The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson


Perfect for readers who want a heartwarming and hopeful Christmas story

Five women from different walks of life have become close friends through their book club–enjoying one another’s company even more than they enjoy the books. So when the leader of the book club unexpectedly passes away on the cusp of the Christmas season, the four remaining friends are stunned. They relied on Abby for inspiration and motivation. She was the glue that held them together, and they’re sure that without her the group can’t continue.

When the group gathers “one last time” to open a bag Abby’s husband gives them, they find Abby had made each of them an angel ornament for Christmas, crafted especially for each woman and accompanied by a sweet and personal note. Inspired by their beloved friend, together Cassidy, Louisa, Grace, and Belinda decide to commit themselves to becoming Christmas Angels to others in need. Each woman will use her life situation and talents to reach out and help others in her own unique way–little knowing that her own life and her relationships will be changed forever. – from author’s website

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was a nice little story of how four friends challenged themselves to be angels to other people around the Christmas season after the friend who held them together dies unexpectedly. The book is a fairly quick read because it doesn’t go deep into each person’s story. You get a surface version of their stories with a little sprinkling of depth. Even with the topic of the book, it was a cozy read with everyone having a happy ending.

Of Stillness and Storm by MIchele Phoenix


“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction. – from author’s website

I didn’t particularly like this book. It was kind of depressing and I spent most of the book being frustrated with the characters. Their choices made me frustrated and angry and wondering how they could be so dense. I know the main point of the book was to show how parents’ choices in ministry can affect their children negatively, but it left me with a bad taste in my mouth because I felt like nothing really was resolved by the end.