Thursday, December 11, 2008

Engaging Father Christmas

Today I want to mention a book that I read this week that is a delightful novella. Usually, I stay away from novellas because it's hard to imagine a story that short that has depth and meaning. However, last year I read Finding Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn and thoroughly enjoyed it. This week I picked up Engaging Father Christmas after turning in the proposal (which has already been accepted!) for the second Ohio book. I needed a break and change of pace, and this book fit the bill.

Engaging Father Christmas is a book that I savored. The language is delightful -- so wonderful that I can't bear to part with the book. I want to read it again and soak in the beautiful way that Robin writes. It's the second book, but Robin does a great job of weaving in the details you need to know to understand what's happening.

In Engaging Father Christmas, Miranda returns to Carlton Heath and her newly discovered family. This trip is a sharp contrast to the year before because now she belongs. Yet many of her dreams still await fulfillment. The story weaves beautifully between events to a fulfillment --but hopefully not the end.

One phrase sums up the book. Miranda is standing in a cottage, overwhelmed by everything that is happening. Ian says "I'll tell you everything soon enough. Just drink in the moment." I had to stop and reread that a couple times. It struck me as so like God. I'll stand there with dreams being fulfilled -- dreams I thought were dead or impossible, and suddenly God hands it to me. I sit there jaw on the ground, questioning how it could happen, and God simply whispers, Drink it in and enjoy."

Those are the types of pearls buried in this wonderful book. It's a perfect Christmas gift or a small escape in the midst of the season.

Engaging Father Christmas

Robin Jones Gunn

Miranda Carson can't wait to return to England for Christmas and to be with her boyfriend, Ian. She has spent a lifetime yearning for a place to call home, and she's sure Carlton Heath will be it, especially when a hinted-at engagement ring slips into the conversation.

But Miranda's high hopes for a jolly Christmas with the small circle of people she has come to love are toppled when Ian's father is hospitalized and the matriarch of the Whitcombe family withholds her blessing from Miranda. Questions run rampant in Miranda's mind about whether she really belongs in this cheery corner of the world. Then, when her true identity threatens all her relationships in unanticipated ways, Miranda is certain all is lost.

And yet...maybe Father Christmas has special gifts in store for her after all.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Engaging Father Christmas, go HERE
Robin grew up in Orange County, California and has lived in all kinds of interesting places, including Reno and Hawai’i.

She and her husband currently live near Portland, Oregon and have been married for 30 years. They spent their first 22 years of marriage working together in youth ministry, and enjoying life with their son and daughter who are now both grown.

As a frequent speaker at local and international events, one of Robin’s favorite topics is how God is the Relentless Lover and we are His first love. She delights in telling stories of how God uses fiction to change lives.

Robin is the recipient of the Christy Award, the Mt. Hermon Pacesetter Award, the Sherwood E. Wirt Award and is a Gold Medallion Finalist. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Media Associates International and the Board of Directors for Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers’ Guild.


kucole said...

Thanks for this review, Cara! Since you enjoyed the book, I thought you might like to know that Robin Jones Gunn is doing a live, online chat at on Dec. 17 from 2-3 p.m. EST to take questions and talk about this book and her other titles. I work with, and we would love if you could join in the chat at

Janna said...

This was a great book - I read both of them for the first time this season...


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