The Ornament Keeperby Published 24 Sep 2018
|The Ornament Keeper.pdf|
|Publisher||New Hope Publishers (AL)|
Award-winning author Eva Marie Everson wraps up a Christmas story of hope, love, and forgiveness just in time for the holidays. The Ornament Keeper, a contemporary Christmas novella, features Felicia and Jackson Morgan who are spending their first Christmas apart after twenty years of marriage. But a lifetime of gifted ornaments helps Felicia piece together the story of their marriage and the one mistake of unforgiveness she made before they said, "I do." Can these memory-filled ornaments reunite this family before Christmas? Only time will tell.
The Ornament Keeper Reviews
Full review to come.
As I read this new novella by Eva Marie Everson I could totally understand how a group of Christmas ornaments could play such an important role in this story. I often recall certain events from my life as I pull out my Christmas ornaments each year and Felicia is no different. Christmas 2018 finds her separated from her husband and she really has little desire to decorate a Christmas tree. It is her daughter who encourages her to pull out the ornaments and it is through these ornaments that we see the life that Felicia and Jackson once shared. He had given her an ornament for their first Christmas together and each Christmas that has followed and she has established the tradition of hanging each ornament in its same special place each year. As Felicia slowly decorates the tree we are offered glimpses of a very complicated marriage that now seems to be over. During one painful memory Felicia asks herself "Was he baiting me? I honestly couldn't tell, and I wasn't sure I knew him well enough anymore to know. Maybe I'd never known him at all. Maybe I'd spent the last twenty years of my life with a man I'd only gone through the motions with."
I must say that I found myself sometimes impatient with Felicia because her memories show a husband who was devoted to her and their children. It is only as she continues to peel back the layers that I realized why Felicia was both un-giving and unforgiving. She is probably like many women who have harbored feelings of low self-esteem and long felt resentment for the lost dreams that they have given up by choosing a marriage and family. It wasn't until Felicia realized this that she could finally understand why she had never felt satisfied and truly happy.
The Ornament Keeper gives us a view of a wife who has often doubted her husband's love and glimpses of the good man who has never loved or wanted anyone else. It is a compelling story of family traditions, treasured memories that are both good and bad and the ultimate understanding that forgiveness is a necessary element in all relationships. It also shows that forgiveness of one's self is just as important as being able to forgive others. Eva Marie Everson has written an entertaining and inspiring Christmas novella and I highly recommend it!
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by JustRead Publicity Tours. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.
Eva Marie Everson has penned an exquisite tale of how unresolved emotions and lost dreams can harm a marriage. I love how she weaves the tradition of the annual Christmas ornament into the journey toward forgiveness and resolution. Absolutely a joy to read!
This would make an excellent Hallmark movie! There's only one thing I found disappointing--it was too short!
You'll enjoy this book, I guarantee it!
This is one of the classiest, emotional and pivotal books about Christmas and family I have ever read. It drips with poignant moments that caught me off guard. We all have been there at times in our marriage where we become unhappy but don't quite know why. Our lives seem happy with healthy children, a lovely home and a marriage that has endured loss and triumph, but we feel empty inside.
I adored the significance of the ornaments in the story. It told in compassionate detail every important moment shared between Felicia and Jackson as they married and raised a family. There is a point in the story that made time stop for a minute. Felicia senses she is unhappy but blames everything else but the real reason she is sad. Maybe it was the realization that she hadn't forgiven herself for something that happened in their past. Does she blame Jackson for not allowing her to pursue her dreams?
On this Christmas of 2018 everything has changed in the family. Christmas was always special because Jackson gave a special gift to his wife every year that spoke to their hearts. Will it happen this year? How did they drift apart? The story is of two people trying to find their way back to each other and along the way experience Christmas like never before. The reference to Mary and Joseph in the story is very significant and it brings deep feelings to Felicia. I cried throughout the book as it really hit home for me.
It has been so hard all these years for me to enjoy the holidays. My childhood was filled with violence and abuse. Christmastime was the worst because I never once received a present my entire childhood. My brothers were blessed with gifts but I had to sit and watch them open them. When I became a mother I did everything I could to make sure that my children had a good Christmas. I put on a good front, but inside I cried for that little girl who wanted a doll and stuffed animal so bad. Over the years I gradually have begun to forgive my parents. What spoke to me the most in this book is two things. The first was how Felicia forgot to forgive herself. That was so powerful and something we often overlook. Thank you for reminding me that I still need to work on that myself. The second thing is how blessed I am to have a man who has stood by me all these years and showed nothing but unconditional love. Felicia didn't understand what she had in Jackson until it was almost too late. I loved when Jackson told Felicia, "I've been in love with you since high school." Jackson and Felicia have each realized they need to work on their marriage and communicate. Will they be able to safe their marriage? Can they remember those special moments at Christmas that are shared with a small gift so precious it reaches into their soul and brings hope? Jealousy and trying to get approval from your parents can stay with you for a long time. Will Felicia and Jackson be able to accept that God is proud of them?
This story will need to be read with tissues handy as you read about a family that goes through trials and leaves you with hope, and a feeling of God's love as He wraps His arms around you. He reminds us that we should treasure our memories and love each other like he loves us.
"The wounds of unforgiveness are not healed at once, but by the proper application of love and time."
I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.
Felicia and Jackson Morgan are in their middle ages and are recently separated. In the beginning of the book we don’t know why they separated, only that Felicia is devastated by the separation. They have 3 children for the 19 years they have been married- Travis, Hank, and Sarah. Every Christmas Jackson gives Felicia a Christmas ornament, an ornament that symbolizes something that happened that particular year.
Throughout the novel we go back and forth in time- reliving Felicia’s memories of her marriage with Jackson. We learn that when Jackson and Felicia were just 19 they had an intimate moment after Jackson found out his father died and was in the midst of grief. When Felicia found out she was pregnant their parents suggested that she and Jackson get married. I think truly this is where the problems started to begin.
I really liked that the marriage between Felicia and Jackson was very realistic. As the story progresses we learn more about their marriage and their challenges and struggles. At times I wanted to both shake both Felicia and Jackson, but most of all Felicia. She was so angry at Jackson, accusing him of cheating when there was no actual proof. Truly I think she was most angry at herself.
This book even though it didn’t clearly state it, emphasized the effects of Postpartum depression. I think Felicia suffered it - especially after her firstborn, Sarah. Her whole life was changed when she found out she was pregnant, not to mention marrying someone very quickly. She had dreams of going to law school. After their second child was born Felicia wanted to go back to school but Jackson stated they didn’t have the money. Felicia didn’t just want to be a mom, she wanted something more. And I was kind of upset at Jackson for not realizing this.
Issues in marriage such as intimacy issues, financial struggles, having children when not ready were all discussed in this book. I think all marriages go through seasons of struggles but what we do about it will determine if the marriage will succeed or suffer. God is there to help with those struggles. Through prayer and personally working on the marriage can help make the marriage last.
**I was provided a copy of this book to review by the publisher. All opinions are my own.