Friday, October 30, 2009
Book Review: One Holy Night by Joan Hochstetler
A husband and father, tormented by nightmares of a war he can't forget.
A wife and mother, fighting a battle of her own.
A misunderstood son, serving in another controversial conflict overseas.
A married daughter, always playing the peacemaker.
And the baby, who would change it all!
The Viet Nam conflict is in full swing, but Frank McRae still lives in the past, tormented by his nightmares of fighting the Japanese in WWII. Even worse, Frank's family is being torn apart. His wife Maggie, the love of his life, is being tortured by ovarian cancer. The thought of losing her is devastating and he urges her to continue the fight. His son, Mike, goes off to Viet Nam, where God knows what could happen to him. Actually, Frank knows all too well.
When Frank learns that Mike has fallen in love with Thi Nhuong, despite Maggie's pleas and his daughter Julie's urging, Frank disowns his son. If there is a God, where is He? How could he let such horrible things happen?
"As on that holy night so long ago...
in a world torn by sin and strife...
to a family that has suffered heart-wrenching loss...
there will be born a baby..."
I have never read a book quite like One Holy Night. This modern-day retelling of the nativity story set in Minnesota in 1967, finds a family that is torn apart by the war, disease, and suffering brought together again by the miraculous birth of a baby.
This is a deeply emotional, heart-wrenching book. I have never cried so much while reading as I did with One Holy Night. And yet, it is such an inspiring story of hope and how God's grace touches all of us, that you can't help but feel uplifted by the time you're done reading it--which certainly won't take you long because you'll never be able to put it down once you start.
Hochstetler has a rare gift for words. As I write this review, I don't feel I've even been able to express how touching and powerful this story is, how the author's words created so much emotional energy in me that I had to keep reading until I finished, and then was ready to read it all over again.
One Holy Night is destined to become a Christmas classic as moving as Max Lucado's The Christmas Child. This book would also be wonderful on film.
If you want to experience the true meaning of Christmas, buy this book. I can't recommend it highly enough. Joan Hochstetler has gained a fan for life!
Title: One Holy Night
Author: Joan Hochstetler