Monday, September 21, 2009

One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson - REVIEWED

Christmas is a season focused on love. Family traditions are so enmeshed with this particular holiday, that people will go to extraordinary lengths to create the “perfect” Christmas gathering. Myra Johnson realizes this great truth as well as the fact that no matter how hard we try, we are never able to achieve that perfect blend of family harmony we long for. Life just gets in the way. Selfish choices and wrong decisions drive us far from the truth of Christ’s great gift of love. Myra’s debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas realistically captures these truths amid a family longing for one more love-filled holiday together.

One Imperfect Christmas focuses on Natalie Pearce, her husband Daniel and their daughter Lissa. Natalie and Daniel’s marriage has survived the grueling schedule demanded of a high-school sports coach for years. However, when Natalie’s mother suffers a massive stroke Natalie reacts by pulling away from her family all together. Daniel begins to look to new job possibilities to deliver him from the stress of his wife’s emotional abandonment and his daughter’s rebellious behavior. The results are devastating. Can her marriage be salvaged? Will her daughter’s rebellion ever resolve itself? Will Daniel ever understand the guilt she feels?

One Imperfect Christmas is a realistic look at family life and what it means to love and forgive one another. This is an emotionally charged story, and at times, becomes difficult to read emotionally. Yet I think it’s important that everyone takes a close look at their family and the expectations and limitations we often place upon each other in our effort to create that “perfect” family. Love is not about the fulfillment of our every dream and desire. Instead, it is about loving one another despite our faults and failures and persevering through the storms of life that are certain to come to all of us. God’s grace and mercy are enough to give each of us the strength to love one another as we should, no matter the circumstances.

This is not a light read by any means, but the truth conveyed within the pages is powerful and life-changing. I think this is an amazing debut novel, and I think we have a lot to look forward to from the pen of Myra Johnson! One Imperfect Christmas should be on every reader’s gift list.

Award-winning author Myra Johnson’s debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas, is slated for a September 2009 release from Abingdon Press. She is currently at work on her second novel for Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line.

Autumn Rains, the first of three Heartsong Presents contemporary romances set in Missouri, won the coveted Romance Writers of America Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance in 2005.

A pre-published version of One Imperfect Christmas took first place, Mainstream with Romantic Elements, in the 2008 Winter Rose Contest, sponsored by the Yellow Rose Chapter of RWA.


SmilingSally said...

It is a good read.

Myra Johnson said...

Just found this! Thank you so very much for your thoughtful comments about my novel and for recommending it to your blog readers!