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A Marriage Carol [Kindle Edition]

Chris Fabry , Gary D Chapman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)

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Book Description

On Christmas Eve twenty years earlier, Marlee and Jacob were married
in a snowstorm.   This Christmas Eve, they are ready to quit, divorce
is imminent. Their relationship is as icy as the road they're traveling and as blocked
with troubles as the piling snow. They take a shortcut to get to the lawyer's office,
on a slippery, no-fault path. She thinks they need to stay on the main road. He
disagrees. They fight. Story of their lives and they slam into a bank of snow ,
spinning, drifting, falling, out of control. Just like their lives. Reluctantly,
freezing cold, hungry, scared, she trudges up the hill. Jacob is nowhere to
be found. Her ears frozen, fingers and hands red, she comes to a house on the hillside,
built like a Bed and Breakfast, a green wreath on the red door and the door-knocker
is in the shape of a wedding ring.

The red door opens and the first thing
she notices is the fire in the room, blazing hot, a warm, inviting, friendly place
and the voice of an old man welcomes her in. There are three golden pots on the
hearth, shining, glimmering things. The old man claims that they are used to restore
marriages. She laughs-and begins a journey through her past, present, and future
that will test how she views her lifelong love. There are two futures available.
Which will she choose?

Editorial Reviews


Publishers Weekly

A Marriage Carol-Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman. Moody/River North

Christmas Eve marks Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer's wedding anniversary and, 20 years later, the official dissolution of their marriage. Their journey to sign the divorce papers, however, turns into much more when a blizzard and an accident threaten lives. Marlee finds safety in a farmhouse where "Jay" helps her see her past, present, and future and offers a new way of seeing herself, husband, and marriage. The authors seamlessly blend the cleansing qualities of snow ("Melting snow exposes. Each flake is like a choice we make") with transparent reference to Dickens's A Christmas Carol to create a challenging yet heartwarming tale that will touch readers long beyond the holiday season. This novella-combining the storytelling prowess of Fabry (Almost Heaven) and the marriage expertise of Chapman (The Five Love Languages series)-will change lives with its message "that there is great power in small choices." Chapman's afterword and discussion questions deepen the impact. This is a tiny book with a huge message. (Sept.)

August 9, 2011

Two decades of marriage that began on Christmas Eve is ironically ending on Christmas Eve. The relationship between Marlee and Jacob Ebenezer is colder than the wintry weather outside the car they share on their way to see the divorce lawyer to sign the final papers. Both worry about telling their three kids though they agree to say nothing until after the holidays. Driving on the road to the attorney leads to a fight as Marlee feels with the snow and ice they should remain on the main road while Jacob chooses a shortcut. On a curve with headlines bearing down on them, Jacob loses control.

Marlee awakes alone and frozen; Jacob is nowhere in sight; her cellphone fails to work. She leaves the car looking for Jacob but sees lights so heads there. An elderly man Jay opens the door allowing the shivering Marlee to warm up, but he insists no other visitor has arrived. He searches for Jacob but fails to find him. Marlee and the couples' retreat center owner chat while his wife rests upstairs thinking about God and marriage. As her host goes to check on his wife, Marlee sees her past and present through her loving family members, and a future path with two choices.

Paying obvious homage to Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman provide an engaging family fantasy that starts off with an emotional question of "When do we tell the kids?" An entertaining parable, the story line focuses on the importance of honesty communicating as the key fuels to maintain loving relationships. Although the cast is never deeply developed beyond relational roles, readers will appreciate this fun contemporary version of the classic.

 Harriet Klausner


"Nothing hits our hearts like a story. Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman have written a fictional parable that expresses the true pain in and hope available for so many marriages. It's an easy read that can make big changes in your marriage!" -- Dr. Juli Slattery, co-host on the Focus on the Family daily broadcast

"Sometimes it takes a hard skid and crash before people stop long enough to realize we can't receive the kind of love we crave unless we're willing to live it. In A Marriage Carol, Chris Fabry and Gary Chapman illustrate that taking the leap of faith to work through difficulties can result in unexpected blessings and the promise of great reward for those who refuse to give up. A joyous, passionate honeymoon of a story perfectly fit for the Christmas season." -- Francine Rivers, bestselling author of Redeeming Love

"Two of my favorites dish up a holiday feast of magic and hope." --Jerry B. Jenkins, bestselling author & owner, Christian Writers Guild

Product Details

  • File Size: 536 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 080240264X
  • Publisher: River North; New Edition edition (August 19, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005NFG51U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,037 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars up in the air on this one October 21, 2012
By Amber
Not sure about this story. It's very short, a one-sitting kind of book. I know the authors were trying to stick with the main ingredients of the true Christmas Carol, but making the names Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer was more corny than cute. There's a car accident, a lot of (strange) talk about snow, and then the flashes into the past, present, and future. It was a rather quaint, quick fix marriage book without a lot of substance, but for a holiday book, it's somewhat charming.

Not a favorite, but cute. For a great Christmas read, I recommend John Grisham's Skipping Christmas.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic life story! October 1, 2011
My first Christmas book this year and it was so worth reading. A Marriage Carol is such a incredible, little book and I love it. I read it in only a few hours, it wouldn`t have taken that long if I didn`t have to interrupt my reading to get things done.
A Marriage Carol takes a few sentences and has some of the same plots as the famous book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
They are on their way to town to get a divorce and end up in a ditch. The next things they go through causes Marlee and Jacob to really think about what their life really is about and how they need, want to look at all parts of it.
This book gives a person hope that everything isn't lost and you always can try again. How we need to really put our spouses ahead of us and think of what they are feeling. How God made marriage and he wants us to keep working at it.
I love the way the book brought about the feelings and heartaches of this couple. How one choice changes a life. How everything can work out if we just have hope and work very hard.
This little book is really worth buying and keeping to read many times over. I know this book will be a winner of many awards. Highly recommending A Marriage Carol for one and all. Deserves much over five stars. Buy this book for yourself as a Christmas present. It'll be the best present you have ever bought.

Thank you to Moody Publishers for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Here's a beautiful twist on the classic story of The Christmas Carol that offers hope to any relationship but essentially one of a troubled marriage.

Marlee and Jacob are spending their 20 year anniversary together only not the way most would expected a married couple to. Jacob and Marlee are headed to a lawyer's office to sign the divorce papers. Only they are headed out on a snowy evening leaving behind their three children in the care of their oldest Becca. Worried on what they should tell them and when, an argument ensures in the car. When traffic begins to slow to a crawl, Jacob decides to take a short cut on a less traveled road headed through the mountains.

As the arguments between the troubled couple continues, Marlee cautions Jacob about the road conditions and the speed at which they are traveling. Oncoming headlights suddenly appear on the dark road before they and as Jacob tries to apply the brakes, their car is broadsided and crashes over the side of the mountain.

When Marlee awakens, she finds herself alone in the car believing that Jacob has gone for help. Trying to escape the cold, she wanders into the snow and comes across a small home in the woods where she finds shelter from the weather and a kind old man who provides her with a unique opportunity to change her life.

In the novel, A Marriage Carol, by Gary Chapman and Chris Fabry, the reader is taken on a magical journey to rediscover the secrets of snow and how to find the hope to see her marriage in a different light. Some of my favorite parts of the book are:

"Love beckons you outside in a snowstorm, in a shaking, wobbling globe where there is no control, where you stand naked in a bitter wind searching for what has been covered. You cannot plan for love.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Story - Maybe Its Your Story December 25, 2011
I have long been impressed with Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol. I first read it when my own marriage was going through struggles - and it contributed to the healing that my wife and I experienced 20 years ago. Earlier this year I was privileged to read an Advanced Copy of Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett. Bennett's book was a retelling of the original story. A Marriage Carol may best be described as a parallel narrative.

Jacob and Marlee's marriage was at an end. They both knew it. They had not yet told the kids, but today was to be the end. They were due at the lawyer's office to sign the papers for a no-fault divorce. It was time, but the weather would not cooperate. To save time they take a shortcut that leads to the accident.

In the hours that follow as Marlee finds help and looks for her husband, she is also faced with her own life - her life as it was, her life as it is, and her life as it might be. It was a long night - a night that did not end the way she had expected. On the other hand ... well, you will need to read the book to find out about that other hand.

As Marlee writes, in the first person, "... it is a dangerous thing to have your eyes opened. It is dangerous to see. It is dangerous to love ... There is no barren place on earth that love cannot grow a garden. Not even your heart."

A Marriage Carol may be written as fiction, but it is not fiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 10 days ago by Mickey Mouse
5.0 out of 5 stars potentially life-changing!
I'm writing this review with tears streaming down my face. Yes, this book was THAT GOOD! It's a short read, but a vital one . . . Read more
Published 11 days ago by Kate
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Lost me after the first chapter.
Published 13 days ago by DeTazz007
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 18 days ago by fdk9735
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was totally amazing.
Published 1 month ago by deborah
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving
A powerfully written fable or allegory on how to do marriage right.. Or maybe how not to do marriage. Very moving. Short and sweet.
Published 2 months ago by Ann Stern
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Tale For the Shelves
A great little one sitting read. While using the names Marlee and Jacob is a little corny, it seems to fit within the new telling of a classic Christmas story that we all know. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Katrina R. Roets
4.0 out of 5 stars draws reader in
Great eye opening story with good character development which will hold one's attention, yet the wrap up seems too abrupt.
Published 4 months ago by JJ
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspirational story of love, redemption, and most of all--HOPE.
This is a charming, heartwarming story of Jacob and Marlee--a couple on the brink of divorce. On the way to the attorney's office Marlee's life spins out of control and she's... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Cheryl H.
3.0 out of 5 stars A Marriage Carol
Chris is better at his radio work. This was a bit to emotional and "soft and fluffy" for the subject. I contained very little "meat."
Published 6 months ago by William S. Chellberg
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More About the Author

What if this is as good as life gets? Are you okay with that?

This question has haunted me over the past few years. Five years ago we moved to the desert for health reasons. Looking for recovery in a dry and thirsty land. And I realized my soul was more thirsty than anything.

Every Waking Moment is my effort to take some of the pain and loss of life and sift it through the life of a young woman who's been marginalized in society, working among people who are marginalized (the elderly). This character, Treha, has an extraordinary gift that few observe because she's "different."

Like most of my tales, it's a love story, a mystery, part thriller--but mostly a character sketch of lonely people looking for hope. And it's my intent that you find hope and meaning for your own life through Treha's journey.


I was born in West Virginia in 1961. I read a lot, but not very fast, and wrote poems, songs, and transcribed Marx Brothers movies and memorized dialogue.

In 1984 I met Jerry Jenkins at Moody Bible Institute. He offered to help me learn to write and I took him up on the offer. In 1998, Jerry and Dr. Tim LaHaye hired me to help write the Left Behind: The Kids series. After that I worked on several other series for children and then published my first adult novel in 2008. It took more than six years to write Dogwood and find a publisher. It received a 2009 Christy Award.

My next novel, June Bug, drew its themes from the classic Victor Hugo tale, Les Miserables. Then, Almost Heaven released and also won a Christy Award, as well as the 2011 Christian Book Award for Fiction.

Not in the Heart is another riveting, suspenseful, and yet relational story. A mystery within a mystery within an addiction. I dedicate it to all who have someone in their life who is addicted. This story also received a Christy award.

Borders of the Heart is my nod toward some of the great western writers--Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry. It's a love story, a painful story of loss, a mystery, and an edge-of-your-seat thriller. I hope you enjoy the ride through Tucson and the surrounding area as much as I did.

I graduated from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. I have been married to Andrea since 1982. We have nine children. In October of 2008 our family evacuated our house in Colorado, leaving behind all our belongings because of a toxic mold situation. Since then we have been living near Tucson, Arizona, working on recovering our health after the mold exposure.

Stop by my website at to learn more about my writing and radio endeavors, and be sure to sign up for my online newsletter, the FABRYGRAM. I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, or you can email me at

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