This novella tells the story of the English town of Gladstone, where the mysterious Christmas candle has woven itself into the very history of the citizens. The candlemaker, Edward, and his wife Bea are the latest out of generations in a family of candlemakers to anticipate the arrival of a mysterious angel, who lights a special candle that then blesses its recipient within the week.
The tale is told upon the arrival of the town’s newest pastor, Reverend Richmond, who is at best a skeptic and at worst a cynic. An unexpected twist to the generations old story results in a much-needed lesson for him and an equally needed reminder for the citizens of Gladstone.
I hate to say it, because I am typically a big fan of Lucado’s books, but I give this book a reluctant three stars. I considered giving it two stars for awhile but ultimately decided on three just because I believe in the message of the story itself.
However, my first problem is the brevity of this story. It was less than 100 pages in my iBooks app, and as a result, did not provide ample time to develop any of the characters, much less the story line. The entire novella felt stilted and awkward.
My second problem is the cost of the book as advertised on every site where I looked. I have a huge problem with novellas being sold for the same price that you’d pay for a traditional length novel – and I have an even bigger problem when those novellas are from Christian authors. This novella should be sold for no more than $3-5 no matter the format. I understand there are costs involved in printing, but if you are going to ask for $9-12, you owe the reader a full novel.
I’m disheartened in finishing this novella – the two factors above loomed so large for me that I could barely focus on the true beauty and simplicity of the lesson learned by the town and its characters in The Christmas Candle. It’s worth reading, and it’ll only take you an hour or two to read it – but I’d recommend you borrow a copy from a friend or your local library.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”