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The Christmas Lamp: A Novella    by Lori Copeland order for
Christmas Lamp
by Lori Copeland
Order:  USA  Can
Zondervan, 2009 (2009)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

I just have to say flat-out as a prologue: novellas kind of bug me. The action moves too fast; you don't get to know the characters well enough; and in a romantic novella, half the time the characters are in love within five minutes of meeting.

And all of that is pretty much true of The Christmas Lamp.

I do, however, think novellas are somewhat appropriate for Christmas. You're busy, you have eight zillion parties to go to and presents to buy and reindeer ornaments to make out of clothespins. Novellas are easy to squeeze in - one or two nights by the fire and you're done, a lovely story floating in your head.

The Christmas Lamp is the tale of the city of Nativity, Missouri, where Roni works for the city council. Ever since the highway bypassed the town, traffic to Nativity has died down and the city's budget is suffering. One of the townspeople bring in her grandson, Jake Brisco, to do some planning and budgeting for the dying city.

When he makes cuts to beloved Christmas traditions, Roni can't help but be insulted and angry. And yet she still feels drawn to the brooding stranger and seems to encounter him everywhere she goes.

The Christmas Lamp is a sweet story and Copeland's writing is, as always, very good. While all of those novella problems irked me throughout, if you're looking for a quick holiday read in between decorating cookies and signing Christmas cards, this heartwarming tale will fill that need.

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