Dear authors, if you write a book that brings me to tears, it automatically earns a must-read (5 stars on Goodreads) recommendation. Barbara has done it! I have not read such a touching, heartfelt Christmas book since one of my favorites, The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. She has touched on so many of the things that resonate with me. Family, having two sons and dealing with how fast they grow and wondering where the time goes, the traditions and spirit of Christmas, and the importance of believing. I recognized so much of myself in Abbey. Her willingness to believe in the magic of Christmas is so like me. I'm sure that's why I identify with the book so well, but even if you do not identify yourself with the characters (but you just might), you will still love this book.
I must touch on another wonderful aspect of the book and that is the cover and inside illustrations by Suzanne Langelier-Lebeda. They are so wonderful and they really make the book even more special. The images are featured in this beautiful book trailer:
Abbey senses something special about the little man tending to the reindeer who, along with a century-old farmhouse, a barn full of animals, and fields abounding in woods and pasture, was a gift to Abbey from a stranger. Abbey and her husband, Steve, move in just before the holidays. They have been together since the '60s, eloping when Steve returned from Vietnam. Now with Abbey's cancer in remission, they're looking forward to their boys coming home for Christmas.
Turns out this Christmas proves to be more magical than anticipated as Abbey realizes an understanding never thought possible through the rekindling of a belief rooted in childhood. Of course it's who delivers this gift on Christmas Eve that gives Abbey and Steve the strength to face their greatest challenge. (from Goodreads)
About the author:
Barbara Briggs Ward is the author/illustrator of the children's book series featuring Snarly Sally - "The little girl who doesn't like to have her hair brushed." Titles include, "The Really, Really Hairy Flight of Snarly Sally", "Snarly Sally's Garden of ABCs" and "The Really Hairy Scary Butterfly Rescue." Barbara's projects also include illustrating, "And Then There Was Hope" and "The Brain Reigns" for the New York State Office of Mental Health. She has been a featured author/illustrator on Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh, New York and on stage at Target's Book Festival in Boston and New York City. She has been published in Highlights for Children, McCall's, and The Crafts Report. Her essay led to a feature in Ladies' Home Journal. Several of her articles have been published in regional newspapers. A member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Barbara invites you to visit www.snarlysally.com. Also, Barbara's short story,"In Anticipation of Doll Beds" was chosen to appear in "Chicken Soup for the Soul book entitled, "Christmas Magic" available in all major bookstores!
Visit Barbara's The Reindeer Keeper WEBSITE
The Reindeer Keeper is available for purchase on Amazon, Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Wheatmark Publishing, at the St. Lawrence University Brewer Bookstore, and also at the WEBSITE.
Always in spirit...
Note: I was generously provided a signed copy of this wonderful book by the author. The review is entirely my opinion and I was not compensated monetarily for giving it.