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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2012
Linda Rondeau's It Really IS a Wonderful Life is a delightful contemporary romance set against the Christmas play It's a Wonderful Life. Dorie is a war widow with 2 young children who has moved to her parents' hometown. The two most eligible bachelors in town are vying for her attentions while she is trying to create a firm foundation for her kids and for her faith.

Rondeau presents a compelling picture of a woman who has relied on others for her faith. She finds she must make her faith her own without relying on her dead husband or her parents. Like the Baileys' in It's a Wonderful Life, she must see the bigger picture of how her life and the ones around her fulfill God's will in their choices. God becomes real for Dorie as she sees the way God cares for her and her children, the best Christmas gift she can receive.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
It's a Wonderful Life is a movie made in 1946, directed by Frank Capra, which quickly became favorite
Yuletide fare on television. It's the story of George Bailey, a man whose dreams of seeing the world
and doing big things have been thwarted by circumstances. He has a wife he loves, and four children.
He finds himself stuck in his hometown managing his father's small savings and loan. When his uncle
misplaces $8,000, he faces financial ruin and possibly prison. In despair he contemplates throwing
himself off a bridge into an icy river. At that point he meets his guardian angel, Clarence. Clarence is
supposed to be somewhat of a dimwit, but he comes up with a brilliant idea. He shows George what the
world would be like if he had never been born. George realizes that his family and his town would have
been a far poorer place without him, and that his life was worthwhile after all.

In Linda Rondeau's romantic novel It Really Is a Wonderful World, we meet Dorie Fitzgerald at a time
when she is finding the world far less than wonderful. Her husband has recently died in a war in the
Middle East and she is raising two small children, Josh and Emmy, age six and three, on her own. She has
recently moved to Midville in the Adirondacks in northern New York to be near her parents who have
settled there. Her job search has come to naught and she is fuming over yet another rejection letter,
this one from James Sullivan of Bargains Galore. "Can't even get a job at the local dollar store!" Her only
social contacts are her parents' elderly friends from church. Dorie craves the company and friendship of
younger people. She also craves a more personal spiritual relationship with "the man upstairs." Not one
that she has borrowed from her parents or friends.

Jamey Sullivan is also finding life less than wonderful. Like George in It's A Wonderful Life, his dreams
have also been thwarted by circumstances. He wants to be an actor on Broadway. Unfortunately, his
father, who owns Bargains Galore, has been stricken with cancer and is dying. Jamey has been taking
care of him for several years and, increasingly, running the business as well. His dreams are on hold and
he feels stifled.

Dorie and Jamey meet when both become involved in a local theatre production of It's A Wonderful Life.

They are immediately attracted to one another, but, as everyone knows, "the course of true love ne're
does run smooth." Another attractive man, Dr. Gabe Wellington is also attracted to Dorie, and Jamey, of
course, still hears the siren song of Broadway.

Linda Rondeau's characters are human and compelling. Their problems are ones that ordinary people
can easily identify with and relate to. No Clarence comes down from heaven to deliver them, but
faith in God lends a hand at critical times. Like the movie, It's A Wonderful Life, Linda Rondeau's novel is
uplifting and inspiring and will appeal strongly to her Christian Readership.
Disclaimer: Reviewer read an advanced copy before publication that was sent to her by the author.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2012
I got this as a freebie on one of the free kindle books sites. It was a good light read with a predictable happy ending.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
Linda Rondeau's It Really IS a Wonderful Life captures the essence of the Christmas classic in the modern day tale of a war-widowed mother of two small children. Dorie Fitzgerald has always had the faith of others to carry her through - until now. Will God be there for her when choices loom regarding her children's care, her career, and the man who truly loves her?

Very few people welcome change, and through Rondeau's characterization, we identify ourselves in at least one of her delightful cast. With an unpredictable plot - in spite of mirroring the classic Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life - Rondeau tickles our funny bone and tugs at our tears. A perfect read for getting into the Christmas spirit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2012
This book was a bit predictable, but it left you feeling good. Good, fast read for this time of year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
This book was good and I enjoyed it overall. I thought the story was a bit forced and rushed especially at the end. I did like the characters and was into the book.
It could have used some more development in the plot and it would have been excellent!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2013
This book had an interesting premise. The writing was good - never great, but good. However, the story jumps around too much. Plot lines are carefully developed, then too quickly resolved. The emotional connection with the characters is never quite formed, so the reader never feels that the resolution was satisfactory.

The ending felt scripted, and I suppose it was, given the fact that it was drawn from the classic movie. Still, more development would have been better. As a reader, when you see the end coming, you need more substance and connection with the characters to carry you along.

In a nutshell, too many plot-lines that resolve too quickly make for a story that feels abrupt and contrived.

For a free book, it was worth reading as very light, holiday-related fare.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
Linda's story reflects the classic, A Wonderful Life, however, she writes a classic of her own. She keeps you turning pages with her wit, descriptions, humor, and great writing. Everyone who likes Christmas stories will enjoy this book. We can identify with the main characters as we read. They are so human and believable. Linda encourages our faith walk and helps us make sound decisions of our own. All of her characters lend depth to the story. A great enjoyable and entertaining story with character lessons along the way. As I said...a classic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2013
I love to read Christmas stories during the Christmas season. I got this as a Kindle freebie, it wasn't something I was looking for, but it sounded good and Christmas was coming. I thought this book was well written, fun and easy to read, and a great ending. I enjoyed this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2012
A wonderful story, so glad I picked it up to read. It brought tears and laughter to me, you will enjoy it if you like romantic stories.
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