Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Reindeer Keeper by Barbara Briggs Ward

As the title indicates, this book features a Christmas theme.  I desperately wanted to review it before Christmas, but was unable to.  I tried, I really did but I just couldn't.  Everyone who knows me personally knows a few key facts about me.  One of them is that I'm in love with Santa Claus and another is that I still believe in him.  Scoff if you will, but you'll not get your stocking filled!  One of the most important personal facts that my dear ones know is that I believe that the world should be filled with magic.  No, I don't mean sawing ladies in half.  I mean the kind that reap miracles and joy.  The kind of magic that fills your soul with wonder and makes you believe that maybe, just maybe, life isn't as tough as it may seem sometimes.  Now, I tell you those facts because it'll make you see how excited I was to get my hands on this book.  Santa Claus, Christmas and magic...I'm there!  What I hadn't counted on was just how.....well how deeply this book would affect me.  For me personally, Christmas was tough this year.  I wanted all the magic to be there, but having recently lost my father and being away from my family, I just couldn't fill those holes long enough to let the magic seep in.  So, what this rambling paragraph is attempting to say is:  I desperately wanted to read and review this book before Christmas but it tore at the wounds I was feeling so deeply that no words would come.

Now, please don't take that in the wrong manner.  This is not a depressing and sad tale.  It's glorious and uplifting and heartfelt and I'm deeply in love with it.  In fact, It's going on my keeper shelf in a special section that I keep for the books that move me so much that I read them only once a year.  Alright, enough of my rambling, time to get on with the review!  This book just hit me really hard and even now, after weeks, I'm feeling it's power and I want to share that with all of you.

Through a series of events, Abbey and her husband inherit a century old farmhouse, complete with barn and animals.  The only stipulation is that the animals stay.  Right away, Abbey knows there's something special about this place.  There's also something special about the odd little man that cares for the animals.  With Abbey's cancer in remission, she's looking forward to her boys being home for Christmas at the new house.  What Abbey doesn't realize is that this Christmas will be like no other.

This description of the book makes it sound so light and frothy.  It's nothing like that.  It's an in depth look at life and beliefs.  It's a magical journey through a world filled with wonder.  It's a vice that squeezes your heart until only the release of tears will ease it.  It's a search through your own past to the very core of your childhood. This book will remind you of what you loved about Christmas as a child.  It will make you an integral part of a family that you've never met before.  It will immerse you in a land of sheer delight and tug you back into reality.  It will ...enough of this.  I honestly don't have the words required to describe this book.  It hit me so hard and so deep on so many levels.  It brought me the magic I was missing from Christmas.  It brought me the release I desperately sought with my dad's passing.  It reminded me that I do believe and I have no reason to stop.  This book is a piece of the magic I so desperately long for and I truly hope that everyone I know will pick up a copy and read it.  Don't expect just  light Christmas tale, because that's not what this is. 

I've spent nearly an entire page rambling about this book and I know I haven't adequately described it.  I haven't even come close.  To say I love it, would be inadequate.  So, let me close out by saying just a few more short words.  This is the book I always wanted to write, but so much better than I'd imagined it.  Thank you, Barbara.  I believe.

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