What could be better than a unique, heartwarming, old-fashioned Christmas story carefully crafted by a talented author, filled with Christian values and sweet surprises (and un-surprises!), then polished to near perfection? The answer is THREE such stories melded together into one book – each a delightful story of its own, yet interrelated with the other two. Where Treetops Glisten is a new, 2014 release from WaterBrook Multnomah that successfully brings each of these elements to life, in the voices of three acclaimed authors – Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin and Tricia Goyer. Stepping away from typical holiday novella collections filled with several unrelated short stories, Where Treetops Glisten focuses on one family. As each story-within-the-story singles out a different sibling and shares his or her Christmas love story, the overarching tale is revealed piece by piece.
So many elements of this book are artfully intertwined and corresponding, beginning with the three inner-story titles based on classic Christmas songs – White Christmas by Cara Putman, I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Sarah Sundin, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Tricia Goyer. With World War II as a backdrop, the story is revealed over the course of five years, as each of the three adult Turner siblings find hope, healing, and love in the season of Jesus’ birth. Although each story is shorter than a novel, they are still long enough to truly get to know the characters, and reach a satisfactory ending. One of the most delightful aspects of the book is how each author subtly uses her own voice to add flavor and interest, yet also blends with the other two voices. Consequently, the narrative’s recurring characters remain consistent to their personalities and transitions between stories are smooth.
Because each of the three main sections of the book contain a complete short story, the plots, characters, dreams, messages, and dilemmas are plentiful, and too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say, however, that Where Treetops Glisten is a not-to-be-missed story, and is sure to become a Christmas tradition and classic in the hearts of many. Its gentle portrayal of love is a beautiful ideal of the true meaning of Christmas, and the three differing viewpoints add a special dimension that tickles the imagination. If you are looking for a book to enjoy this December while cuddling before the fire, perhaps sipping a cup of cocoa or nibbling a candy cane, look no further. And don’t be surprised if you are suddenly inspired to pull out a few old, classic Christmas songs, such as Bing Crosby’s White Christmas – “Where the treetops glisten, and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow.”
*** This book was provided courtesy of Random House Publishers, in exchange for my honest review. It is available for purchase at bookstores from WaterBrook Multnomah.