Oct 31, 2011

Paper Angels by Jimmy Wayne, Travis Thrasher

Kevin Morrell is a forty-three-year-old husband and father who runs a successful design and marketing firm that's crashed into the suffering economy. Attempting to navigate the busyness of the mall at Christmas, Kevin is humbled when he stumbles across the Salvation Army's Angel Tree Project. His wife insists that he take a paper ornament.

The name on the ornament is Thomas Brandt, a fifteen-year-old still reeling from the implosion of his family—from years of verbal abuse from an alcoholic father to a mother who finally left him behind, only to find herself and her children penniless and struggling. The only thing has allowed Lynn to survive is her faith. Thomas shares that faith, but he also wonders why God has seemingly abandoned them.

This is the story about a man and a boy one December. A man whose life is changed by a simple expression of kindness, and a boy who takes that expression of kindness and shows the true meaning of Christmas.

Jimmy Wayne is an American country music singer and songwriter. He released his self-titled debut album in 2003 on the DreamWorks Records label. Four singles were released from it, including "Stay Gone" and "I Love You This Much", which both reached Top Ten on the Billboard country charts. A second album, Do You Believe Me Now, was released in August 2008 via Big Machine Records subsidiary Valory Music Group, and its title track became his first Number One hit in late 2008.

I have mentioned recently (several times now) how much I love Christmas stories. This year it seems that I have hit a windfall of absolutely fabulous books and Paper Angels is one of the best I have ever read!

Thomas is a teenager with dreams of his own, and they all end when his Mom decides that she has had enough of their abusive home situation. They basically disappear and soon find themselves living in a run down trailer on a remote road, with barely enough to eat.

In desperation, the Mom approaches Salvation Army to see about getting some gifts for her children. They really don't believe that much will come of it, but the kids fill out paper angels with their Christmas wishlist.

On the other side of town, Kevin has struggles of his own. His business is failing, his wife is expecting twins and they are worried about the health of the babies. Kevin's wife has more faith than he does, and she insists that they should claim a couple of Paper Angels from the Salvation Army Christmas tree.

Both families are almost at the end of their rope, yet Christmas miracles really do happen. For a cozy Christmas story that might inspire you to get involved in your own community, read this book. It's definitely on my "must-read" list of Christmas stories.

Disclosure: Ebook received through Net Galley, courtesy of the publisher Simon and Schuster.

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