Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"A Light in the Window" by Julie Lessman

A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love StoryBefore the six O'Connor children experienced their trials of heartache on the way to love, their parents went through it first. Marceline Murphy is determined to fall in love with a man as in love with God as she is. But when she is hired as the director of the church's Christmas fund-raising play, she finds herself pursued by two men, neither of which meet that qualification. She can't help the stirrings for her childhood crush, Sam O'Rourke, who has become a womanizing rogue since falling in with the wild Patrick O'Connor, but even Patrick manages to become a friend - someone whose spiritual welfare she cares about. However, the boys' rivalry over her drives a wedge between the two close friends. Can a rogue ever change his ways? And if he does, which will she choose?

For whatever reason, I was under the impression that this was a novella. Well, for once my wish came true: the novella turned out to be a full-length novel after all! Maybe it's not as long as the author's other novels, but it is quite a respectable length all the same.

Having read most of the O'Connor saga, I knew how the story had to end, but this was a case of the journey being greater than the destination. I could definitely understand the pull of Sam and his family, but I couldn't help but feel for Patrick. I recognized aspects of Marcy's daughters in both her personality and appearance, though some more than others.

I really liked the premise of the play, or rather, the old Irish custom the play is based on: placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family. Many people see the light in the window, but only a few accept the welcome and enter; just as many see the Holy Spirit shining in the believers, but few accept the Spirit's invitation. It would be a beautiful play for anyone to put on for Christmas!

As I am coming to recognize in Lessman's novels, there is a strong thread of passion in her writing - passion for both romance and God, hope and redemption. I'm really glad she went back to write Marcy's story!

O'Connor Family Saga:

A Light in the Window

Daughters of Boston
1. A Passion Most Pure
2. A Passion Redeemed
3. A Passion Denied

Winds of Change
1. A Hope Undaunted
2. A Heart Revealed
3. A Love Surrendered

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