Official Review: Winter Light by Robin Maderich

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NadineTimes10
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Official Review: Winter Light by Robin Maderich

Post by NadineTimes10 » 16 Dec 2015, 01:10

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Winter Light" by Robin Maderich.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Winter Light by author Robin Maderich is a novella prequel to a Christmas romance series that takes place in the fictional town of Connor Falls, Pennsylvania. Allie (Allison) Roberts is lacking the holiday inspiration she needs to decorate the display window in the book emporium she manages for her parents. Her lack of motivation could mean disaster for the seasonal sales the store depends on. Yet, a possible means to a solution unexpectedly appears before Allie’s eyes one day, on the other side of the window: the face of a little girl.

Meanwhile, divorced, single father Luke Hollis, owner of a Christmas tree farm, is busy worrying about his anxious young daughter, Lydia, who misses her mother. Lydia has formed a dangerous habit of taking off from home, and when Luke eventually arrives at the town’s bookstore to retrieve his daughter, he suspects he’s seen the store’s manager somewhere before, whoever she is. The manager, however, has no doubt about Luke’s identity.

This novella is simply, fittingly titled for a Christmas story, but one mustn’t mistake that simplicity for triteness. The theme of winter light turns out to be a poignant one, deftly handled by the author. Maderich’s characters are effectively realized on the page, developed as believable, rational, deeply feeling people. When romance fiction includes a child as young as Lydia, it can be easy to make such a character cute but otherwise flat, almost like a prop instead of a person. However, Lydia is portrayed as a complex human being, adding an interesting dimension to Luke and Allie’s story.

Also, the plot of Winter Light doesn’t always take the most predictable route. Where the author could have used more conventional timing for a small-town tale’s turn of events, Allie’s small-town predicament expands instead. Still, even with the characters’ rationalizing and some sobering plot development, the author leaves room for striking moments, like glimpses of winter magic. Then, on account of the plot’s uncommon timing, the story is free to reach a touching peak that any reader of holiday romances can appreciate.

Therefore, I give Winter Light an overall rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Even as a short prequel, it’s a complete story on its own and an excellent example of solid storytelling in novella-length fiction. I’d recommend this book to romance readers who would enjoy a quick Christmas read with warmth, deep emotion, and memorable light.

******
Winter Light
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Post by robinmaderich » 22 Dec 2015, 19:04

Thank you, Nadine, for the wonderful review! You made my holiday. Yours, Robin Maderich

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Post by NadineTimes10 » 22 Dec 2015, 19:06

robinmaderich wrote:Thank you, Nadine, for the wonderful review! You made my holiday. Yours, Robin Maderich
The pleasure's mine, Robin. Merry Christmas!

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Post by bookowlie » 23 Dec 2015, 10:57

I really enjoyed reading your review! I like that you mentioned the plot doesn't take predictable routes. The story looks interesting and I am adding this one to my list.
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

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Post by NadineTimes10 » 23 Dec 2015, 14:41

bookowlie wrote:I really enjoyed reading your review! I like that you mentioned the plot doesn't take predictable routes. The story looks interesting and I am adding this one to my list.
Excellent, Owlie! And yes--I was all ready for the quick Hallmark Christmas movie tie-up (nothing wrong with that; I'm a fan of Hallmark movies), but the story did something else instead. It kept me on my toes!

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Post by Topcho » 25 Dec 2015, 14:17

Sounds so cute! I have a soft spot for such stories, especially in this time of the year.

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Post by NadineTimes10 » 26 Dec 2015, 14:05

Topcho wrote:Sounds so cute! I have a soft spot for such stories, especially in this time of the year.
I'm rather new to purposely reading Christmas books around Christmastime, but I think it's a habit I'll hang on to. :)

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Post by bookowlie » 27 Dec 2015, 12:02

I just started reading this book and am really enjoying it!
As you slide down the bannister of life, may the splinters never point in the wrong direction. - Irish blessing

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Post by NadineTimes10 » 27 Dec 2015, 14:03

bookowlie wrote:I just started reading this book and am really enjoying it!
Oh, fun times!! :D

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Post by bookowlie » 27 Dec 2015, 14:14

It's funny how Luke runs a Christmas tree farm and still hasn't put up a tree in his own house. :)
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Post by NadineTimes10 » 27 Dec 2015, 14:17

bookowlie wrote:It's funny how Luke runs a Christmas tree farm and still hasn't put up a tree in his own house. :)
It's almost like Santa delivering all those Christmas presents to everyone but getting nothing for Mrs. Claus.

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 06 Jan 2016, 03:12

Sounds like my kind of story. Little Lydia sounds like a very lovable character. Congratulations to Robin Maderich for such a wonderful book. Great review!

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Post by NadineTimes10 » 06 Jan 2016, 03:26

kimmyschemy06 wrote:Sounds like my kind of story. Little Lydia sounds like a very lovable character. Great review!
Thanks! Yes, Lydia is a lovable character, and she also made me stop and think a little, too.

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Post by bookowlie » 06 Jan 2016, 13:40

I finished the book a few days ago and enjoyed it very much. How can you not like a guy who loves take-out Chinese food? :D I agree with you that Lydia is a layered, realistic character, where the author could have just made her a stereotypical little girl. The only thing I would have liked to see was a more fleshed out dating backstory for Allison, the main character. There was no hint of any past romantic relationships before Luke popped up in her life. Maybe I missed something, but it felt weird that it was never mentioned if she had a boyfriend or boyfriends at some point in her life. Her backstory just felt a little sparse other than her running her parents' bookstore.
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Post by Momlovesbooks » 06 Jan 2016, 14:05

Great review! I love reading books like that during the holidays. Even though the holidays are officially over, I'll have to add that one to my reading list!

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