As a general rule, short stories aren’t really my thing.
But if an author has ever tempted me to retract that statement, it would certainly have to be Angie Thompson. Somehow, Angie’s short stories don’t feel like short stories! They feel like long stories that we only got a tiny snippet of—a wee, little window into lives we want desperately to know more about!
And when you add Christmas to the mix, it just gets even better. Because Angie Thompson + Christmas = cozy, and heartwarming, and inexpressibly delightful.
I had the privilege to read this lovely Christmas collection story by story as Angie wrote it, and so when I saw the opportunity to review it as part of the launch tour, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. Not just because Angie is an amazing person and friend, but because I honestly loved the book and wanted to share that with others!
I’ve debated many times which of the stories I love the most, and I think I’m going to have to say it’s a tie between Bethlehem and Manger—both of them had me catching my breath at the sweet, surprise endings and the lovely messages woven into fun little stories of ordinary people and events.
One of the things I loved best about the collection is the way the characters come alive in such a brief space and get us invested in their hopes and dreams with only a few sentences. Angie is a master of character development and it certainly comes through in Glad Tidings.
I also really enjoyed the cozy, “feel good” quality of the stories and the simple but poignant lessons conveyed so beautifully and naturally. Definitely a “curl up by the fire with a warm cup of hot chocolate” kind of read!
- Title: Glad Tidings: A Flash Fiction Advent Calendar
- Author: Angie Thompson
- Publisher: Quiet Waters Press
- Genre: Historical and Contemporary Christian Fiction
- Number of Pages: 98
- Theme: Christmas
- Age Range: Youth and Adult
- Source: Amazon
Twenty-five short reads inspired by themes from the Christmas story.
Celebrate the true spirit of the season with this collection of five-minute holiday stories. Perfect to pair with your morning coffee or binge-read while curled up with a favorite blanket on a snowy afternoon!
From a stately mansion to a rough barn, from a cheerful fireside to a lonely mountain road, from a chaotic church pageant to the grim aftermath of war, no heart is without its burden. But no trouble is too deep to be touched by the light of love and the warmth of Christmas.
SAW Rating System
Unlike most reviewers, who use either a five- or ten-point system, at Sheep Among Wolves we have adopted a comprehensive 100-point system with a clear breakdown of a book’s areas of strength and weakness. For a more thorough explanation of this system see our introductory post.
Command of language—8/10
Impact of the book—8/10
Innocence regarding evil—7/10
Active promotion of good—7/10
Level of spiritual challenge—7/10
Healthy view of life—7/10
Items of Note
Romance and morality
Slight romance or mention of romance in two stories, as well as references in one story to matchmaking and flirting that are not really commented on but do not seem to be condoned by the author.
Two very discreet references to the idea of committing suicide, neither of which actually take place. Some slightly vivid descriptions relating to war and war injuries, as well as the wild west.
Use of “blessed” as an exclamation (“those blessed taxes”), a girl says “I swear” and calls someone she dislikes a “lowdown snake”.
Alcohol and drug use (includes tobacco)
Mention of someone giving his pastor “the pills” after deciding to clean up his life instead of committing suicide. Two references to drunkenness, portrayed in a negative light.
This collection is written from a conservative evangelical perspective but would be very appropriate for all Christian denominations. War and the military are obviously condoned and seen as heroic, but this viewpoint only features in a couple of stories.
Family roles and behavior
A few instances of dysfunctional families/couples are mentioned but not dwelt on, and the author does not portray these as acceptable.
Mature subject matter
Glad Tidings—A Delightful Christmas Collection
If you are anything like me, I’d definitely recommend you grab a copy of this book and horde it up for a delightful read some cold, idyllic Christmas afternoon when you just feel like celebrating the holiday with a heartwarming book.
Or, you could binge-read it as soon as it arrives and then savour it more slowly the second time through by reading it Advent-calendar style a story at a time throughout December (literally how my sister is planning to enjoy it!).
Either way, I highly recommend this sweet, Christmas collection to anyone who likes to be drawn into charming little vignettes spanning the ages and the genres and centring touchingly around the beautiful message of the first Christmas—the “Glad Tidings” of a Saviour who makes life meaningful and worth the living.
Looking for more wholesome, faith-focused reading material? Check out our soon-to-be-released novella:
- Coming Soon: A Desperate Experiment
- A Desperate Experiment Book Release!