06 December 2012

Review of A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman

A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman




 Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels   

                          
                                My Daughter's and My Names are in HERE!!!!


Bibliotherapy galore! We have alcohol abuse, child abuse, faithfulness in marriage, emotional abuse, single child homes, sibling rivalry, death of a parent, competition and jealousy, etc., etc.  We have Patrick's full background finally revealed to us.  And somehow I never picked up on Marcie's history although I feel sure Julie dropped her backstory into her two series The Daughters of Boston and The Winds of Change. 

We have two womanizing carousers (despite it being 1895!) who spend more time at the bars than in church. Marceline Murphy daydreamed most of her life about her friend, Julie O'Rourke, and her family--especially about her older brother, Sam. 

Patrick O'Connor has his own daydreams, and they don't include a wife--that is until he fall for the new "angel of mercy" in town--Miss Murphy. Sam succumbs, too, but more so to his own inner demons and what had been a seed grows into a full blown tangled vine of competition and deceit.

The story revolves around a drama that Marcy directs for the parish. Julie Lessman gently shows us Marcy's grit and determination as well as her blind spots. This book does not follow a typical romance's story arcs, so romance readers might be a tad thrown off, but I believe the twists and turns were needed to contrast the differences between the two men in love with Marcy and what might have happened to her if she had made the wrong choice.  

The children in the story are adorable (especially the cameo spot by Carrie Pagels and her baby sister Cassandra Rose!!!)  The Christmas custom of placing a light in the window, is also the name of the play and of this book.  Marcy had to learn that what she thought she was looking for was right there in her own home--I loved that little nugget in the story because so often in life we don't learn those lessons until much much later. 

I initially thought this might be the first book to read if someone hadn't read any of Julie Lessman's novels, but when I finished, I wasn't sure.  It is quite different (except all the kissing, lol!) from the other stories.  So I am 50-50 on that. This is a story that needed to be told and I am very glad to have read it.  Somehow, I lean just a tad toward reading it afterwards. Somehow, it is though a big Christmas bow has been tied around the book.  Maybe because this final story in the series DOES feel like a fabulous Christmas present! THANK you Julie for including our names, too--very cute and touching!!!

A Light in the Window can be purchased in e-book format through Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Giveaway:  This ebook will be given away to three commenters. You must be one of Julie's Facebook author page followers to win.  Simply go to her FB author page and click "Like" (Here is the link to her page.) Just put JL in your comment so we know! Thanks!

Question: Have you ever read a book (other than the Bible!) that felt like the best Christmas present?  Do tell!

67 comments:

  1. Oh, Carrie, you never cease to amaze (and BLESS!!) me!! thank you SO very much for the lovely review and the deep insight that you always seem to bring to the books you review -- EVEN to the author!!

    May God continue to bless everything you put your hand to, my friend!!

    Hugs and more hugs,
    Julie

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    1. I think I look at books in a really different way, lol! Glad you liked the review and thank so much for the blessing!!!!

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  2. I have tried and tried to win this book! It likes wonderful! Maybe this time will be my time to win!
    likesmusic2@consolidated.net

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    1. Could be Deb--hey where is your answer to the Q?

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  3. I would love to win a copy of this latest Julie Lessman book! (hangs head in shame for not having read it yet) I don't remember what time of year I read Julie's book A Hope Undaunted, but I was blown away by it. It was the first of her books that I had ever read, and I almost didn't because time was short, but I signed up for the blog tour after reading Julies bio. I had no idea what to expect, and it was just such an incredible story and gripping writing. That was a gift to me, and I knew I'd read every book she ever wrote after that. This one (A Light in the Window) is the only one I have yet to read. Thanks Carrie for the review and chance to win!

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    1. You didn't answer the Q, Jocelyn! It is fun to see other authors here who want to read Julie's books, and you should!

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  4. Julie; I've wanted to read this book so badly and have tried to win it - just haven't quite gotten there yet.
    Still praying blessing upon blessing on you, yours and your writing, girlfriend.
    I LOVE THE PIC OF YOUR DAUGHTER AND WHAT A GREAT JOB YOUR HUBBY DID!

    SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND THE REWARDS OF THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS!

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  5. I cannot wait to read this book!! Have I ever read a book that felt like the best Christmas present ever??? Hmmm... I can't say that I have. I LOVE books and to me, they are the best presents to receive, but the best present ever... one book? Not sure.

    JL

    ladettek[at]gmail[dot]com

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  6. Julie;
    SUBMITTED THE COMMENT BEFORE I PUT MY JL IN THERE - I've been to the FB page and CLICKED ON LIKE - WHICH SHOULD HAVE A PLACE TO CLICK _ LOVE_!

    love you!

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    1. JOY, random.org has selected you but I need an answer to my question about your favorite book that felt like a Christmas present to you! Then you can be our FIRST giveaway winner of A Light in the Window!

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  7. I follow Julie Lessman on Facebook (JL)! Love her books. Finished A Love Surrendered a few weeks ago and I loved it. I never feel like it's Christmas when I finish her books because I am bummed it's ending. =) This is the only book of her's that I have not read. Would love to read it! There are so many great authors that leave you with that great book ending that I can't say I have read just one book that gives you that feeling. I have read several that just leave a little smile on your face. =)


    Melissa
    Battles2001@hotmail.com

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    1. Melissa, thanks for answering the Q and liking Julie on FB! I SAVED this book for nearer to Christmas, just like it was a Christmas present just for me, which is was, lol! Hugs!!!

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  8. Carrie, excellent review of A Light in the Window. And so cool that you and your daughter find your names in one of Julie's books. Julie just has a way with telling stories that grip your heart and make you sigh, all within the same breath. So I know that ALITW will be no different. I've read several books that have touched me, but one that fits your "Christmas present" description, though it's not a Christmas book, is Laura Frantz's Love's Reckoning.

    Thanks for a chance to enter your drawing. JL.

    bookwarp(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Angi, thanks for answering and Laura is a friend of both Julie's and mine so thanks for your thoughts!

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  9. A beautiful cover !!! When I see the light inside the lantern, I think of Jesus is the Light of the World. A beautiful soft glowing light around Christmas is a perfect setting. Very interesting revirew !!! I would love to win this book - a perfect timing to curl up reading this book by the crackling fireplace with a hot chocolate and let the snowing falling down. Count me in in this drawing !!! I really would like to have this beautiful book !!! Kim
    JKTerrazas09@aol.com

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    1. I love that cover, too, Kim, and Julie's hubby did it! Okay you need to answer the Q and like Julie's page!

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  10. Although I really like Julie Lessman's writing, perhaps the book that came the closest to feeling like a Christmas present when I read it was HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM by Francine Rivers. I had read HER MOTHER'S HOPE and really wanted to find out how it ended.

    JL

    Thank you for the opportunity to win a book by Julie Lessman.
    Kaye Whitney

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    1. Kaye, thanks for sharing! And you are very welcome!

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  11. Thanks for offering this.
    I love books and read a ton. When I was young I received 'A Wrinkle in Time' for Christmas and loved it.
    JL
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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    1. That is such a great book, Wendy! I read that to our daughter but am not sure I read to our son yet. I think I got him the audiobook from the library to listen to but he was too young. Blessings!

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  12. CARRIE, such a fabulous review for ONE fabulous book! I loved the part in your review about the big Christmas bow being tied around the series! That's the way I felt, too. Like it was a special Christmas gift for all of us O'Connor family fans!

    All of Julie's books felt like the best Christmas presents ever, but if I HAD to pick one it would have to be The Frontiersman's Daughter! That book was sooo good, I sent a handwritten letter to the author, Laura Frantz, via the publishing company (this was b4 FB), and we became fast friends!

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    1. I loved tFD, in fact it is my fav Christian fiction book, as you know, but I was privileged to read it in the summer right when it first released. I had met Laura online and did her first ever interview and review!!!

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    2. I didn't know that about the first review and interview...cool beans!

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  13. I am adding JL to my previous comment on this page after going to Julie's FB.
    Thank you !!! Kim
    JKTerrazsd09@aol.com

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  14. JL

    Any good book that draws me in from the first page all the way to the last feels like an awesome Christmas present. Enter me into the contest please.

    winterrose at comcast dot net

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  15. It sounds wonderful, I look forward to reading it.

    Glenda Parker

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  16. I love reading Christmas novels around Christmas time. I love having Christmas spirit and love having happy endings and dreams cone true children awe with magic at Christmas tine.
    JL
    Kim
    JKTerrazas09@aol.com

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  17. (JL)
    My Mom gave me a set of 6 Nancy Drew books for Christmas when I was about 9... Who would have thought the book collection that would start.... I now have around 1,500 books..... SO would say those books were one of the best presents I have ever gotten.

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  18. I TRULY enjoy your reviews, Carrie, and I agree with your comment to Julie. You look at books differently and I love that about you :)

    The cover of this book floored me in its beauty and then I learn it's Julie Lessman's daughter and I very impressed and touched by that. I also love snowglobes :)

    This was my first Julie Lessman book and I recommend to others who have not read her books yet that this one be read last (of the series). It's a great story, but I felt lost with the characters and didn't appreciate where their story came from. I'll have to read it again after I finish the Daughters of Boston series (it's the prequel to that right?) Hope that helps.

    You did an AWESOME job with the review, Carrie, well done! You really captured the characters and description without giving anything away, I've been struggling with that my last few reviews :) I also LOOOOVED seeing your name in this one! I did a double take when reading it and thought, "I know HER!" Didn't realize that Cassandra is your daughter's name too, how wonderful!

    Please don't enter me in this giveaway since I already have a copy; I am a facebook fan of Julie's and look forward to reading her other books...in order :)

    As for your question, another one to really consider...One of the first books I ever reviewed was The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson and that felt like a Christmas gift because it was the end of last year when I got it. I absolutely fell in love with the story and have come to love reviewing books ever since. Great question Carrie!
    Hugs and blessings!

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    1. KARA, you are so SWEET!!! Hey, if I draw your name I'll let you pick one of Julie's other books. I cannot believe you haven't read her other novels!!! Thanks so much for your kind comments! YES, my daughter's name is Cassandra Rose. I guess my MIL's name is in there too, since she is a Mrs. Pagels, lol. I loved having Cassandra Rose being my baby sister in this one and Marcy was so good to my little Carrie character!

      Will tell Melanie Dickerson--she'll be tickled!!!

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  19. Great review, Carrie! Thank you! I have been keeping my eye on this one for a little while and wondered if it would be my kind of read. Now, I know it is.
    My favorite book as a Christmas present is The Man Who Moved A Mountain. It's non fiction, but it tells the life of a minister's rough upbringing in the mountains of VA. Very inspiring!
    JL
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. I have not read this book but would like to, Amy!
      Nonfiction,huh--must be a great book! Thanks for your kind comments!

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  20. CARRIE! Terrific review, of course. I can't wait until the day your name is on the OUTSIDE of a book! JL

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    1. I've read so many Christmas books and novellas it's hard to choose a favorite! Two that I have thoroughly enjoyed are Naomi's Gift: An Amish Christmas Story by Amy Clipston, and A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman.

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    2. I didn't know Vannetta had that book out? Thanks, ANNE--I can't wait to see my name on a cover, too!!!

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  21. A book that seemed like the best Christmas present? I am waiting for just the right time to sit down and read 'A Wreath of Snow'. I have a few extra days off around the holidays and taking the time to read it will be a present=).

    Love Julie's books and look forward to reading this e-book soon.

    JL

    Patty

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. A Wreath of Snow was beautiful, PATTY and a great Christmas present to read!!!

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  22. What a great review, CARRIE! I don't read many Christmas books. Only once or twice a year. Last year I got Cindy Woodsmall's Christmas novella in the mail from my lovely friend DIANA. It was just in time to read for Christmas. This made it feel very special and Christmassy to me. :)

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    1. Forgot to mention that I loved to find out about your names in the book!! That's sooo nice and sweet of JULIE!

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    2. Awww, thank you for mentioning that, Marian. I forgot I even sent you that book! lol

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    3. THANKS MARIAN!!! That was really AMAZING--I can't believe I am such a spaz that I forgot she said she was gonna do that!!! Was cool to find our names in there!

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  23. I have reviewed several of Julie's books and love them...have found my name in her books too.

    JL

    Maureen

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  24. Though it's not a Christmas book I did receive it at Christmas time from my sister in law...LOVE YOU FOREVER! I first thought it was a book about potty training because of the cover. To this day when I read it or even saw it being read in a Hallmark movie - I want to cry. It is the most wonderful, wonderful book about aging.

    JL

    missionwife@hotmail.com

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  25. CARRIE I am so GLAD you read this...I was about to die not telling you about seeing your name in there when I read it. Then I almost told Diana but didn't want to spoil it either, and that day at Lizzards Thicket we both wanted to say something but we didn't. Then I find out later the joke was on me because Julie told me you KNEW it!! LOL Boy did I ever laugh at that one! Keeping a not so secret-secret is very hard work! :D Love your review, love you and love love love Julie and her books!!

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    1. LOL, now you know how bad my memory is because I couldn't figure out why this was your ecstatic greeting when I first got to meet you in person, Teresa, lol!!! "You have to read Julie's latest book!!!!!!!" Later Diana said something to me--I had forgotten, wasn't really sure Julie wasn't yanking my chain or something. Thanks for your kind words!

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  26. Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans .It was a book once you started it you could not put down.It has twist and turns in it that I did not expect .Would love to win a copy of this book please !Thank you ,Dana Spille
    jashbk@earthlink.net

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    1. Thanks, Dana, for sharing that with us! blessings!

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  27. Hi! I would like to win!! Kathleen JL
    My answer is definitely HEIDI.
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  28. Hi Carrie !!! Thanks for giving such a great review !!!! When I first saw the cover of this book, I decided that I really want to read it !! I have never read anything by Julie and I think this series would be a great place to start !! What an honor having your name in there huh ?? :-) thanks for the chance to win this great prize !! Chicki Rosemary Foley rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    1. I am so sorry that I didn't answer the question Carrie !! The book that I read that was a gift ?? Little Women !! I loved that book, and learned to do embroidery at a young age and the feeling of sitting doing that embroidery with my mom crocheting and my little sisters and brothers playing, my dad was away, a lot when i was little, he was in the Navy, life was good.. Rosemary Foley rfoley@salemstate.edu

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    2. Hey Chicki! I loved Little Women and felt like that was an amazing Christmas present, too--in fact I believe I did receive it as a Christmas gift! LOVED that book. Still do!!!

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  29. Enjoyed your review CARRIE! There sure were a heap of bibliotherapy issues in this one, I love how Julie can do that while still delivering an exciting romance. I always feel people get the best of both 'worlds' with her stories... sort of like a non-fiction encouragement/teaching book along with a great fiction novel.
    When I saw your names Carrie, I had to go back and look twice! That was a great surprise. As with the others, I had no idea you knew already lol!

    Many, many books I've been eagerly waiting for, seem like Christmas presents... But the first one that came to mind was Marcia Gruver's 'Hunter's Prize' as I'd been sooo eagerly awaiting that one and then was blessed to get it as a birthday gift from Marcia... so in a way it really was a gift! :)

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    1. Exactly, Noela--I know other people aren't looking at the book the same way nor do I think the authors even consider what they are doing to be a form of bibliotherapy. although Julie I know does want to, as a ministry, get across to young women that they are playing with fire when they don't watch what they are doing. Yes, so COOL so see our names in there!!! I have got to read one of Marcia's books!!!

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  30. CARRIE!!! I am SUCH a sludge today in not getting by, so please forgive me (and I know you will because you always yell at me about cutting back when I am crazy swamped like now). But I am happy to say that I actually got some writing done, which is good since I am three months behind on my Jan. 15 book deadline, so THANK YOU, GOD!! Also got the tree and decorations up tonight while hubby and I watched a Hallmark Christmas movie, which is HUGE because I have been pushing myself 18/7 for a long time now and seldom watch movies with him anymore. Time for a change, right??

    Thank you SO much for doing the givaways and the fabulous review, my friend, and my heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful friends, both new and old, who came by to comment. Wish I could send each and every one a book!!

    Love you and love this blog!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Very good, I am proud of you for making progress on your writing goals, yay!!! Yes, time for some enjoyment! You are very welcome and I don't want to send every one a book--I want a bunch of folks to BUY this book!!!

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  31. would love to win, i haven't read her books. the book I loved was Christmas Pie.

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  32. Best book that felt like a Christmas present - well - Carrie - here it is - THE MEASURE OF KATIE CALLOWAY - Serena Miller - Revell

    EASY PEASY - it WAS a Christmas gift to me.

    A very very good book and reviewed on my blog after I read it.

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    1. JOY, I loved that book, too! Wonderful book! And you are officially our FIRST WINNER!!! Congrats!!!

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  33. Thanks for another wonderful review of Julie's Christmas book. I've read so many wonderful books that it's difficult pinpoint just one that felt like the best gift. There are so many gifted authors out there, and I've truly enjoyed many, many books. If I have to choose just one I think it might be Unexpected Christmas Hero by Kathy Macias. Very emotive and the plans of reuniting the homeless man on the cover of this book with his long lost family is such a blessing. Thank you for offering this giveaway. JL
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Nancee, that is so cool, isn't it? Thanks, too!

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  34. The best book that felt like a Christmas present was The Sound Of Sleigh Bells by Cindy Woodsmall! JL

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Megan! Cindy seems like a very nice lady and I had the privilege of interviewing her for an online article a while back.

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  35. I have read and love too many books to even begin to choose which one made me feel like it was a Christmas present. I love old and new authors alike.

    I have liked JL's facebook page.

    deamundy(at)gmail(dot)com

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