Monday, December 5, 2016

A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury

Title: A Baxter Family Christmas
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Read by: January LaVoy & Kirby Heyborne
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: Approximately 5 hours and 4 minutes
Source: Simon & Schuster Audio Digital Review Copy – Thank-you!

A Baxter Family Christmas is a wonderful family Christmas story that offers hope, sadness, joy, and love all in one story.  John Baxter’s daughter Erin, her husband, and three of their daughters died in a horrific car accident two years previously.  One daughter survived and lives with Erin’s sister Ashley and her husband Logan.  Erin’s heart lives on in another, Kendra Bryant.  John decides to invite Kendra to the Baxter family Christmas Eve party and this causes much conflict in the family.  Will the Baxter family be together this Christmas Eve or driven apart by this conflict?  Will Kendra Bryant be able to put her life back together with her husband Moe after this surgery?

I enjoyed all of the characters in this novel and thought it was set up well for a person like me who had never read a Baxter family book.  I really enjoyed the main story of Kendra and her invitation to the family Christmas.  The family has gone through hardship and loss – what does it mean to lose an integral part of your family and how do you move on?  There is also a sweet romance between 18-year old Maddie West (daughter of Brooke Baxter West) and 19-year old college student Connor.  They have a misunderstanding as Maddie tries to work through guilt on something that happened in the past to her sister that she feels responsible for.  I also enjoyed that this was a Christian novel and faith was a large part of the novel.  It’s faith that ultimately gets everyone through their hard times.

One annoyance I had with this audiobook is that is started with an endless stream of thanks by the author.  For an audiobook, this would be better placed at the end of the book.  I listened to five minutes of thank-yous and then remembered there was a fast-forward button and skipped to the next section.  Luckily the next section was a review of who all of the characters are in the Baxter Family.  It is apparently a very long running series and being new too it, this was invaluable to me to set the stage for the story.  I liked how the narrators switched depending on if it was a male or female point of view – they had unique voices which kept me engaged in the story.  I also liked how there was a large section at the end with recipes from the story.  I love recipes!  Karen Kingsbury also announced that the Baxter family will be on TV – I definitely need to read more of this series and check out the show.

Overall, A Baxter Family Christmas is a wonderful family Christmas story that I greatly enjoyed.  It was a wonderful holiday audiobook that really put me in the Christmas spirit!

1 comment:

  1. Laura, I stopped by yesterday, but ran out of time to leave a comment, so I came back. This really sounds like a wonderful audio book, that will make a terrific TV show (or series). I will keep it in mind for holiday time!