Publisher: Howard Books
Publication Date: 10/25/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to Howard Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Christian author inspirational storyteller, Karen Kingsbury delivers a special heart-warming holiday tale, A BAXTER FAMILY CHRISTMAS, with a new series (three more, to come) with familiar faces and voices of this much-loved family.
A special holiday story offering love and hope in the least expected places and persons; with some special yummy holiday recipes and fun Baxter family games.
For all the Kingsbury (Baxter) fans, if you have not heard, The Baxter family is coming to TV. The new series focuses on the grown Baxter kids and their families and their ever-changing lives.
THE BAXTER FAMILY CHRISTMAS revolves around a stranger John Baxter has invited for Christmas Eve dinner. Kendra Bryant, the transplant recipient who now has Erin’s heart.
Some members of the family are not happy with this decision and cannot understand the reasoning for bringing this person into their lives, especially at Christmas time. An intimate time for families, not reminders of their grief.
It has been two years since the terrible accident took the life of John Baxter’s daughter Erin, her husband, and three of their four daughters.
The Baxter house in on ten acres, built by John and Elizabeth who died of cancer ten years ago, and the family house is now owned by Ashley and her husband Landon Blake.
This is the place where the family still gathers for their celebrations and Christmas. John is remarried to Elaine, age 59 and they live in Bloomington.
Ashley Baxter Black, age 35 (former black sheep of the family) and her brother Luke, age 33, a lawyer are against this plan. They are all about protecting their ten-year-old niece, Amy. She was the only survivor of the accident.
John, age 60, the family patriarch of the Baxter family, and a doctor; on the other hand, feels they should open their hearts to this woman and her family. He thinks it would please his daughter. Kendra was given a second chance. She wants to connect with this family to bring purpose to her life.
Maddie West, 18-year-old daughter, of Brooke Baxter West is also looking for a Christmas miracle. A boy she never expected to see again. Readers also get to revisit with the Flanigan family, which have been dear friends of the Baxters for years.
Ashley and Landon decide they will leave the family home and spare Amy, for the night so their dad can bring in this woman who has Erin’s heart. Ashley thinks her dad is not being sensitive to Amy’s feelings. However, no one has asked Amy her innermost thoughts.
Maybe she wants to meet this special woman who has been given the gift of life. Her mom’s heart. She must be someone special. Everyone seems to be tiptoeing about the other’s feelings instead of being honest.
Her mom had left a piece of herself behind to help Kendra live. But that wasn’t all. She had left a piece of her heart inside Amy, as well. Her mom’s life was meant to make a difference, even in death.
What starts as a snowy, drama-filled, stressful and uncertain time, turns into the most remarkable and memorable family Christmas! Christmas miracles abound connected by the love of a young girl.
As always, Karen Kingsbury portrays a charming, heart-warming Hallmark Christmas in an idyllic wintry setting, of two families coming together following tragedy and grief, to celebrate their strong belief in God, family, and redemption.
For those new fans or ones reading Karen's Baxter family for the first time, the author does an amazing job connecting everyone with a family tree of all the members and players, as well as an update of her own family.
On a personal note: My mom was a huge Karen Kingsbury fan and read each one of her books. (I even found her list after she died). She was looking forward to this title. As most of you are aware my mom passed away this August, after a three-year courageous fight with colon cancer. She will not be with us this Christmas for the first time; however, she lives on in each of us. This story is a special one, which my mom would have loved. This inspiring story, is for you, mom!