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Is it possible to keep a marriage “evergreen”?
From the back cover:
An empty nest has Ingrid Christiansen dreading the upcoming holidays, but her husband, John, couldn’t be more excited about this new season of life. He even has a surprise trip abroad planned. He’s sure she’ll love it. What’s more romantic than Christmas in Paris?
Before he can stop her, however, Ingrid agrees to spearhead a major church project. Then their faithful dog, Butterscotch, needs emergency surgery, draining their savings. And then—because disasters strike in threes—an unexpected guest arrives, dredging up old hurts.
As a beautiful blanket of snow transforms the north woods into a winter wonderland, a deep chill settles over John and Ingrid’s marriage. With the holidays fast approaching, their only hope of keeping their love evergreen depends on turning the page on the past and embracing a new chapter of their future.
Marriages are struggling and failing at alarming rates, both in the church and in society at large. Money and communication are frequently cited as the top issues couples battle. Evergreen tackles the crux of this problem as John and Ingrid find themselves reaching in different directions. Taking in a troubled teen threatens to be the proverbial “final straw.”
Understandably, a novella allows less time to deepen characters and their conflicts. However, I felt the interactions between John and Ingrid were too mild to convey the depth of their individual emotional struggles. The resolution would be more powerful with richer tension leading up to it.
That said, Evergreen still tugged on my emotions. I especially liked Romeo. Whether or not his attitude was realistic, I liked him and wanted to see him believe in himself and the Lord. I wanted him to find the stability that he so desperately needed.
This story is part of the Christiansen Family series, which I have not yet read. (Perhaps reading the previous novels would have added the tension I felt was lacking?) All in all, Evergreen was an enjoyable read, suggesting the warmth and love of the holiday season.
(I received a complimentary copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)