Title: Carol and the Belles
Author: Chautona Havig
Major Themes: Romance
Synopsis: When Carol, from Romania, meets Michal, from America, they have the shock of their lives even though they have been writing letters to each other for 25 years.
Chautona Havig has dreamed up an incredible “hook” at the beginning of Carol and the Belles! I won’t tell you what it is, because that would spoil the suspense, but it’s one I couldn’t have imagined.
The basic story line is simple. Carol and Michal have been writing each other letters since they were 9, about 25 years ago. Now, Carol has the opportunity to travel from Romania to Rockland, in America, to help Ralph in the gift shop at Hearthland, and they finally meet. Both get the shock of their lives.
Throughout the story, Michal struggles to understand what true love is, and Carol practices true love. This struggle culminates in a surprising—yet quite plausible—twist at the end of the story that only Chautona could have dreamed up! The ending is quite satisfactory. If you’re looking for light reading with a Christian message, this is a beautiful Christmas story.
We also get some glimpses into life in a Romanian orphanage. Carol’s parents died when he was very young, and his life was not exactly easy. Michal’s job was working with an agency which raised money to help people in need around the world, including, of course, Romanian orphans.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
WARNING: There is some kissing, and some hard facts about life as a Romanian orphan are alluded to.