Book Reviews

Review of “The Christmas of ’45”

5.0 out of 5 stars Intense read with a nice surprise ending, August 5, 2011
By Martina Sprague

This is by far one of the nicest Christmas stories I have read. The excellent imagery, from the stress of the Christmas shopping to the peace of the church choirs, makes each scene come fully alive. Set in just post World War II America, the story will ring true for our senior population who grew up in that time. Simultaneously, younger readers will no doubt find the atmosphere and vivid details intriguing. The book is an intense read from beginning to end.

More importantly, the message it sends is timeless. Even those who are not Christian or even religious are bound to find common ground with the characters in the book, and thus with humanity as a whole. While Christmas is the vehicle that propels the story, the underlying concept speaks about what people of different faiths, ages, and backgrounds can accomplish in support of one another when calamity strikes. As such, the book can be read any time of year (I read it in the middle of the summer) and not just during the holiday season. The message it sends will surely pique your curiosity about the people who share your own neighborhood, shopping malls, and streets.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Gift for Family, Friends, and Neighbors!, November 7, 2010
By K. Sorensen

I just got two copies and plan on buying more for family and neighbors when they are back in stock. The story is very touching and really helps to bring the true holiday spirit. Our family loves reading stories together over the holidays – this book is going to be a tradition for us. The cover is beautifully done with raised gold letters – so it is a nice gift quality or pretty enough for setting out on a coffee table (the photo doesn’t do it justice).

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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little Christmas book, December 12, 2010
By Deborah Balzotti “Book Look author”

The annual quest for a new Christmas gift book must begin early. I’m sure you have the same problem I do every year as you stare bewildered at the crowded display tables in our local bookstores. Which little yuletide paperback will they enjoy as they sip their hot cocoa this season?

“The Christmas of `45” is a novel by Mills Crenshaw a local talk radio personality. Like many Christmas book authors, he first wrote the story more than 20 years ago as a family gift. It’s a 10 on the sugar and 0 on the spice Christmas book rating. There’s plenty of sweetness and no spice to worry about. You can even give this book to your granny- if she does genealogy, even better!

On Christmas Eve 1945 five-year-old David isn’t home celebrating with his widowed father, he’s lost in a snowstorm. His small community unites to find the little boy who is searching for his recently deceased mother who has “gone to live with Jesus” according to the adults he trusts. David decides he will find Jesus and get his mother back.

WWII has just ended and everyone needs a perfect Christmas after the suffering and sadness of war. Crenshaw chooses a nostalgic setting where Christmas celebrations were more meaningful and places characters in David’s path to stir memories in the reader. His story is religious and sentimental and touching.

There are two guidelines for me when choosing a “little Christmas book”. It has to be heartwarming – producing a few tears is a bonus, and it has to be inexpensive. Let’s be honest, our gift recipient isn’t looking for a big hard bound classic to tackle during the busy season and they may even read the gift book and re-gift it. “The Christmas of `45” fits both these guidelines and would be a good choice for your neighbors, grandparents or book club friends packaged with some delicious cocoa.

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Thomas Kinkade paints with light. Mills Crenshaw paints with words and emotion. Both evoke nostalgic visions of Christmas past when the spirit of the season was more important than the ring of the cash register. Crenshaw’s latest work, The Christmas of ’45, is an emotional sleigh ride that will firmly hold readers in place until the last surprise unfolds.

It’s Christmas Eve, 1945. World War II has just ended and the world is about the celebrate its first post-war Christmas. While others are caught up in the holiday euphoria, a little boy mourns the loss of his mother. Well meaning adults told him, “She has gone to live with Jesus.” Taking them at their word, he sets out, in the teeth of a blizzard, to find Jesus to plead for his mother’s return. In the innocence of youth, he asks directions from those he encounters. His interaction with them touched my heart and will touch your heart too.

As the boy pursues his quest in the face of a brutal snowstorm, he changes the lives and outlooks of many. An impending tragedy brings together people of all faiths and backgrounds, and reminds us of who we were and what Christmas meant not so long ago.

This is a must read and an ideal gift for family and friends, especially if they have children.
                                                                                        Martin Tanner, on-air host
                                                                                        The Religion Today Show
                                                                                        KSL Radio

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A Worthy Addition to Christmas Lore

It was refreshing to read a touching Christmas story that so thoughtfully handles a long overlooked problem in our society. Words have meaning. When we talk with small children they take us at our word; and a careless, though well intentioned, answer can have lasting consequences.

In The Christmas of  ’45, the author demonstrates just how devastating those consequences can be. The characters come alive against the tapestry of the first Christmas following the end of World War II. This book is written in a way that is satisfying for adults while remaining understandable to children. It’s perhaps the perfect choice for families with children.
                                                                                        Leonard Gundersen, President
                                                                                        VHR Consulting

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At Last!

A Christmas story that adults can savor and children can enjoy. I don’t know about you, but I’m up to here with seasonal nonsense about elves and flying animals that have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas. I had begun to wonder if we would ever again see another story that could warm the heart the way “It’s a Wonderful Life” did.

The Christmas of ’45 is as refreshing as it is creative. It captures the spirit of the greatest generation as well as the true spirit of the Christmas season. This book is the one gift you can send family and friends with a card that reads, “DO open before Christmas — It will add to your enjoyment of the season!
                                                                                        Mark Meservy, Owner
                                                                                        M Creative