Jared Roberts has plenty of reasons to be angry. It has been nearly a year since his father, Joe, simply vanished after being fired from him job at Stone Industries because management believed he was stealing from the factory. Now, at thirteen years of age, Jared works part-time for the same company, while his mother, Mary, toils there full-time in addition to having taken a part-time job at a store in order to provide for Jared and his three siblings. The family was never wealthy to begin with, residing in the poorest area of town known as “The Sink.” Ironically, Stone Industries later caught the real thief and apologized to the Roberts family, but the damage was done — Joe has not been seen or heard from and Mary is struggling to accept that he is probably dead and will never return home. Jared and his thug-like friends are planning to do something terrible to the Stone family.
Meanwhile, Sarah Stone, the only daughter of widower Jonas, owner of Stone Industries, is a privileged and haughty thirteen-year-old living in a mansion and surrounded by servants. The only thing she isn’t surrounded by is love. Sarah’s mother was killed by a drunk driver a few years ago, robbing Jonas of the love of his life, and his focus has been on keeping busy running his business in order to manage his heartbreak. But in the process, his daughter has become a casualty, as well. Demanding, selfish, and cripplingly lonely, Sarah attends a private school but has no true friends and she secretly longs for her father’s attention.
Because of a nasty prank Sarah played on her chauffeur/chaperone, he quit. As the story opens, Sarah’s frustration over not being able to go to the mall to shop — one of her few pleasure — amuses her personal maid, who is barely able to tolerate her. But a strange little man named Nicholas is about to enter Sarah’s life, as well as Jared’s, and change everything.
With Mary’s Son ~ A Tale of Christmas, first-time author Darryl Nyznyk borrows elements from other classic stories such as Mary Poppins, Miracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life to create a charming, modern story about lost souls who come to understand the true meaning of Christmas. Unlike those other stories, Mary’s Son ~ A Tale of Christmas welds the secular and religious messages of the season together. The result is a sweet tale about understanding the reasons we celebrate the birth of the Christ child each year.
When Sarah looks out her bedroom window, she sees a strange little man being admitted onto the property and is instantly mesmerized by him. He insists that his name is simply “Nicholas” because he hasn’t used his last name in so many years that he can no longer remember what it is. He claims to be applying for the just-vacated chauffeur/chaperone position even though it hasn’t yet been advertised and is capable of some Mary Poppins-esque magic that confounds but beguiles Sarah, as well as the suspicious household staff and her father, Jonas. Thus, the adventure begins.
Whether Mary’s Son ~ A Tale of Christmas is a true story is not the real issue; for it is not the facts that matter but rather the message of love that comes from the truth of the birth of Jesus Christ.~ Author Darryl Nyznyk
In Nyznyk’s short, entertaining story, Nicholas enchants everyone who meets him as he sets about accomplishing his goal: to teach Sarah and Jared what Christmas is really all about. But in Nyznyk’s hands, Nicholas is much more than just a jolly elf with mysterious powers who believes in the magic of the Christmas season. Rather, he believes that God became flesh in that manger all those years ago. He talks to God, prays for assistance, and reminds folks of why Christmas exists. When his initial efforts to touch Sarah and Jared’s hardened hearts fail, he resorts to drastic measures, teleporting them back in time to that most magical and mysterious night the world has ever known so that they can experience first-hand how Christmas came to be and return home to spread good cheer.
Sarah learns that Christmas is about giving rather than receiving gifts, Jared releases his anger, and by the time Christmas arrives, the lives and hearts of all concerned have been transformed by Nicholas. Because Mary’s Son ~ A Tale of Christmas is a holiday story, it will come as no surprise that it has a happy ending and a concise message about what really matters — family. It is a delightful, quick read that is appropriate for children and families. In fact, the book is the embodiment of a story that Nyznyk had heard years earlier and told in 1994 to a group of seven-and-eight-year-olds attending his daughter’s slumber party, so its re-telling could easily become a tradition for your family.
Click here to read author Darryl Nyznyk’s guest post, Remembering Jesus at Christmas!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of Mary’s Son ~ A Tale of Christmas free of charge from the authors in conjunction with PR By the Book review and virtual book tour program. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own. This disclosure complies with 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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