Monday, December 6, 2010

The Reindeer Keeper REVIEW

The Reindeer Keeper by Barbara Briggs Ward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Abbey senses something special about the little man tending to the reindeer who, along with a century-old farmhouse, a barn full of animals, and fields abounding in woods and pasture, was a gift to Abbey from a stranger. Abbey and her husband, Steve, move in just before the holidays. They have been together since the '60s, eloping when Steve returned from Vietnam. Now with Abbey's cancer in remission, they're looking forward to their boys coming home for Christmas.
Turns out this Christmas proves to be more magical than anticipated as Abbey realizes an understanding never thought possible through the rekindling of a belief rooted in childhood. Of course it's who delivers this gift on Christmas Eve that gives Abbey and Steve the strength to face their greatest challenge. annotation from Goodreads

Abbey's father is left a wonderful gift. He was kind to a stranger and was left a home and the surrounding land. It was stated on the will that after Abbey's father's passing, she would inherit. Shortly after, Abbey's father passes.

Just before the holidays Abbey and her husband, Steve, move in. Their two grown sons and wife for one, significant other for the second, come home for the holiday's.  They have a wonderful holiday together, and Abbey his blessed to have the experience of getting to know the reindeer keeper.  An eccentric little man who is always in the barn, and very, very busy.  She gets to meet a surprise character, seeing that this is a Christmas book, it probably isn't too hard to figure out who he is.

Abbey learns why she has inherited, and rediscovers the magic of Christmas. She needs the joy of believing to sustain her through the trials that are just around the corner.

Abbey is a strong character.  She is the fabric that holds the glue together in her family.  She has a loving relationship with her husband, and she loves her sons.  She wants to help everyone around her, and has a wisdom that is inspirational.  One thing that she does, that I had never considered is:  she clips the obituaries.  She did this for her father, she clipped them and placed them in his file at the Funeral Home, and then clipped copies to give to the families.  She always wondered about the story that came between the birth date and the death date.

Ward has written a truly inspirational book.  It is written well, the characters feel like they are alive.  You feel their pain, you feel their success.  You grow to love the family.  I do not feel that I can give this book enough praise.  It is a book that I will reread.  It may become one of my holiday traditions.  I received a copy for review from the author, I can tell you, I will never give it away.  You will have to get your own!

A remarkable book. I haven't shed tears reading in a while, I cried reading the pages of this book.

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