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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
The scene was Christmas 1958, Aspen Grove, Colorado. A family has gathered for Christmas. Each family member arrived, bearing gifts and food. Allegra has special permission to wear a little lip color. Great-Aunt Maude gave the girls each a snowflake crocheted ornament with a poem attached. The snowflake would remind them that God uniquely created them.
Christmas Eve 2005, Mountain Glen, Colorado
Loneliness was over whelming for the recently widowed woman. Bittersweet memories flood her mind. As Carole looks at the decorated tree, she focuses on Aunt Maude's snowflake. She could hear her aunt's voice urging her to enjoy the holiday and to be prepared for something or someone waiting around the corner. The next morning, she received an unexpected call offering her the position of administrative assistant at Janish Industries. She would be working for Paul Janish, the owner's son. Mark Janish, owner of Janish Industries, was attracted to Carole the moment he saw her. It was a whirlwind courtship.
Carole is a beautiful love story. The plot is well-written and heartwarming. The characters are delightful. Sherry Derr-Wille is an extremely talented author. Fans of romance will enjoy Carole.
February 12, 2007 Palo Alto, California
Allegra had married Tom while he was still in law school. She put her degree and her life on hold, so that he could finish school. Tom could be cruel. He mentally and physically abused her. His extramarital affairs were multiple. Tom's latest girlfriend was pregnant and insisting he marry her. When Allegra learned that her mother had a brain tumor, she decided it was time to move back home. Her mother needed her, and she needed to escape her life. As she begins to go through her old things at home, she finds the snowflake, hand crocheted by her aunt and the poem her aunt had included in the Christmas gift. At church that evening, she was reunited with Drew McDonald. She had not seen him since high school.
Allegra is a charming love story. Lorna Collins has a talent for bringing her characters to life. I felt Allegra's pain when she thought of her unhappy marriage. The plot is beautifully developed and could be expanded on to create a standalone book.
February 12, 2007 Morocco
As Sonata traveled in her work with UNICEF she always took her hand crocheted snowflake with her. She still fondly remembered when her aunt gave it to her as a Christmas present in 1958. She had just delivered a baby when her sister Mel called about their mother. She had a malignant brain tumor. Sonata was needed at home.
Sonata by Christie Shary is beautifully written. I questioned why it was included in this anthology. While all of the stories were delightful, this one has more depth. As Sonata remembered her life, fought illness, and struggled with the heartache of leaving Jamali, I wanted to reach out and hold her hand. Again, I believe this story could be expanded to stand on its own.
After all this time, Melody had her hand crocheted snowflake. It had set in an undelivered package for years. When Melody discovered that her mother had an inoperable brain tumor she turned her grief inward. After speaking with her pastor, she opened up to her husband. She discovered they both had a secret. She was writing a romance novel, and he had hung on to his mustang.
Melody is an entertaining story. As Melody writes her romance story, she incorporates bits and pieces of her life or what she wishes was her life. I like her husband. He read her book and tried to fulfill her idea of romance.
A hand crocheted snowflake is the common thread in each story. The three sisters have unique personalities just as God made them. Each lead character matures and grows stronger as the story develops. I like these stories. My only criticism for this book is for two of the stories. Derr-Wille and Shary use church attendance to enhance their story. "If she had not gone to church, Nancy would not have offered her the job....etc." Allegra renewed her acquaintance with Drew at church. If the authors wanted to bring church in to the foray, I wish they had stuck to Christian values--abstinence before marriage. I realize this is a minute point but it does distract from the plot. The intimate scenes are sensual and well-written. I just wish they had not mixed the two. All in all, this is an excellent read. Fans of romance will enjoy Snowflake.