Review Time: Calm & Bright by Autumn Macarthur

calm-bright-by-autumn-macarthurI am a fan of Autumn MacArthur and am delighted to see she has a new novella series, Huckleberry Lake, set in Idaho.  Perfect timing too as I’m ready for some heart-warming Christmas stories!

My synopsis:  All Maddie Calder wants for Christmas is for her ex-husband, Brad, to spend quality time with their son, Joshua, over the Christmas holiday. As a single parent who is also caring for an ailing grandparent, Maddie has her hands full and is thankful for the love of her neighbors and community at Huckleberry Lake. Brad, raised in a dis-functional family, has never known what family and community are all about. His job has always been to climb the corporate ladder and make more money to provide for his son and ex-wife. He loves Maddie, but doesn’t understand why Maddie left him, or why ‘gifts’ can’t make their relationship better. A couple days at Huckleberry Lake has Brad seeing his marriage and family in a whole new light. However, as the pressure of work pulls him away, Brad will have to decide what is truly in his life, and what he’ll sacrifice to have it.

So this novella is what I would call “cozy romance.”  I enjoyed watching Maddie and Brad rediscover the love they had for one another. They were young when they married, but are now mature enough to understand that falling in love and making a marriage work are two different things. As they begin to discover each others strengths and weaknesses they discover that neither had the correct expectation of marriage and maybe, just maybe, God has given the example that is truly worth fighting for. One of the things I always like about Autumn’s books is that the stories move toward a point where God is the central focus, and His word reigns supreme whether the characters choose to follow or not.

Finally, at the end of the book is a list of scripture that is central to this story, as well as a tasty recipe for Huckleberry Muffins by The Rowdy Baker. Now all I need to do is figure out where to buy huckleberries. Unfortunately they don’t grow in my neck of the woods!

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