The 20th Christmas by Andrea Rodgers is a hard-to-put-down book. It tells the story of Alan and Arianna Tate and how the kidnapping of their young son affected their lives and marriage. No part of their life was left untouched - including their relationship with the Lord. In a secondary story line, Daniel and Lydia Feller adopt the son they believe is Lydia's nephew. They raise this little boy along with their four other children in a stable, God-honoring home.
While the convergence of the two story lines is somewhat predictable, the plot twists keep it interesting and hard to put down. It is very honest in how such a nightmare-ish event affects the various aspects of the Tate's lives. Their struggles are not minimized or glossed over. It made me evaluate myself and how I would react in the same situation.
Without giving too much away, I was challenged by Lydia's comments on why the Lord may have allowed the kidnapping to occur. I was also greatly challenged by how much weight our words can have on those we love. What we say or in some cases, what we don't say, has the power to either add an unbearable weight to their shoulders or lift that same burden. We tend to be less careful in our words with those who love us because we take them for granted. This book gave some great examples of why this is something we should guard against.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher to review. I was not required to give a positive review. I highly recommend this book. It will tug on your heart-strings, challenge you and tempt you to stay up late reading.