Saturday, October 15, 2011

An Angel for Christmas by Heather Graham

Christmas has never brought out the best in the MacDougal family. Still, year after year, they gather together in the Blue Ridge Mountains to try to make the season merry and bright. But this year is an especially strained one, with Shayne's impending divorce, Morwenna's slavish devotion to work and Bobby's reluctance to face what life has to offer. They've never felt less like a family.
Then, in the midst of a snowy sibling shouting match, a mysterious stranger appears. He could be a criminal, a madman—or something far more unexpected. Despite their fears and the growing danger in the dark woods around them, the MacDougals take a leap of faith. But when another stranger arrives on the mountainside, they don't know which of them to believe. One of these men can't be trusted. And one is about to bring Christmas into their hearts. ( Synopsis from B&

Published by Mira, Hardcover , 336pp

An Angel for Christmas is a sweet holiday story with a message. The three MacDougal siblings are coming to their parent’s vacation cabin in the woods for Christmas. Shayne, the oldest, is bitter about his recent divorce and missing his children for the holidays. Morwenna, the middle, whose boyfriend has gone to Cancun without her and she is debating her choice to come home. Bobby, the youngest, has just decided to leave a college that is not preparing him for the future he wants.
Into the middle of this holiday bliss, Shayne’s children turn up and then the family finds an injured stranger on their property. The man Gabe Lange, claims to be a State Trooper chasing a white collar criminal who injured him and then escapes.  Lange states the man, Luke Defeo is not a killer but he would be dangerous he if turned up. The rest of the story proceeds with Gabe being cautiously brought into the family’s holiday celebration.  Gabe seems to have a talent for talking to people and helping them see their inner self and what they would like to have their life be about.  Defeo turns up and becomes the worm in the apple. He claims to be the good guy but he spends all of his time spreading poison into the ear of whoever is nearby. There is a dramatic rescue of another family member and a final fight between Gabe & Luke before the resolution.
I enjoyed the whole Gabriel/Lucifer allegory in this book. The family is fractured but loving and they need someone to help them see how they have been allowing negativity to take hold in their lives. For example, Shayne needs to realize he can’t slam his ex around his kids because the children love both parents and it hurts and confuses them to hear the comments. Gabe really helps the family get the spirit of Christmas in spite of Luke’s attempt to pull them apart.  The message of love and hope is especially nice in the crazy time we are living in. 
RPL Note: This book is available in Adult New Fiction 

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