Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: A Christmas Journey Home

A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger by Kathi Macias

Publication Date: October 2011
Publisher: New Hope Publishers
Genre: Christian/ Inspirational/ Christmas
Pages: Paperback, 240pp
ISBN-13: 9781596693289
ISBN: 1596693282

(Received for ah honest review from Pump Up Your Book Promotions)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository,, IndieBound

Kathi Macias on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from A Christmas Journey Home


Two worlds separated by fear and anger collide at a most unlikely time and place.

During Isabella Alcantra's seventh month of pregnancy, her parents and siblings are murdered in gang and drug related violence - in a home targeted by mistake. Isabella knows the same thing could easily happen to her and her husband, Francisco. When her grandfather offers to hire a "coyote" to bring them across the border to America, she agrees.

Living on one of the smaller spreads along the Arizona border, Miriam Nelson becomes furious with God and turns from her faith when her border patrol agent husband, David, is killed in a skirmish with drug smugglers. Her mother and young son do their best to woo her back from anger and bitterness.

Isabella and Miriam - one driven by fear and a promise, the other by bitterness and revenge - must make their journey's along different pathways to the same destination on Christmas Eve. Forced to face their personal demons, Isabella and Miriam soon discover a common yearning to bind them together in a most miraculous way. 


Author Kathi Macias brings readers a modern re-telling of the nativity that will speak to readers on a personal level. A Christmas Journey Home follows the stories of two very different women brought together on one fateful night that will change their lives forever. Though this book is strongly based in Christian theology, it is also at heart a Christmas story that will draw readers from all walks of life. Macias is a writer that touches the heart of her readers as well as their minds. This is a book about forgiveness and the power of miracles.

Kathi Macias is one of my favorite authors in the Christian fiction realm. She is a writer with a purpose. She conveys the message of Christ in a way that doesn't fit the traditional Christian fiction pathways and I think that's what speaks to me about her writing. She doesn't write fluffy, easy to read novels. Her books are solid and real, full of meaty stories and situations. She doesn't sugar coat anything and brings a realism to her books that is uncommon and unique. A Christmas Journey Home is just as raw and honest as the rest of her work. Even though is may have a Christmas theme it isn't a tender romance or a tale about friendship. It centers around the problem of illegal immigration and the stark realities that people face when they decide to defy man's laws, as well as, God's.

This book is not pro-illegal immigration. It is also not a book that is anti-immigration. Though this is the back drop of the story, it focuses more of the choices of the characters and how each choice affects their lives. It is about the ability to keep the faith when things go terribly wrong. It's about seeing how God moves even when we don't like the circumstances. I think Macias is using a very current and edgy theme to bring out the message that God is still with us and working even when we go against his will. I liked the fact that Macias doesn't provide a solution for the ever growing problem of illegal immigration, because that was not the focus, nor is it something that can be solved in a few hundred pages. Macias, however does provide a solution to both Isabella and Miriam's issues. Having faith in God and trusting him to solve their problems is key. I think that using Christmas night and the story of the nativity in this way was very unique and original and I think readers will love it.

This book, as with many of Macias' novels is very thought provoking. It is one of those stories that readers will be thinking about long after they put it down. If you are looking for a sweet Christmas themed book, this probably isn't it, though the ending will probably bring a tear or two. It is rooted in the very heart of issues that people have with God. That's not an easy subject. I applaud the author for going there and taking us as readers with her.

I recommend this one to readers of all types. Though it is primarily Christian fiction it is for all intents and purposes a Christmas story. It is inspirational and realistic. It touches on tough issues and doesn't sugar coat the facts. I think readers will appreciate Macias' voice and style. It would certainly be a good read for those who have their own issues or doubts in their faith. Macias is a writer that I love and I think you will too!

A Christmas Journey Home is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Award‐winning author Kathi Macias has written more than 20 books, including the “Extreme Devotion” series of novels for New Hope Publishers.
Kathi has won many awards, including the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, and the grand prize in an international writing contest.

With women's ministry as her primary interest, Kathi is a popular speaker for women's retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home.


Cheryl said...

Thank you for your moving, heartfelt review of Kathi's first annual Christmas novel. I'm glad it touched you so deeply. I've long stopped expecting easy reads from Kathi, but her books are so powerful and touching. She sheds light on the problems that we struggle with often.

I hope your readers will check this one out. It's a beautiful story.

All my best,


Kathi Macias said...

Wow, thanks so much for the great review of my first-ever Christmas novel (meaning, it won't be my last as I'm just now starting one for next year). Blessings!

justpeachy36 said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Kathi... I loved the book, glad it's going to be an annual thing.