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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Learning To Let Go by Elizabeth Pina

Learning To Let Go by Elizabeth Pina
Publisher: White Rose Publishing
Genre: Inspirational, holiday
Lenth: Full (199 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Lily

Pastor's daughter, Emma Chandler, canceled her wedding and put her life on hold when she discovered her fiancés betrayal. Three years later, she is sure God wants her to befriend the Sullivan family and show His love to the motherless children. Falling for their father would repeat her mistake; his heart will forever belong to someone else. Can she risk living in another woman's shadow?

Dedicated neurosurgeon, Keith Sullivan, still holds on to the memories and possessions of his late wife. He realizes his two young children need more than their live-in nanny can provide, but he doesn't know how to help them. It's obvious the beautiful and kind Emma could fill the void in their lives, and it's painfully clear she'd bring joy back to his.

Would loving two women be a sin?

Christmas lights fill the city, trees fill the homes, but emptiness fills the heart of Dr. Keith Sullivan until his lost wallet brings a beautiful angel in the person of Emma Chandler into his life. Now that he’s met her, what is he going to do with her?

Keith not only can’t get excited by the upcoming holidays, he can’t even sort through the mindless day to day activities in order to hold his family together. After two years, the death of his beloved wife still shadows his moves, and his only reprieve is found in his work. But God has other plans for Keith, and they come to fruition in the small, unremarkable woman, Emma Chandler.

Emma, laboring to help save the children in her father’s parish, struggles daily to deal with poverty at its worst. Not expecting a life for herself, her only concern is for the children. The upcoming Christmas pageant brings new life to the parish when Keith and his children show up in church so he can repay a debt. He finds more than absolution in the wooden pew.

In spite of rather abrupt personality changes in some of the secondary characters, you can’t help but become part of the holiday celebration when Keith and Emma discover each other in the small, rundown church in the poorest part of the city. While Keith struggles to recapture the joy of life for the sake of his children, he becomes caught up in the joy of the season as he listens to his little girl sing for the pageant. His son, having turned inward after his mother’s death, longs for a mother and clings to the pastor’s daughter, desperate for a warm heart to love him.

Pina does a lovely job of creating characters with flaws anxious to be touched by the Hand of God. She weaves these flaws and imperfections into a true-to-life Christmas tale that will have the reader singing Away in a Manger long after the story is through. A seasonal novel to be read and reread year after year.