Saturday, November 10, 2007

While Shepherds Watched by Steven Roberts--Book Review

Heart-warming, charming, and full of nostalgia, While Shepherds Watched: Stories of Christmas Miracles and Mysteries will touch your heart. This short story collection by Steven Roberts is full of stories that remind the reader of the true meaning of Christmas.

Gabriel’s Trumpet opens this collection. It is the story of a young aspiring musician who wishes to play the trumpet, but finds himself saddled with a Model 2353 Hohnica Keyboard Accordion, which he loathes. But to please his mother--who bought him the darn thing in the first place--Georgie takes his music lessons and learns to play.

Broadway Baptist church puts on its annual Christmas program and their guest is Lonnie Latimore, a talented trumpeter who Georgie idolizes. Georgie and his friends accompany Mr. Latimore in a rendition of “Silent Night”. But when Mr. Latimore unexpectedly cannot perform the grand finale, it is up to Georgie to save the day, playing the one instrument he always wanted.

Another of my favorites from this collection is The Madam and the Paperboy. Miss Maybelle Boudreaux owns a large house at the end of Third Avenue. Sonny Suffrage delivers the newspaper to Miss Maybelle’s house, but when she suddenly stops paying for her paper, Sonny must pay her a visit, even though he is wary of approaching a woman who is talked about all over town.

Sonny gets to meet Miss Maybelle and a budding friendship blossoms between them. Miss Maybelle tells Sonny wonderful stories and he is always amazed at how much she knows about everything happening in town. When Sonny invites Miss Maybelle to Christmas dinner at his house, no one--Miss Maybelle, Sonny, or his family--is ever the same.

While Shepherds Watched will make you laugh and cry and hold your family close. Steven Roberts weaves a variety of memorable characters into unforgettable stories which you will cherish like a gift from a special friend. Every once in a while the backstory threatened to take over the present day action, but none of it was wasted. Each person and story was fully developed to provide the reader with an enjoyable conclusion.

If your family tradition includes the reading of heart-warming tales of the season, then you must buy While Shepherds Watched by Steven Roberts. It will be a book you reach for year after year.

Title: While Shepherds Watched: Stories of Christmas Miracles and Mysteries
Author: Steven Roberts
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4327-1401-7
Price in US dollars: $15.95

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