Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

I love reading Christmas stories at Christmastime, don't you? Especially when they're penned by one of my favorite authors.

Here's the summary:

Five strangers with broken hearts. One raging blizzard. Baby, it's cold outside!

Dottie Morgan has no desire to share her home or her heart over the Christmas holidays. After all, her Christmas spirit froze over when Dottie lost her son in World War II. But when a blizzard of the decade traps Dottie in her home with four near strangers, she just might discover that opening her door might also open her heart to a Christmas miracle and a new reason to celebrate Christmas.

And here's my review:

Take one strong blizzard and set the story shortly after World War II, in a year that coincides with this year’s calendar (where Christmas falls on a Sunday), mix in some romance and wholesome Christ-related storylines, and you’ve got a great read. I love how Susan didn’t shy away from the fact that the title’s namesake song is suggestive, but had her 1949 characters acknowledge that and not dwell on it. She used “cold” as a symbol. Her character’s suffered “the cold” in their lives due to their unforgiveness, or their regrets, or the lies they believed. They couldn’t come in from the cold until they loosed their lies and unforgiveness. Until they believed the best about the people around them. They had a choice to stay miserable or choose Jesus's love at Christmastime and let Him "fix" things by healing their hearts.

Loved the snowed-in setting, how that encouraged the characters to figure out their relationship woes. And the coinciding romances. While reading, I laughed aloud, teared up, caught my breath—all the best reactions to great fiction! At first I wasn’t sure about the inclusion of the fifth character, but that Storm House idea was ingenious. Made me long for snow. (I know, unbelievable!) Love how Susan captured the magic of snowy December days and Christmastime. And though I don’t live where blizzards are commonplace any longer, I could so recall being snowed in and surrounded by walls of snow. And who doesn’t love a grand, old Victorian house?

I’d recommend this read during this season and beyond. It’s timeless and universal. Her characters’ emotions are so relatable. I didn’t want the story to end. Again, her characterization hooked me as soon as I figured out who everyone was and bonded with them. Susan is a master story-teller.

Highly recommended. 

  First link is for print; the second is for the e-book.

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