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Snow Angels (Great Lakes Collection) Kindle Edition
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Pete's sense of humor as he realizes Lisa has figured out what he neglected to tell her, and his sensitivity to accept Lisa's crazy actions with understanding for her motivation, makes him the perfect, if messy, knight.
In addition to a story that makes you feel good and want to do good, several timely topics (homelessness, PTSD, etc) are brought to light in life-situations. I feel rewarded to walk away with a nugget or two that opened my eyes or expanded my understanding on a topic, in addition to a warm heart at the hopeful outcome of a good read.
Lisa is a widow still locked inside a prison of grief and self-recrimination. Pete is not who he initially appears to be. She thinks he’s homeless but has potential. Pete thinks Lisa is bossy and treats him with disrespect. Never mind that he was kind of mean to her when they first met at Thanksgiving at the Community Center, or that his beard was raggedy and his clothes and smell were more like a hobo than the director he really was.
Misconceptions abound as Lisa works through her grief and finds new purpose that snowballs far beyond her original plans to help one man. She gives him a job that employs many more and he allows it because in spite of her bossiness, she’s doing great work.
Going outside her comfort zone puts her face to face with someone else who struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and who chooses to stay stuck. The mirror reflects Lisa’s own reality and as she struggles to come to grips with her past, she’s also forced to acknowledge a growing attraction to the shabbily-dressed man she’s tried to help.
As truths come to light, both Pete and Lisa have to come clean. Without using the Scripture, Cathe Swanson illustrates the concept that God washes us white as snow. It’s not always an easy process but the relationships we build on the way make the journey worthwhile.
This book is a novella -but a long one and well worth the read for a glimpse into our own misconceptions about the homeless and downtrodden as well as moving past our mistakes into a “new normal.” I applaud Ms. Swanson’s debut effort! It’s a Christmas story that goes deep to the heart of what really matters.
A lot of the book involves a “mistaken identity” theme, which personally I found amusing at first, then thought should have been resolved, so we could dig into the serious issues more. That was probably my biggest problem with the book – the “identity” thing went on...and on…
It was also a bit “formulaic” at times, but mostly, I was quite pleased with the character and story development.
But those issues weren’t enough to ruin the book for me – not even close. I liked this book a lot! Cathe wrote well. It was fun, or even enthralling at times. There was a sub-theme dealing with a former female Army medic – suffering from PTSD and depression. I actually (though it was SAD), thought that part was extremely fascinating.
One of the things I really liked about this little book was that it wasn’t JUST a nice “Christian romance.” Cathe doesn’t hesitate to let us know about the REAL struggles these real people have. There isn’t “language” or overt sex (though the attraction of the main characters to each other is revealed). The book is quite “tasteful,” but it’s also REAL. People have made mistakes in the past, and these mistakes have had very real negative consequences. Yet, there is hope. There are homeless people, elderly people, people with PTSD, people who struggle with alcohol abuse, people who are defensive, and people who are serious Christians. All are treated with great respect, and this serious treatment of very real problems – yet there is humor in the book! – “makes” the book, as far as I’m concerned.
And there is a Christmas theme. I do really enjoy “Christmas” type books.
Definitely recommended. 4.5 stars.
I received an advance reader copy of this book free, and I chose to give an honest review.