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The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere
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The Christmas Promise (edition 2007)

by Donna VanLiere

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223752,123 (3.62)6
Member:bethwerkhoven5104
Title:The Christmas Promise
Authors:Donna VanLiere
Info:NELSON FICTION (2007), Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Van Liere's seasonal confection (following The Christmas Hope) finds 60-year-old Gloria Bailey doing informal good works for needy cases seven years after her husband died, and her youngest son, Matthew, disappeared without a trace at age 17. With infinite good nature, Gloria fends off the complaints of her crabby widow neighbor, Miriam, annoyed by the constant riffraff at Gloria's house, while Gloria still sadly hopes that wayward Matthew will somehow return. Meanwhile, 24-year-old Chaz McConnell, a hard-luck drifter and drinker with a good heart, starts his Christmas season job as a security guard at the local department store and is reluctantly drawn into the lives of the people around him. Everyone changes for the better in this tidy fable.
  chooverwi | Apr 1, 2016 |
The Christmas Promise is the second audiobook by Donna VanLiere that I have enjoyed this Christmas. (I am currently listening to number 3, The Christmas Note.) Full of humor and heart, this book’s message of second chances is front and center, whether it’s a grumpy neighbor or an estranged family member or a mom who has made some bad choices. Familiar characters from this series make an appearance making them feel like old friends. VanLiere reads the book herself, and her voices and inflection are a real treat. I listened to this book on a few daily walks and on two plane flights, and I must admit I had to stifle a few laughs and squint back a few tears. This heartwarming novella is perfect for the busy holiday season when time is short and nerves get a bit frazzled. So make sure to make some time for this touching book.

Recommended.

Audience: adults. ( )
  vintagebeckie | Dec 24, 2015 |
Seven years ago, Gloria Bailey suffered a devastating family tragedy that almost took away her faith completely; as it was, Gloria's idyllically happy life was shaken down to its very foundation. Since then, she has struggled to comprehend the reason why her life was turned upside down; and to somehow find the strength of will to carry on. Each Christmas she places a card inside an envelope on her tree, acknowledging and solemnly restating a promise she had made to her husband just before his death.

Now, having moved from her small town and all the painful memories it held, she is slowly building a new life for herself by helping those in need. Whether it's a young mother who can't pay her electricity bill or a family who needs some extra food, Gloria always finds a way to be of service. She seems to have found her life's purpose again, and Gloria is - if not living the type of life that she had once envisioned - at least living a tentatively pleasurable life.

Gloria's faith is also slowly being rekindled; faith in herself and faith in others. Then, there is Miriam Lloyd Davies, Gloria's elderly neighbor. Gloria is convinced that Miriam is a thorn in her side: a constant annoyance that Gloria does her best to avoid at all costs. Miriam is constantly critical; a disapproving and mean-spirited neighbor who looks with suspicion at all the good things that Gloria does. When a twist of fate makes the women roommates instead of neighbors, it is the ultimate test of patience and faith.

Chaz McConnell has a really good job as head of security for Wilson's Department Store, but he is also terribly lonely; returning home each night to his empty apartment. He longs for a wife and family of his own but also realizes that the choices that he has made in life have alienated him. He soon befriends a young boy whose mother has fallen on hard times, allowing Chaz the chance to have the sort of life he once thought impossible.

In The Christmas Promise: A Novel, the lives of all these characters collide and we learn that the past is never far behind, even as we move ahead. And when we are forgiven much, we love much. In this warmly humorous and deeply poignant story, we are reminded that the ultimate Christmas Promise is the promise of second chances.

I had read and enjoyed one of Donna VanLiere's previous books, The Angels of Morgan Hill, back in February of 2012. In my opinion, The Christmas Promise: A Novel was really quite good; a quick and engaging read that I enjoyed very much. I found this to be a feel-good story; touching and sweet and truly heart-warming. The story's plot may have been slightly far-fetched, but I still found it enjoyable. I give this book a B+! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Jul 1, 2015 |
Many lives intertwine during the Christmas season. "We are reminded that the Christmas Promise is the promise of second chances."
  SABC | Mar 9, 2015 |
Writing: 5.0
Theme: 4.5
Content: 4.5
Language: 4.5

Overall: 4.5; Great sequel to the The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Blessing. I did not think it was as quite as good as the first two in this series, but it was still a very good tome. The lives of Robert Layton, Jack and Nathan Andrews, among some new cast members are developed in this Christmas sequel. The three mentioned are only briefly mentioned, but we see how our lives continue to affect others in many ways- through encouragement, direction, and kindness. Mr. Glory reunites with her long lost son along with meeting and getting to know her obtuse neighbor (in the beginning), Miriam. As with all of VanLiere's books, she does a wonderful job of developing the stories that came before and enmeshing them with the new. There were two uses of vulgarity. Highly recommend.

***December 23, 2014*** ( )
  jntjesussaves | Dec 24, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312367767, Hardcover)

Each Christmas we are given a promise from heaven. And each year on earth we make promises to each other. This is a story about how a promise from one person to another shows us the true meaning of faith, remembrance, and love.

Seven years ago Gloria endured a family tragedy that almost shook her faith entirely. Each Christmas she places a card in an envelope on her tree, restating a promise she made to her husband before he died. Now, having moved from her small town and all the painful memories it held, she is building a life by caring for people in need. Whether it’s a young mother who can’t pay her electric bill or a family who needs some extra food, Gloria always finds a way.

Miriam is a thorn in Gloria’s side. Miriam is a constantly critical, disapproving neighbor who looks with suspicion at all the good things Gloria does. When a twist of fate makes them roommates instead of neighbors, it’s the ultimate test of patience and faith.

Chaz has a good job as head of security at Wilson’s Department Store, but each night he returns home to an empty apartment. He longs for a wife and family of his own but realizes that the life choices he’s made have alienated him. He befriends a young boy whose mother has fallen on hard times, giving him a chance to have a life he thought impossible.

In The Christmas Promise, the lives of these characters collide and we learn that even as we move ahead, the past is never far behind. And when we are forgiven much, we love much. In this warmly humorous and deeply poignant story, we are reminded that the Christmas Promise is the promise of second chances.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:22 -0400)

Taking what he hopes will be his first long-term job, lonely department store security officer Chaz McConnell reaches out to a four-year-old child, while Gloria Bailey, a charity worker who has taken in a single pregnant woman and a cantankerous senior, struggles with ensuing personality clashes.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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