Richard Paul Evans
Simon & Schuster
From wonderful storyteller and author of the bestselling phenomenon The Christmas Box, a new holiday novel based on the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors.
Joe is forced out of the family business by his jealous siblings. Moving on to another company, he soon becomes chief advisor to the CEO. But when the economy turns, Joe’s siblings need his help to save the family business.
Based on the Old Testament story about Joseph and the coat of many colors and including a love story, A Winter Dream can be embraced for its message of forgiveness by believers and nonbelievers alike.
I've already determined that I like Richard Paul Evans' writing style. He has a fluid and relaxed way of engaging the reader's interest that makes his books so easy to comprehend and digest, perfect for the holiday season.
That being said, his use of the Old Testament story of Joseph in a modern setting just didn't work for me. Other readers have complained that it feels rushed, and I agree with them. Combining the rushed feel with the absurdity of circumstances and it just didn't work. The characters are nice enough, Joe especially. He really is a nice guy, pretty much a guarantee in one of Evans' Christmas stories, at least from what I've noticed so far.
If Joseph's brothers wanted to throw him out of the family, why set him up with a halfway decent job doing what he does best, even if it is halfway around the country? What was up with the character of April being an escapee from a bigamist cult? Joe handled that part of the story surprisingly well considering its absurdity. And how about the ease with which Joe rose up through the ranks of the marketing firm? Nope, none of these elements worked for me. The story felt entirely too slipshod and erratic.
Plus, it's really not a Christmas story. The book, being all of 260 pages, took place over 3 years time. In other words, poor use of planning and timeline. There are a few Christmases within A Winter Dream, but nothing to actually make it a "Christmas story" despite Joe's dream about himself being a Christmas tree and other trees bowing to it. While the concept of dreams worked for Joseph, dreams from God I might add, they didn't work here simply because I never sensed Joe had any semblence of faith. Why in the world would he be blessed with prophetic dreams when he doesn't really have any faith?
So this one was a miss for me.
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