The Unannounced Christmas Visitor


Christian - Fiction
172 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
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Author Biography

Patrick Higgins is the author of "The Pelican Trees", "Coffee In Manila", the award-winning "The Unannounced Christmas Visitor", and the award-winning prophetic end times series, "Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye." Look for the sixth installment of the "CHAOS" series to be released soon,

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

The Jensen family - Lydia, her husband John, and their two children, Matthew and Grace - are the main characters that help to teach us the true meaning of Christmas and the reasons for loving Yahweh. The Unannounced Christmas Visitor by Patrick Higgins begins three weeks before Christmas on a Sunday morning while the Jensens are attending church. A smelly homeless man enters and is directed to the last row amid many frowns, scowls and whispers. Lydia is intrigued by the old man and disturbed by the chilly reception from others. He returns the following Sunday and Lydia follows him to the city park, where she discovers that he and many more are living in cold and miserable conditions. She knows in her heart she must do something for these homeless people and decides to bring enough food to feed them all.

The old man’s name is Enoch and we, the readers, are led to believe that he is an angel and has been sent by God on a mission to save a lost soul. At this point John is struggling with life and is confused by his wife’s devotion to these strange, drug addicted homeless souls, but through circumstances he finds himself also taking a liking to Enoch and invites him to be a guest in their home. As the story progresses, Enoch shares the Bible in great detail and explains what it is that Yahweh expects from each of us here on earth. By the time Christmas Eve arrives, the family has changed, the homeless men and women have changed, and Enoch’s work is almost done.

The Unannounced Christmas Visitor is truly an amazing story for both the Christian and the non-Christian. I found myself as a saved Christian stopping to think about the message more than once and taking stock of my real thoughts and motives to be sure that I am indeed living a life pleasing to God. The “Word” cannot be denied because of the great descriptions, explanations and understanding that Patrick Higgins puts into each and every page. This is a must-read for all of us – it will touch your heart in a way few books do; you will laugh and cry; and most of all, you will be uplifted. Please do not pass this one up.

Sean Elliot Russell

In "The Unannounced Christmas Visitor" novel, written by Patrick Higgins (author of the "Chaos In The Blink Of An Eye" series), I found myself immersed into the world of the Jensen family--a Christian family who find themselves run down by the pressures of life. John, the husband and father, is struggling to understand the inner turmoil that's taken over his life--to the point that he's lost almost all passion for his marriage, his faith, and purpose in life. His wife, Lydia, alternatively, questions her self-value and wonders if her husband has lost all interest--or worse, become unfaithful. Sounds like struggles any family or person might wrestle with, which is one of the strongest appeals of Higgins' novel.

So when a devout homeless man enters the Jensen's contemporary church, huge questions arise within Lydia--especially her church's response to the man. Their not-so-welcoming response to the mysterious stranger causes Lydia to question and probe her own faith, and the church she calls home. The man's appearance galvanizes Lydia, and later John, to reflect on that which is genuine versus that which is shallow/unChristlike. This was the second aspect of the story that drew me in and confronted me; what would be my response to such a visitor? And would I be bold enough to confront a church if their response was cold/indifferent to the unfortunate? Or would I keep quiet and silently agree with the majority?

A novel that entertains is good. But a novel that touches the heart and probes our own heart-responses to social problems is far more satisfying. And Patrick Higgins accomplishes this throughout his novel.

At the same time, the novelist highlights some of the truths of Christmas as well as presenting the Good News through the main characters' evolution. And the result for me, through and through, was constantly being drawn into the story and questioning, "How would I respond?" There are some lengthy dialogues between the characters that some might not appreciate, but most will appreciate--especially those who start the book questioning life and/or empty of purpose in their own lives. Also within the pages that I appreciated are glimpses into the hardships of the homeless--what many untouched by homelessness may not know or fathom.

The author handles the writing well, and the characters are fleshed out, believable, and interesting. I recommend "The Unannounced Christmas Visitor." I also love the cover art for this novel, and the great title.

Story Originality: 4/5
Story Inventiveness: 4/5
Story Technique: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Descriptive Power: 5/5
True to Scripture: 5/5
Strength of Fictive Dream: 5/5
Proofreading: 5/5
Cinematic Flare: 5/5
Overall Satisfaction: 5/5

[KEY:]
Story Originality: How creative was the concept from page one onwards?
Story Inventiveness: How surprised was I by the flow of the plot? Any twists?
Characters: How real and how drawn was I to the story’s characters?
Descriptive Power: How well did the author control description, dialogue, etc?
True to Scripture: Were all elements true to Scripture’s worldview?
Fictive Dream Strength: How much was I immersed in the novel—wanting to read page after page?
Proofreading: How well was the book proofread (typos, etc)?
Cinematic Flare: How strong were key scenes (that I could easily see as a motion picture)?
Overall Satisfaction: What was my overall feeling/enjoyment level after reading the novel? Did I want it to end?

I recommend this novel, and especially with Christmas approaching, it could be a book family members or friends would enjoy. It will challenge them to look at those less fortunate and the Christmas story in a new light.

-Sean Elliot Russell