Last post of 2020. SInce it’s Christmas Day, I think our last book review is going to be on a Christmas book.
“As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic.
The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter.
When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do whatever he can to help fulfill Callie’s Christmas wish. He just never expected to be a vital part of it.” – Catching Christmas, Terri Blackstock
I went on a spree of placing books on hold via my library app (Overdrive) the past few weeks, and three days before Christmas I was able to check out Terri Blackstock’s Catching Christmas. It’s lighthearted, fun, and a fairly quick read. I’m a sucker for stories with more than one narrator, and in this novel, the chapters alternate perspectives. Mostly told by Finn, the cab driver, we still get Sydney’s perspective a good chunk of the time.
This book is sweet and clean, which has been a huge plus for me. It’s Christian fiction as well, and I have to say, it was very well done. I’ve found that some Christian authors (Kingsbury comes to mind) who hit you over the head with Christian imagery and language that can be a little hard to swallow and dare I say, it’s a tad unrealistic. Catching Christmas isn’t like that at all.
Finn, our roguish main character, isn’t Christian. He’s a little rough around the edges and has his own share of regrets, and he has a high skepticism for “Callie’s Jesus”. What I think is refreshing is that by the end of the book, Finn has taken a very subtle turn towards God. He begins praying, then he begins praying more often but he still feels awkward and strange doing so. It’s not a big sweeping moment when he realizes he needs God, instead it sort of creeps up on him. By the end of the book, Finn isn’t attending church either, instead, he has taken a baby step, which is prayer.
It’s realistic. People take baby steps to Christ sometimes. I love and appreciate realistic characters.
The realism in Blackstock’s writing makes me want to read more of her books. I had forgotten this book was categorized as Christian until a few chapters in, which is another realistic touch. Callie still goes Christmas shopping, runs errands to the dry cleaner, and is wants a good Christmas. These are normal everyday things that all humans, no matter what religion, do. Callie is a person just like me and you.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars
Why: I don’t know that I’ve given very many point-blank 5 star reviews, but Catching Christmas deserves it. The characters are easy to go to know, the story is fast-paced, and the ending is bittersweet. I cried, laughed, and wished for more by the time the story was over. The romance that blooms is sweet and a little awkward, which makes for the best kind of romance. I love that we get Finn’s doubts and worries, making him such a real character. The whole time we are routing for him, no matter how grouchy he is or how much he hates Uber.
Ending Thoughts: Please read this book. Even if Christmas is over. Even if you aren’t Christian. It’s sweet, wholesome, and you don’t want to miss out on miss Callie and her craziness! There are a couple of twists that I didn’t see coming (and that I won’t spoil) that are sure to make you want to check out Blackstock’s other books.
With love and wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy new year, Storm