Title: The Snowman Maker
Author: Barbara Briggs Ward
Genre/Audience: Christmas fiction, adult
Publication: Wheatmark, 2013
I am definitely in the mood for Christmas books and movies, and spend most of the month of December reading and watching them exclusively. When I found out that Barbara Briggs Ward had a new Christmas novel out, I was super excited. I read and reviewed her book, The Reindeer Keeper, last year and really enjoyed it. Her stories are truly full of the Christmas spirit and have a wonderful way of getting you in the spirit too.
The Snowman Maker is the story of middle-aged Ben and his hidden family history. He and his wife Ellie have had a long, great marriage with two wonderful children. Suddenly though, Ellie notices that Ben has been pulling away; he seems distant and sad. As it turns out, right before Ben’s father died, he revealed a long kept secret: Ben was adopted. Now Ben is determined to find his birth mother in time for the holidays so he can discover where he really came from. Aiding him in his search are his supportive wife, children, and fellow orphans who remembered him and his mother from the orphanage.
I thought this story was really sweet. A lot of people banded together to help Ben find out about his birth mom and there was a large sense of community amongst he and his fellow orphans, now all grown up. Ben’s wife, Ellie, was also amazingly supportive and loving, despite how distant Ben had grown to be. I loved all of these strong relationships.
I also thought this story was really atmospheric and lovely. I loved the snow and the Christmassy feel, the old stone homes and the horse drawn sleigh rides. I would just look at the cover and smile. It helped me envision the setting and I so badly wanted to visit there!
One thing prevented me from loving this story as much as I loved The Reindeer Keeper. I had a bit of a hard time with Ben. He seemed quite disrespectful about his “adoptive” parents, as he continually referred to them as. They were the ones who raised him and loved him; shouldn’t they have simply been his “parents?” I understand his desire to know where and who he came from, but he almost seemed to write his parents off completely when he discovered that they weren’t his birth parents. That frustrated me. Aside from this aspect, this was a great story for Christmas time, and I think that all fans of Christmas novels will really enjoy it.
My Rating: 3.5/5