book review, Uncategorized

Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols: Book Review

SilentDaysYes…I’m still on a Christmas reading spree. No…I’m not sorry. I’m still mooning over this cover. It’s simple, clean, and perfect for this book.

Blurb from Amazon: (Is anyone tired of me typing that yet?)

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house . . .  

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

My turn:

First off, Julia is what I would call an old soul…she’s eleven but has the maturity of a forty-year-old most of the time. It’s only when she asks questions that her youth is fully expressed, but sometimes, the questions she asks are well beyond an eleven-year-old.

I loved the details in the book. Everything from Christmas traditions to the descriptions of Emerald Crest were well-planned and written in a way that help you see the world changing around you. We learn about Mr. Lafferty gradually, gaining little tidbits of information at key points so that we slowly learn who he truly is.

This is my first book of Phyllis Clark Nichols so I had no idea what to expect. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been reading so much romance lately, and Silent Days, Holy Night was a refreshing breeze of clarity with the friendship between one young girl and an old man whom she is determined to befriend.

One person really can change the world. One little girl can bring happiness to a reclusive old man who loves to give but has never had anyone give back. The world needs more Henrys and Julias…more people willing to give of their time and their love for the simple joy of it without expecting anything in return.

The book starts with Julia as an adult. Rather quickly, the clock rolls back and we go back to the day Julia first met Mr. Lafferty. The story progresses from there, from Julia wanting to learn sign language so she can communicate with Mr. Lafferty (whom she dubs H) to her planning a surprise party as a thank-you for everything H has done through the years.

Julia’s grandmother talks about moments, that instant in time when something happens that will alter the course of your life forever. We will all have those moments, whether they are good or bad, they will alter us…change us. Some of these moments will be of our own choosing, some might not. The important thing to remember is that God is with us through everything.

I would recommend this book for anyone who might be looking for a non-romancy, sweet Christmas read. It is well worth your time.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to leave a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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