Reviewed by Melissa Lockcuff
I'll Be Home for Christmas by Julie Cannon
"If ever there were a story written like one of the old, classical movies that are so well-loved, this is it."
Christmas is a season for joy,
a season for all humankind to stop and reflect and enjoy the love of
friends and family. Back in the time of World
War II, though, Christmas was a time of turmoil for many families with
loved ones serving overseas. Many families had lost loved ones to the war
effort. I’ll Be Home for Christmas, by Julie L. Cannon, captures
the essence of that time well.
The war is in full swing, and many of Watkinsville, Georgia’s young men have gone off to fight, leaving citizens at home to carry the load. Maggie and William do all they can to support the soldiers overseas and do their part here at home, but they both long to do more. Due to a bout with polio as a child, William can’t serve in the armed forces. As their friendship seems to blossom into something more, Maggie’s mother dies, and Maggie is left feeling even more confused, angry, and afraid. Wanting to serve her country, but also wanting to get away, she joins the U.S. Navy WAVES. As she heads off on the adventure of a lifetime, she leaves behind William…and she carries with her the burden of anger over her mother’s death.
The story continues to follow Maggie through her experience as a Navy WAVE; it also follows William’s experience as he waits for Maggie to return, never giving up on the love that he has for her. Will she be able to find healing in her relationship with the Lord? Will she ever be able to let go of her anger and let love in? Only time will tell.
If ever there were a story written like one of the old, classical movies that are so well-loved, this is it. As I read this story, I could so easily imagine some of my favorite actors playing the part of the characters within this story. It’s a story of small town America with characters whose emotions, thoughts, and actions much mimic the actions of everyday human beings. The author did a wonderful job with descriptive detail and the ability to make the story entertaining, as well as emotional.