Tamera Alexander. Christmas at Carnton: A Novella. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2017.
Christmas stories start being released by publishers during the fall months, to the delight of readers eager for a new story from their favorite authors. With an advanced copy of Tamera Alexander’s newest Christmas story, I actually ended up reading this book in July! In spite of the holiday emphasis of the story, I found it to be enjoyable and appropriate for any time of the year.
In Christmas at Carnton: A Novella, Ms. Alexander launches her newest series set at the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. The story occurs during the Civil War years, when the family is preparing for a Women’s Relief Society auction intended to benefit the Confederate soldiers. Aletta Prescott recently lost her husband, as well as her job. Desperate for a place to live for herself and her young son, she accepts a job cooking for the Women’s Relief Society’s auction and other Christmas season events at Carnton. While there, she befriends Captain Jake Winton, who has been assigned to help with the auction during his recovery. Aletta and Jake soon discover that their losses may have changed their lives, but God provides hope and restoration for them both during a season of war.
Fans of Ms. Alexander’s previous works will be thrilled with Christmas at Carnton as the start of her newest series, featuring yet another Southern plantation. With connections to the families featured in her previous series, Ms. Alexander makes a seamless transition to the family and location of the Carnton Plantation.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Christmas at Carnton! Ms. Alexander’s stories have been improving steadily throughout her career, so I find it fascinating to see her development of a new series. As a novella, Christmas at Carnton is quite a bit shorter than a standard novel, but the length fits the structure of this particular story. Set during the Civil War, the novella seems slightly similar to other historical fiction works based around the same period. However, readers interested in the forthcoming books of Ms. Alexander’s series will find the story worthwhile, as it introduces characters and settings relevant to future works that will be released. Personally, I also found Ms. Alexander’s focus on the Women’s Relief Society’s efforts to be particularly interesting and enjoyable.
Fans of Ms. Alexander’s previous works will definitely want to read Christmas at Carnton. Additionally, those with an interest in historical Christian fiction works set during the Civil War will also enjoy this Christmas-themed story.
Ms. Alexander’s first full-length novel of this series will be released in the fall of 2018!
Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the advanced copy of Christmas at Carnton!
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