I have come to expect a certain standard of excellence from Ace Collins. When I read one of his books, I expect it to be a well written, engaging story with themes worth thinking about after the book ends.
This book is all of that, and it is even set around Christmas too!
The Christmas Star is a historical novel set right after the war. Ace Collins imagines the atmosphere of joy in a small Arkansas town with Christmas coming and almost all the heroes home.
That 'almost all' is the only thing marring the happiness in Ash Flats.
Jimmy Reed's father isn't going to be here for Christmas. The war is over, but for Robert Reed's widow and his son the grief most definitely is not. Young Jimmy's life has taken a turn toward rebellion, and his mother marge can't seem to get through to him anymore.
His father isn't here to guide him, and Jimmy is convinced that his father couldn't even be proud of the person he's become.
One choice leads to another, and if a someone, somehow, doesn't step in then his life is going to go off the rails completely. Everything seems dark and hopeless to Jimmy, and he's convinced that no one can save him now. What he needs is a Christmas miracle.
Can a collection of townsfolk with impart their wisdom and grace to reach Jimmy before it's too late?
The answer, of course, is Yes. The story of how it happens is a rich reading experience, perfect for a November/December night.
Jimmy's internal struggle of "That which I hate, I do, yet I long to do better" is one we all know well.
The story of his transformation is what makes this story so wonderful.
This one can easily be read alongside A Christmas Carol each year.
Thank you Abingdon for my copy!
Citing his Arkansas heritage, Ace Collins defines himself as a storyteller. In that capacity, Ace Collins has authored more than sixty books for twenty-five different publishers that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. His catalog includes novels, biographies, as well as books on history, culture and faith. His current novel from Abingdon, Darkness Before Dawn, has earned scores of great reviews and been chosen by several different book clubs and publications as one of the top reads of 2013. It also made the most inspiring book list on iTunes in July and Hope For Women’s “Top Five Summer Reads.”