One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson (Review)

Graphic designer Natalie Pearce faces the most difficult Christmas of her life. For almost a year, her mother has lain in a nursing home, the victim of a massive stroke, and Natalie blames herself for not being there when it happened. Worse, she’s allowed the monstrous load of guilt to drive a wedge between her and everyone she loves—most of all her husband Daniel. Her marriage is on the verge of dissolving, her prayer life is suffering, and she’s one Christmas away from hitting rock bottom. Junior-high basketball coach Daniel Pearce is at his wit’s end. Nothing he’s done has been able to break through the wall Natalie has erected between them. And their daughter Lissa’s adolescent rebellion isn’t helping matters. As Daniel’s hope reaches its lowest ebb, he wonders if this Christmas will spell the end of his marriage and the loss of everything he holds dear.

  • File Size: 469 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1426700709
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (June 1, 2009)

Author: Myra Johnson launched her writing career in 1985 when she sold her first short story while taking a course through the Institute of Children’s Literature. Myra later joined the ICL staff as a magazine writing instructor, teaching hundreds of students the fundamentals of story and article structure, plotting, character development, and market analysis. She now writes full-time and is active in her church as well as local and national writers groups. Her manuscripts have placed in several contests. One Perfect Christmas won first place in the 2008 Winter Rose (Mainstream with Romantic Elements); Pearl of Great Price took third in the 2007 ACFW Genesis (Contemporary Fiction); and Autumn Rains won the 2005 RWA Golden Heart for Best Inspirational Romance Manuscript. Myra and her husband, Jack, have been married since 1972. Recent transplants from Texas to Oklahoma, they share their home with two love-hungry dogs and a snobby parakeet. The Johnsons have two daughters, both married, and five grandchildren. She currently lives in Broken Arrow, OK.

Website: www.myrajohnson.com; Active blogger on www.myra.typepad.com andwww.seekerville.blogspot.com

Click to purchase on Amazon: One Imperfect Christmas

Review:

How often do we wish we’d just said yes to someone and felt guilty because we put ourselves first? How often does the person suffer a debilitating stroke that if we had been there, we think we could have prevented? Such is the guilt that Natalie suffers from when she turns down her mother’s request to help put away Christmas decorations. What happens next is how the guilt can tear a family apart, and only forgiveness of one’s self can mend the broken-ness.

Guilt can eat away at a person’s soul and Myra Johnson’s ONE IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS is an accurate depiction of real-life drama. We all play the “Monday morning Quarter-back game” and Natalie is consumed by the guilt game of would’ve, should’ve, could’ve.

This story is about a mother’s stroke and a daughter’s guilt. It really could have been any story. There are any number of scenarios that could be used with the same result. Guilt eats and destroys us and until we find forgiveness within ourselves, we run the risk of destroying those around us.

The book was very well written with a wonderful story. It was a story of Christmas forgiving and healing, and is perfect for holiday reading. I am giving the book five stars. Although some readers have indicated they thought Natalie was really selfish, I think it is an accurate depiction of human nature. Each person handles grief differently and must find their way through to the other side. ONE IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS was such an example.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.