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The Wish Book Christmas by Lynn Austin
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Book details

  • Date Published: Sept. 7, 2021
  • Length: 304 pages
  • Audio: 4 hours 48 minutes
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Content Warning: Grief

The Wish Book Christmas Book Review

If you are looking for Christmas novel that is about redemption, forgiveness, and friendship, this book is for you.

This book really surprised me. I went into it with very few expectations. Some books have a tendency to be very 2D. The characters are very “what you see is what you get.” And even though you can appreciate what the author may be trying to convey through the story, the truth is that the characters are a bit “flat” and because of that, they don’t come across as very real or relatable.

That is not the case with this book. I went into expecting it to be like an Aesop’s fable. I thought it was going to be about how two young boys who want every toy in a Christmas catalog (like most kids) learn that Christmas is about much more than that. While that is true — there is sooo much more going on in this story.

Best friends Audrey Barrett and Eve Dawson are single mothers and widows living in postwar America. They are sharing a house together with their two five-year-old sons Harry Dawson and Bobby Barrett.

A Sears Christmas Wish Book shows up in the mail one day, and Eve and Audrey’s two young sons are obsessed with pouring over the catalog and deciding what they want to receive for Christmas. Their mothers are disturbed by their obsession with the Sears wish book and fear that they don’t understand the true significance of the holiday.

I love how the boys start to have a change of heart when they learn about something called “wise man gifts,” and they start to have a new obsession, which leads to a very special birthday party they decide to throw.

This is all taking place in the back drop of what’s going on in Eve and Audrey’s lives and their own hearts. They both have suiters pursuing them that they both have strong feeling for, but they don’t feel worthy or able to respond in kind for various reasons.

You start to learn more about their friendship as the story unfolds and the complex situations that they are both in. These two women were my favorite characters in the book.

I have never a book by author Lynn Austin before, but I was very impressed by her ability to weave an intricate story together with complexities I didn’t expect in a holiday story.

If you love World War II historical fiction, I think you will love this book. While it doesn’t take place during WW2, it takes place in the shadow of that war.

This charming tale is a sequel to the book If I Were You. I did not read that book before reading The Wish Book Christmas and it did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying this book. But now I do want to go back and read that book so I can learn more about Eve and Audrey’s stories.

“Just look at this motley collection of misfits gathered around the manger,” Eve said

“That’s the point isn’t it?” Audrey asked. “Everyone is welcomed to come to Jesus.”

The Wish Book Christmas

Looking for more Christmas books? Check out one of these posts:

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