Richard Paul Evans has been called "the king of Christmas fiction" by The New York Times and with The Noel Stranger we can see why he has been given this nickname. The Noel Stranger is the newest edition to the many great Christmas-themed books by Evans.
"Maggie Walther feels like her world is imploding. Publicly humiliated after her husband, a local councilman, is arrested for bigamy and her subsequent divorce, she decides to isolate herself from the world." (quote from the cover jacket)
A stranger enters Maggie's life when her friend, Carina, insists she should get out of the house and maybe even decorate for Christmas. Maggie goes to a Christmas tree lot and due to the small nature of her car, the owner of the lot, Andrew Hill, offers to deliver the tree using his truck. This starts a relationship between the two of them.
One of the things that I enjoy about books by Richard Paul Evans is the short nature of each chapter. When you complete one, it only seems natural to read one more before putting the book down. Because of this readability, I often finish Evans' books in one or two days. This is perfect considering that life seems very hectic in our homeschooling household. In some ways, the books by Evans may also be a bit predictable but sometimes it is nice to read simple tales that also have a message of hope, trust, love, and rebirth.
Part of what The Noel Stranger offers is the typical snow of Utah, the idea of a white Christmas, and also a holiday vacation in Los Cabos, Mexico. Maggie takes a risk going on vacation with a stranger – a Christmas tree salesman – and learns more about him. As she finds out more will she be able to trust Andrew?
Even with a few threads that seemed to go nowhere (for example, the story of the Stephenses and what happened to them), I recommend The Noel Stranger for those who enjoy Christian fiction, Christmas tales, and stories of hope.
Please check out some of my other book reviews here: