The Christmas Prayer by Wanda E. Brunstetter takes us back to April 15, 1850. Cynthia Cooper along with her mother, Mabel are embarking on a journey to California via wagon train. They are going with Cynthia’s fiancé, Walter Prentice. They are late arriving in Independence, Missouri and the wagon train they were joining has already departed. Instead, they link up with two other families and begin their long journey to California. The other parties in the train are Cole Edwards along with his sister, Virginia as well as Jack Simpson, a widower traveling with his two young children, Alan and Amelia. Rain, mud and wagon repairs delay their journey. The group find themselves at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains when snow begins to fall. Thankfully, Cole finds an empty cabin where they stay while they wait for better weather. Eight weeks later they are still in the cabin and Christmas is approaching. The ladies try to figure out how to provide Christmas for the children with their meager supplies. The more time Cynthia spends in Walter’s company, the less she wishes to marry him. How else, though, can she provide for her mother since their father died leaving them penniless. Cynthia decides to pray on the matter and leave it with God. What choice will Cynthia make? Will this group of intrepid travelers make it to California?
The Christmas Prayer is a well-written novel with steady pacing and smooth transitions. The POV switches between a couple of the characters allowing readers different perspectives. The Christmas Prayer is a short story of 176 pages. I did feel it was a little predictable and the ending was rushed, but I appreciated the epilogue. The paperback version is just lovely with a beautiful cover that has metallic red border and pretty edging around each page. Wanda Brunstetter captured the spirit of a wagon train and the feelings the people were experiencing. It was a long, grueling journey where anything could happen. Illness, wagon repairs, sick animals, lack of food, Indians, wild animals, mud bogging down the wagons are just a few things that they would encounter. The people could not ride continually because it would wear out the oxen. The walking had to be exhausting. I like how the author included Cynthia’s journey entries. It allows readers a peek at her thoughts and what she was feeling. I liked the variety of characters with one of my favorites being Abe Jones. The Christian element is light, but the point is made. God is there for us. Prayer and steadfast faith will help you get through the tough times. We need to rely fully on Him, for with God, all things are possible. The ending is happy and heartwarming. The Christmas Prayer is a sweet, historical romance. My rating for The Christmas Prayer is 4 out of 5 stars. Have a blessed day and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader