This is my first personal giveaway! This is how it will work. Between now and October 31, 2014, you will be entered to win a hardback copy of this Christmas novella when you comment on this post. Be sure to enter your email address so I can notify you when the drawing is completed on Nov. 1, 2014. Thank you, and enjoy!
Miss Kay Robertson has written a fictional account of a typical Christmas holiday for the famous family through the eyes of a troubled teen. Her book accomplishes one of the things I love most about fiction–getting a fly-on-the-wall view of a family thousands of people are coming to love because of their television presence. While the story may be the product of Miss Kay’s fertile imagination, the setting, the typical Robertson quirky conversations, their everyday activities, and the Christmas traditions the family keeps are true to life.
From the book jacket summary: “He misses being included in any guy trips since his parents divorced and he went to live with his mom. So he’s less than happy when his mother tells him that he won a contest to spend Christmas in West Monroe, Louisiana, with a family named the Robertsons. For some reason, they’re supposed to be a big deal. How did he win a contest he didn’t enter? Besides, he’s never heard of them and sure doesn’t want to spend Christmas in a swamp with a bunch of strangers.
Korie Robertson is excited to open her heart and her home to Hunter and show him what the Christmas season looks like for the Robertson family. And like it or not, Hunter experiences it first hand. From duck hunting disasters with the bearded guys, to learning to cook with Miss Kay, Hunter quickly discovers what it’s like to live with this boisterous, yet loving family. Putting on his headphones and ignoring them is not an option. Before long, Hunter begins to let his guard down. But with Christmas and the end of his trip fast approaching, will it be too little, too late? Or will Hunter be open to the greatest gift of all?”
For the few days of his visit, Hunter stayed with Willie and Korie Robertson and their children. He bunked down with John Luke, who was about his age, and went with them when they visited other family. He was like a thunder cloud flashing danger signals and raining on everything they did. They often didn’t know how to read him; his lack of enthusiasm created some tension. Miss Kay wrote most of the story from Hunter’s point of view and she nailed it completely, right down to his sarcastic responses when the family included him in their activities. It was obvious what he thought of the Robertsons, their huge family, their playfulness, their devotion to God, and life in general. Hopelessness dogged his very steps.
The author also wrote part of the tale from Korie Robertson’s point of view. Hunter’s darkness touched her deeply and she ached to draw him out of his shell. She hoped this visit with her garrulous family would attract his attention and change his perspective for the better. For awhile, it didn’t look like that would happen. Korie needed to get input from Willie. Underneath that big old beard and silly grin was a wise man.
It goes without saying that this book includes the usual nonsense and shenanigans the Robertsons are known for. It begins with the duck hunting adventure and keeps up the pace right to the end. I enjoy redneck humor as much as anyone else does. For me, this was a fun book to read.
Second, there’s wonderful truth tucked away in all the busyness and crazy stuff; Jesus Christ is in the center of Phil Robertson’s entire family, because when young Phil had gotten lost in the tangle of a personal crisis, Jesus was there for him. God and his family became his bedrock. He, in turn, pointed the rest of the family to God’s love and grace. It’s what makes the Robertson family so special. Their lives are not about religion but about a personal relationship with Christ.
The third thing I loved about this book is that no one “preached” at Hunter during his visit…well, maybe there was a little bit from Phil. He couldn’t help himself. But for the most part, the family allowed their lives to speak for them. They saw Hunter as he was and accepted him. It was the one thing that touched him most.
Finally, I think this would be a great book to share with the guys in your life. It has hunting, craziness, teen stuff, family life, Christmas activities and food. And it’s a short book. What’s not to love? It would make a great Christmas gift.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers and their blogging program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”