There is something so romantic about reading a book. Even if the story itself isn’t romantic, the very idea of getting lost in a story is romantic. I love sitting down in my room by the bay windows, and just getting captivated by the story of a fictional character and their saga. Once I start a book, I have a hard time putting it down!
Due to my busy schedule, it is a challenge to find the time to actually read a real book. Most of the time, I download a book and listen to it on Audible. For the Christmas season, I wanted to read something for the holidays. It can be a challenge to find a book that is about the Christmas season, and even more challenging to find clean and wholesome stories! Last year, I heard about a new Karen Kingsbury book called A Baxter Family Christmas. I decided to read it for this 2019 holiday season.
I started off strong reading the book around Thanksgiving time. Through my traveling and work schedule (can you say Black Friday?) I fell a little behind in my reading. I just finished the book this week, and I wanted to share with you my thoughts on it! It turned out to be the perfect book for this time of year, and if you’re going to have some extra time during Christmas break, I highly recommend it. Karen Kingsbury is a Christian author, and the story was captivating and wholesome.
What I didn’t realize when I started the book was that this is part of a series. There is a whole series of books based on the Baxter family, and this novel is a continuation of the story. Kingsbury does a great job of introducing the family to the reading audience, but since I haven’t read the other books, I found myself having to flip back to that section often to remember who the characters are and their individual back story.
This book follows the large Baxter family in their different journeys throughout a particular Christmas season. I loved the way that Kingsbury wove the stories together, while developing them on their own as well. I was especially interested in seeing what happened with one of the teenage girls named Maddie. Maddie is dealing with guilt from her past, and is starting to fall in love with a boy in college, but due to her shame, she will not allow herself to get close to him.
The premise of the book overall deals with a past tragedy in the Baxter family. John Baxter, the patriarch of the family, lost his youngest adult daughter about two years earlier in a tragic accident. Along with her death, they also lost her husband and three of her four children. One child survived, and was taken in by one of the Baxter siblings.
Erin Baxter, the daughter that tragically lost her life, was an organ donor. The recipient of her heart is a woman named Kendra Bryant, who is struggling in many areas of her life: with faith, dealing with the tragedy that gave her a new heart, and in her relationship with her husband. John feels led to invite Kendra to Christmas Eve dinner, much to the rest of the family’s dismay.
The story follows the entire Baxter family through this journey of emotions as they are still mourning the loss of Erin and her family. Although they are a close-knit family, each one is dealing with feelings on different levels. Kingsbury also is telling some background stories while developing the overarching story. She somehow has the ability to keep the story light despite the family tragedy.
This book feels like a warm blanket on a cold winter morning. The characters are endearing, and I felt like I wanted to be invited to the next Baxter family gathering! I highly recommend this book as a great, light read for the Christmas break.
It did make me want to go back and start at the beginning of the series. I am thinking about possibly doing that in the new year. There are so many books on my “must read” list for 2020! I have even given some thought to starting a “book club.” What do you think? I could choose a book for the next month and announce it so you have a chance to order it. Then we could start a discussion group about the book right here on the blog! Let me know in the comments if you’d want to join in!
I hope you have a great Christmas break with your loved ones. Order A Baxter Family Christmas today by clicking HERE, and start reading it this weekend! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!