Ah, Christmas is nigh. But with all the manic schedules and demands of this holiday of peace on earth, what can one do to take a deep breath, slow the pace and get in the Christmas spirit?
I have just the thing – bake up a light, flaky batch of Scottish shortbread, brew up a steaming cuppa, curl up on the couch, snuggle into a warm throw and open up Liz Curtis Higgs’ novella, A Wreath of Snow. If you can arrange all this on a snowy evening, you have all the elements for a perfect pre-Christmas respite.
Set in Victorian era Scotland, A Wreath of Snow takes place on Christmas Eve, when Margaret Campbell boards a train out of her hometown of Stirling, Scotland bound for Edinburgh where she works as a teacher. Her attempt at a family Christmas falls apart because of a long simmering animosity between herself and her invalid brother.
Unfortunately, her train runs into a snowdrift not far from the village. But on the plus side she meets an intriguing journalist, Gordon Shaw, who, unknown to Margaret, desires to seek forgiveness from her family for being the cause of an accident years ago that left her brother disabled.
After disembarking the stranded locomotive, Margaret and Gordon trudge through the drifts where he confesses his connection with her family. Back in Sterling he manages to get an invitation to the Campbell home for Christmas eve, determined to seek forgiveness against Margaret desire for him to keep his identity hidden and not upset her family.
A Wreath of Snow is a period novella that sweeps you away to the snowy streets of a Scottish village lit by gaslight and decorated with ivy and evergreen. And although Higgs’ book is considered a romance, it is really a story of seeking and receiving forgiveness - a story of God’s redemption and faithfulness.
So if you are in need of a quiet afternoon to recharge and renew, open the pages of A Wreath of Snow, settle in, take a bite of shortbread, and unwind.
A courtesy copy of A Wreath of Snow obtained from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review.