WOW! I’m not sure what I expected when given the opportunity to review Colors of Christmas, by Olivia Newport. I should have realized, after reading the author’s note, in the beginning, a small foreshadowing of something bringing a lot of emotion to the table, but in an endearing, asseverate way.
I’m always a little leery when I have a chance to review a new-to-me author. It’s terrible I know, but I, like many reviewers, fall into the rut of sticking to their faves. This year, however, I’ve branched out and found a lot of new authors I sincerely like. Olivia Newport is one of them.
Colors of Christmas contains two separate novellas. Each novella deals with loss, but in uniquely different ways.
Christmas in Gold, the first story, introduces us to Astrid, an eighty-year-old woman moving from her home to an independent living home. As Astrid’s lifetime vividly comes to life on the pages of this incredible story, we feel, hear and experience her childhood and early adulthood. First, she survived the Nazi domination of Germany, then she formed a new history in the United States. Time stood still for me as I was thoroughly wrapped up in the story, to the point of just a moment of startlement when I was called out of the book to attend to another matter! Christmas in Gold is a heart-warming, faith-affirming tale; you’ll undoubtedly want to read it.
Christmas in Blue deals with Angela’s heartache and loss of her best friend, Carole. Carole of the larger than expression, full-on celebration of Christmas. All Angela wants to do is magically jump past the holiday season and get on with trying to live without Carole, but everything seems to conspire against her deepest desires. I don’t want to tell too much, because of spoilers, but Angela’s Christmas far surpasses anything she could dream or imagine.
Newport somehow takes two small vignettes, and without making them feel overcrowded or rushed, beautifully portrays two very different and unique perspectives. All while dropping satisfying tidbits of faith, comfort, and joy. I am sincerely looking forward to reading more of her stories as I truly enjoyed her novellas.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Celebrate the joyful hope of the Christmas season as characters find healing in the midst of heartbreak.
Christmas in Blue
In the wake of a personal loss deeper than anyone realizes, Angela plans to bypass as much of the season as possible and get through her duties as the church organist by going on autopilot. Instead, she finds herself in charge of the town’s celebration. After a mysterious young man arrives, townspeople suspect he is the reason that one set of plans after another disintegrate until little is left of their traditions. Yet Angela warms to Gabe because she suspects they share a secret—his real reason for coming to town. Even when all they have to work with is a garish supply of blue Christmas decorations, Gabe helps Angela discover the hidden beauty of hope.
Christmas in Gold
After eighty years, change is nothing new for Astrid. By the time she was twenty, she survived the destructive Nazi regime, caring for her family under brutal circumstances, moving to America, and losing her husband. At forty she was widowed again and left to build a new life with her children. Now, when she faces a move into an assisted living community and meets a young woman on the brink of despair, she resolves to stir up hope through tragedy one more time.