Friday, March 1, 2013

Review: A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: November 2012, Ten Talents Press
Format: eBook (Nook)
Source: Purchased from
One Woman.

Two Men.

One stirs her pulse and the other her faith.

But who will win her heart?

Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston's most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart.

While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the "light in the window," meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.”


Julie Lessman is the author who really solidified my love of Christian Fiction. After going through many inspirational fiction stories that left me with a bad taste in my mouth, her books gave me hope that there were books out there that weren't trying to preach at me or convert me to a specific way of thinking or practicing Christianity, and at the same time read like a work of epic fiction that I didn't want to put down. While Lessman's books are perhaps more heavily influenced by faith and Christianity than some other authors' books I enjoy, I don't feel like she is preaching at me. As she refers to her books, they are about "passion with a purpose."

With A Light in the Window, we finally get to read the story about the couple at the heart of the Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series (and I'm not naming names for those of you who haven't read any of the books yet). I really enjoyed the Daughters of Boston books, but have yet to finish the Winds of Change series. So yes, this book is a prequel novel and in my opinion, if you haven't read any of Lessman's other books yet, I highly, HIGHLY encourage you to start with this one!

I found that my enjoyment of this book was tempered a bit by the fact that I already knew who Marcy would choose and I really just wanted to hurry up and see how it all happened. It is probably just as well that this book is not as chunky as her other books are, since I'm not sure I would have had the patience to work through one of that length. That said, I still enjoyed the story that started it all, so to speak. I will say, though, that I found the ending to be a little confusing -- I had to go back and see if I accidentally skipped some pages on my Nook, tapping the screen too many times. But no, for me it just seemed to skip ahead a little awkwardly from the question of who Marcy would end up with to a scene of them already together. Even so, I loved finally getting to see Marcy's story play out!

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Read this book...
- if you enjoyed any of Julie Lessman's books
- if you like Christian/Inspirational fiction
- if you haven't yet read Lessman's books but want to give them a try. And seriously, start with this one!

A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story


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