Monday, 14 January 2013

Angels at Christmas


Angels at Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Paperback, 400 pages

Published 21st October 2011 by Mira Books

My shelves: adult-fiction, angels-demons, christmas-books, cover-appeal, magical-realism, mum-has, read, read-in-2012, realistic-fiction, series-or-companions, supernatural, chick-lit
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

If you had one wish this Christmas... 

THOSE CHRISTMAS ANGELS: Anne Fletcher sends a heartfelt plea in the hope that someone is looking down on her this Christmas. One wish for her son to be happy. She doesn t expect to have her prayer answered by three mischievous angels! They re about to do a little matchmaking on Anne s behalf and make her Christmas wish come true. 

WHERE ANGELS GO: The angels are on hand again for lovely Beth Fischer who, since her divorce, is looking for romance once more. At eighty six, Harry has prayed for peace of mind, and little Carter Jackson has just one Christmas wish. Angels Shirley, Goodness and Mercy will make miracles happen this Christmas... Make time for friends. Make time for Debbie Macomber.

Despite the absolutely gorgeous cover adorning Angels at Christmas, it didn't make my 2011 Christmas list - however, I'm glad that I finally managed to pick it up over this past Christmas!  
Previously, I'd only read one other book by Debbie Macomber  but when I picked this one up, but it seemed exactly what I expected - comforting and easy to read. There are other books about the Angels, but it doesn't seem necessary to read them in any sort of order.

I will most likely be tempted to pick up any book with a Christmas theme, and that's why I picked this one up, though I was initially a little unsure of the plot. The story features three Angels, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy who are prayer ambassadors waiting for permission from Angel Gabriel to go to Earth and help prayers to be answered. To be honest, though I knew it would be a main theme, I was worried it'd be a bit too strange! The story is not like a supernatural/fantasy book, so it will appeal to Debbie's regular readers. One thing that it does hint at is religion, but thankfully (for me), although there is a Christian theme, it's not overpowering or forceful. The angels certainly added a different element to the book, but if I am being honest, the sections focusing on them were my least favourite and felt a little childish. 

This book actually contains two stories, Those Christmas Angels and Where Angels Go. Whilst both were enjoyable, I favoured the second story. The Angels feature in both stories, though the two stories are not directly linked and so could easily be read separately if you would like a short story.

In Those Christmas Angels, the angels respond to a prayer made by Anne Fletcher who wishes her son, a somewhat cynical business man Roy, happiness - this comes in the unexpected form of Julie, a rather independent and sassy woman who I really liked. The chemistry between Roy and Julie was good and I also liked the sub-plot, based around Anne, that was included. Though her writing is quite predictable, it's also full of experience - it's pleasant to read and both her world and character building are good. Even though this is a short story, this one still felt as though I was reading a longer novel due to the good writing.

In Where Angels Go, the angels respond to several different people over the Christmas period and I think that's why this one grabbed my attention a little more. We are introduced to Harry, who knows he is going to die soon and has a wife to care for, Beth who is divorced, lonely and World of Warcraft addict, and nine year old Carter who only wants one thing for Christmas - a dog. 
As there are several things happening, even if you're not too fond of one part of the story, you have the excitement of wondering what will happen in a different section. However, I found each character and storyline as enjoyable as the rest. Again, due to the strength of the writing, each story had great depth despite the length of it. I truly enjoyed getting to know everyone and this story was also a little less predictable, so it was good to see what happened to everyone and how things panned out.

Overall, this was a nice book to read over the Christmas period - There isn't a better time to kick back with a book that is full of promise and eventual happiness. If you're already a fan of Debbie Macomber, then I'm sure this will be another book for you to love. I will (and already have!) pick up another book by this author, simply for the feeling of comfort that her writing emits.

2 comments:

  1. Another Christmas book! This one looks super cute and I'm loving that cover. I had big plans to dedicate December to Christmas books but that didn't happen and now that the holidays are over I'm kind of sad I missed my opportunity. I think I should start stock-piling good titles so I can do that this upcoming Christmas. Adding this one to the list. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never did read anything Christmas-y over the holiday period, and I really should have! This sounds like a good read and something to add to my list. Great review, Stephanie!

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