Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander ReviewChristmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5) by Tamera Alexander
Published by Thomas Nelson on October 3rd 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 256
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My Rating: four-half-stars

About this Book

A novella to launch a brand new three-book series . . .
In the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas, the cost of love . . . and of loving again.
Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year old son. About to be evicted, she sees an advertisement for the Ladies Aid Society Auction and applies for a position—only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity. And friendship. But can she trust him? Is Jake Winston the man he appears to be? Having lost everything once, Aletta is determined to guard not only her own heart, but also her son's.
Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffers a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Ladies Aid Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.
Set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored . . . at Christmas.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have to preface this review in saying that I don’t typically like historical fiction books. About the only one I have read and enjoyed is Woman of Courage by Wanda E. Brunstetter.

So you may be asking, why then would you read Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander? Believe me, I asked myself that same question, but I kept going back to the same thing, the cover! I mean, it just said Christmas and READ ME! So that’s what I did!

One interesting thing about this story is that it is a novella. What makes it unique is these are typically only released as ebooks, not print books as well, which I think made this one nice. Since it is shorter than other full length books, it was fitting for the size of a Christmas story.

The story takes place in the midst of war and the fading dream of the Confederacy. It is set against the backdrop of the real history of Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee. Here we read about Aletta Prescott who is recently widowed. Her husband was killed in the war and she is left to care for their son alone. On top of dealing with the loss of her husband and trying to help a six-year old understand what happened, she is about to be evicted.

My heart went out to Aletta. I felt so bad for her, yet Alexander did an excellent job of conveying the struggle of the time period this book is about. Aletta’s son would ask about his dad and Aletta would try to explain that he was with Jesus, yet the boy didn’t seem to get that. In what seems like a glimmer of hope, Aletta finds an advertisement for the Ladies Aid Society Auction, but finds out that the position is already filled.

Captain Jake Winston is a sharpshooter who suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. He ends up being ordered to assist with a local Ladies Aid Society Auction. Through his assignment he and Aletta meet and the story takes off.

While historical fiction isn’t a genre I usually read, this proved to be a good book. It held my attention and gave me enough history that I was able to enjoy the story without feeling overloaded. Will I read the books that follow? Maybe, but if I don’t, it won’t be because of this book, it will just be my lack of interest in most historical fiction, although Tamera Alexander will be the author I return to if I decide to dive into more historical fiction.

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