Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Christmas Heirloom is a Joy from Start to Finish

Image result for christmas heirloom karen witemeyer

Christmas Heirloom is a charming set of novellas that will make you believe in love and excitedly anticipate the upcoming Christmas season.
Being a sentimentalist, I loved the concept behind this collection of stories. One unique broach is passed down from mother to daughter over the course of multiple generations dating almost 200 years and spanning 2 continents.  
Karen Witemeyer's novella is a slice of joy. I liked how she cleverly combined the two tales that inspired Gift of the Heart. It's a blend of The Book of Ruth from the Bible and has elements of Beauty and the Beast. 
Widow Ruth Fulbright accepts a position as a cook to provide for her seven year old daughter, Naomi.
Unable to afford the cabin her employer rented out on behalf of her and her daughter, she seeks out her landlord Mr. Beauregard "Bo" Azlin who owns the whole town. Bartering her family's heirloom broach she borrows money from him and upon full payment she'll receive the treasured piece of  jewelry. 
This quote below displays Ms. Witemeyer's trademark wit and flare, all the while conveying deeper emotions and building understanding for the characters. 

"Hope was a dangerous thing to give a man, and Ruth Fulbright had just served him up two ridiculously large slices." (Witemeyer, 142).

Christmas Heirloom is the perfect book to start off your holiday reading. Cozy up with a blanket and your favorite hot beverage and just let yourself get lost in the worlds these 4 talented authors have created. One of my favorite scenes was at the end of author Sarah Loudin Thomas' novella, A Shot at Love. The ending was equal parts surprising and amusing. I would say more, but it would give away the ending. 
 I also thought it was so sweet that Ms. Witemeyer dedicated this novella to her Posse group on Facebook. This only increased her fans and readers appreciation for her kindness and generosity as an author. 
Thank you Ms. Witemeyer! 

~~ Christmas Heirloom was provided to me by the author herself and Bethany House in return for my honest opinion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and the author .I was not required to write a positive review. All viewpoints expressed are my own. ~~

Monday, October 15, 2018

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Still Rings True

Hollywood in 1939 churned out many iconic and memorable films. Among them were Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and Love Affair (In my opinion the 1957's remake of An Affair to Remember is the best version.) With all these unforgettable movies being released, Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was somewhat overlooked.
In honor of the 79th anniversary of this film, TCM and Fathom Events brought it back to the silver screen.
Jimmy Stewart plays Jefferson Smith, a naïve, idealistic young man who is appointed to the United State Senate after an unexpected vacancy. Aided by Jean Arthur who plays his secretary Miss Saunders he comes up against political corruption and remains true to who he is.

Capra's film will inspire even the most lukewarm patriot to greater loyalty to our country and invoke feelings of gratitude and devotion.

Nearing the end of the film, there's a quote from Mr. Stewart's character that struck a chord with me.
"I wouldn't give you two cents for all your fancy rules if behind them, they didn't have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness, and a little looking out for the other fella, too."
Talk about a stirring speech that inspires you to treat your fellow man with more compassion.

Fun Film Trivia:

In 2006, AFI ranked Mr. Smith Goes to Washington as #6 on the Most Inspirational Film of All Time list.

During the memorable filibuster scene, Jimmy Stewart reportedly had his throat swabbed with mercuric chloride to achieve the raspy sound in his voice. (True dedication to his craft!)

Jean Arthur cited this film as her favorite of all her films.

Actress Beulah Bondi portrayed Jimmy Stewart's mother in 5 films: Of Human Hearts (1938), Vivacious Lady (1938),  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939),  It's A Wonderful Life (1946), and The Jimmy Stewart Show (1971)