The Promise and the Light: A Christmas Retelling – Katy Morgan

The Promise and the Light Katy Morgan
The Promise and the Light: A Christmas Retelling by Katy Morgan
Published by Good Book Company on October 1, 2021
Genres: Children's, Bible Stories, Christmas
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five-stars

What if you were visited by an angel one night who told you that you were to give birth to the Son of God? How would you feel? What might you think?
Written as a series of vivid and dramatic first-person accounts, The Promise and The Light tells the stories of Mary, Joseph and Zechariah as they experience the events of the first Christmas. Written in a lively and engaging style, this imaginative yet biblically faithful book will captivate children aged 8-12.
Readers will be able to get inside the hearts and minds of some of the key players in the Christmas story and will appreciate the power and excitement of what happened and why it is so amazing for us today.
With 25 chapters, readers may choose to read a chapter a day during Advent.

I have known the Nativity story all my life, but I still felt eager to get back to reading this book each night, because I wanted to know what happened next. The Promise and the Light: A Christmas Retelling is a very engaging, well-researched novel that rings true to the Scriptural narrative in substance and theme while also expounding on our limited knowledge of the story with additional details, fictional side characters, and new subplots. The imagined elements fit smoothly with the story’s historical and cultural context, and even though I am usually leery of fictionalized versions of Bible stories, Katy Morgan manages this complex task with perfection.

This novel is very engaging, with well-drawn, convincing characters, and even though the story goes back and forth between different perspectives, it never becomes confusing. Morgan also does a great job reflecting the characters’ Jewish beliefs and the various religious and political tensions of the day. She also includes historical details in the back of the book, with one note per chapter to share source material information for parts of the story, explain which parts she made up, and provide context from historical research outside the Bible.

I enjoyed this very much. I found it exciting, emotionally moving, and meaningful, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the concept, whether they are a Christian or not. This is a very well-told story that brings the lives and feelings of these historical figures to vivid life, and even though the publisher is marketing it for eight to twelve year olds, this novel will also impress and engage adults. There are twenty-five chapters, so someone could read this for Advent or read more of it at once, as I did. I highly recommend this, and plan to reread it in future years.

five-stars