Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It’s hard getting into the spirit of Christmas when everything around haunts you with sad memories from Christmas past. Travis’s older brother, Brent, was only a young boy when he disappeared on a snowy Christmas. His parents died of grief shortly after and Brent, now living in his aunt’s old home, surrounded by family treasures and memories, can’t muster up the joy of the season, no matter how hard his wife Katie tries to cheer him up. And then there’s the mysterious dreams and occurrences: a ghostly vision of Brent, finding Brent’s childhood treasure map, and Brent’s favorite music box playing without being turned on. Too many circumstantial happenings. Travis knows, deep in his heart, it’s a mystery he has to solve before Christmas.
Grace Geyer’s Christmas story, A Frozen Fate: A Cozy Christmas Short Story, is a gentle story of hope and renewal at a stressful time of year. She has woven a plausible plot full of mystery and intrigue as her two main characters, Travis and Katie, try to solve the mystery of a decades’ old child disappearance. The plot progresses with multiple unexpected twists and turns, all with the reader hoping, along with Travis and Katie, that the mystery, once solved, will include a happy reunion of two brothers. The characters are well developed and the compassion that still connects the two brothers is well presented. The unsettling reality that so many find sadness and unrest at a time of the year that should be full of joy is well described in the character of Travis as he repeatedly makes his heart-wrenching plea to Katie to keep the Christmas decorations to a minimum. A compelling story full of compassion and real life scenarios.