Monday, November 28, 2011

The Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall


Mattie and Gideon were the couple everyone knew would end up together. Best friends for years, they shared treasured memories and a love deep enough to get Mattie through the darkest times of her mother's ailing health. Then one Christmas singing, Mattie catches Gideon in the arms of an Englischer...and everything changes. Crushed by his betrayal and their subsequent breakup, she leaves home for the long held dream of setting up her very own bakery. Her business is a success and Mattie even catches the eye of the quiet, gentle, Sol but her heart is still bruised from the past. Though she has no real spark with Sol, Mattie would rather settle for companionship with him than risk spending a life alone. Through a whirl wind of events, she is forced to cross paths with the one man she never wants to see again; and it's all she can do to be civil. Gideon desperately wants to make amends for his wrong, but Mattie can barely contain the anger and frustration she feels about unanswered questions from that long ago night. Will anything her former love says or does be enough to bridge the enormous gap between them? Can Mattie find the peace she craves to move on with her future?

If you have the winter blues, this little novella is the perfect antidote for you. I started reading during a road trip and, three hours later, I had nearly finished the story. I found it really engaging and the characters easy to connect with throughout. Mattie Lane was likeable and someone most any girl, especially one who's been scorned, could empathize with. Cindy Woodsmall did a great job handling the awkward relationship between Gideon and Mattie. She allowed Mattie some time to vent her anger toward him as well as work through her feelings past and present. There was good tension throughout and you felt for each character in different ways. I also enjoyed reading from Mattie, Gideon and Sol's point of view and thought it gave the story a nice diversity. The Christmas Singing was a sweet story without being too overdone or heavy handed emotionally. I'd definitely recommend to friends and it's one I'll probably re-read again in a few years. It would be fun finding out what happens with Sol also. Will he get his own book? Hint hint...

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Multnomah/Waterbrook in exchange for my honest review.

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