The Christmas Visitor by Linda BylerMy rating: Genre
Source: Publisher (via Netgalley)
It's a story as old as time: boy meets girl, boy fancies girl, boy buys girl's affections with lavish gifts she could never afford to get for herself.
In The Christmas Visitor, the girl in question is Ruth, a young Amish widow who is genuinely struggling to make ends meet. Her story is told in great detail as mysterious gifts start to arrive on her doorstep, from she knows not whom.
This is a very unusual romance novel, in that the heroine and her love interest barely meet until very near the end. She catches his eye a couple of times, and a little while later suddenly decides she rather likes him. When they finally do get to talk, of course, it turns out that he likes her too - but their feelings have grown in a strange vacuum, without the aid of communication, which made me struggle to identify with the characters and their developing feelings.
I also found the extensive use of brand names quite off-putting; while I understand that every now and then a character has to grab a Coke, this felt like product placement gone mad. Perhaps the author's goal was to show that Amish communities use branded products just like anyone else, but I really don't need to know both brands of detergent that the heroine uses to do her washing... it's just too much detail for me. This was just one facet of a general trend to give too much intricate description of mundane matters, filling the pages that might otherwise have been devoted to these two characters getting to know one another. I can see that there might be readers to whom this appeals, but unfortunately, I'm not one of them.
|Looking for more Christmas reads? I'm keeping a list (and checking it twice) of all the seasonal books that I've reviewed.|