fear.

Where Treetops Glisten is a heart-warming collection to remind us what our nation and its people went through to keep it safe, provide spiritual encouragement, and gear us up for Christmas.

Thank you Blogging for Books for providing a free book for the purpose of review; I was not required to make it positive, and all opinions are my own.

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  1. I just got this one in the mail today! So excited to read it! :) Love your review!

    1. Thanks! It was (as you may have gathered) most enjoyable!