A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger by Kathi Macias
Reviewed by Lori Twichell
Genre: religious fiction
Publisher: New Hope Publishers
Publication Dates: October 5, 2011
Isabella Alcantara has had a life filled with love and plagued with violence and danger. Pregnant with her first child, she knows that there’s little hope that they will have a safe and happy life. She’s starving and her husband is barely able to keep food on the table. After a morning visit with her family, she goes back to her home to try and figure out what needs to happen next. No matter what she considers, nothing prepares her for the news that comes with a frantic knock on the door. Her entire family has been killed – gunned down in a gang war. No one survived except for her elderly abuelo who lives somewhere else. Isabella’s world is now settled on quicksand.
When her abuelo (grandfather) comes to her with his life savings and tells her that he wants she and her husband to escape to America with a coyote (illegal smuggler) she thinks he’s crazy, but her husband, Francisco is in agreement with her grandfather. So, leaving the only life she’s ever known, she sets off with men of questionable integrity with all the money and belongings they own and sets her sights on the United States.
In Arizona, Miriam Nelson is angry with God and disgusted with her life. Living in a huge ranch house with a sprawling spread of land, she spends her days taking care of the ranch and doing her best to survive with her son, David. She is angry with God though and she has no issues with telling Him so. You see God let her husband die and left her alone to pick up their dream. Not only that, he was killed by illegal immigrants – giving her even more reason to spend her life angry and vengeful about the loss she’s suffered.
Kathi Macias weaves a tale of two worlds living mere miles apart in this beautiful story of survival and redemption. Though they could not be more opposite in their cultures and their stories, ultimately, it’s difficult to separate the agonizing loss and terrible circumstances both women have suffered.
A quick pace partnered with a compelling story that will have you frantically turning pages to see what happens next makes this an exceptional read. Macias once again delivers honest details without airbrushing or tempering. It’s real. It’s hard hitting. And it’s gorgeous. The characters are rich and heartfelt. The dialogue is honest and the Biblical foundation is impeccable.
Macias delivers in this amazing twist on the Christmas story that will leave you breathless and filled with a painful sense of hope and expectation.