Once in a while, I read a book, novella, or story of some kind where all the pieces fit together in such a way that there is no disconnect, no disjointed pieces, nothing but an enjoyable story with a completeness that brings satisfaction to the reader. Tamera Alexander's Christmas at Carnton is that kind of story.
Aletta is a war widow with a young son about to lose her house to foreclosure. She looks all over town for a job, any job, just to keep the bills paid, and a roof over her and her son's heads.
Jake Winston is a sharp shooter who has been injured and may never see well enough to do his job again.
Both of them end up at Carnton, a Franklin, Tennessee, planttion--Aletta to work, and Jake to recuperate from his injuries. They end up working together on a couple of projects and a friendship forms.
All of the characters are believable--and I found it quite easy to put myself in their circumstances. Aletta is not only skilled in the kitchen, she is also skilled in the woodshop--a deviation from the norm of the day. Jake helps her build a nativity for the front lawn of Carnton to house a live nativity during the auction to raise money for the soldiers. It's fun to watch Jake's opinions change as he sees that the ladies contributing to the auction really feel they have played a part in helping their loved ones.
I give this short novel five stars, two thumbs up, and a hot, flaky biscuit first thing in the morning.
My thanks to Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book.