“This tender love story between two wounded people whom God brings together for healing is a book readers will enjoy anytime—but especially at Christmas!” —Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author of Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind
Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas—and sacrificial love.
Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year-old son. With the bank threatening to evict them, she discovers an advertisement for the Women’s Relief Society auction and applies for a position—only to discover it’s been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity—and friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?
Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Women’s Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of “crinolines” isn’t his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies—one, in particular—is far more than he bargained for.
Set against the backdrop and history of the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored at Christmas.
Alexander (To Whisper Her Name) opens her fourth cycle of Civil War novels with a novella set in the Christmas season of 1863. Recently widowed Aletta Prescott is pregnant when she loses her job as a seamstress in a factory in Franklin, Tenn. With foreclosure on her home imminent and a six-year-old son to support, she's desperate for work, and applies for a job cooking at a Christmas event to be held at Carnton Plantation. She doesn't get the gig but heads to Carnton anyway. There she crosses paths with Capt. Jake Winston, a wounded Confederate sharpshooter who is ordered to assist at an event the Women's Relief Society planned at the plantation. The story starts slowly but picks up once Jake and Aletta are introduced and romantic tension develops. Minor characters are more functional than fully realized, with the exception of Carnton's cook, Tempy, who is given personality and a hint of backstory. (She also provides the occasion for recognition of the evil of slavery, though the reflection is brief.) Alexander doesn't quite knit it all together, but Aletta and Jake will please Alexander's fan base.)\n
Christmas at Carnton
Absolutely loved this book! Not living in that era we have a tendency to forget what wonderful strong and courageous women the wives, mothers, daughters and sisters were during the Civil War. They fought their battles on the home front without any help. They learned to lean on each other to get through the tasks at hand.....and did it without fanfare. They truly were heroines.
Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander is a Christmas story that is a prequel for The Carnton Novels (the first book will be released in 2018). The story starts in November of 1863 in Franklin, Tennessee. Aletta Prescott is a widow with a six-year-old son and another child on the way. Aletta received word that her husband, Walter passed away a month prior from battle injuries. Aletta has just lost her position at Chilton Textile Mills and her home is close to being foreclosed upon. She happens upon an advertisement for a cook at Carnton for the upcoming auction being held by the Women’s Relief Society in support of the Confederate cause. Can this be the answer to her prayers? Captain Jake Winston was recently injured and is unable to return to battle until he recovers. Mrs. Colonel John McGavock from Carnton has requested a solider be present for the upcoming auction and it is Jake’s new assignment. Jake does not understand why the women do not just donate money instead of hosting the big gathering to raise money. Over time, though, Jake’s opinions change as he witnesses the hard work of the women and, in particular, Aletta Prescott.
Christmas at Carnton is a lovely, heartening Christian novel. It has great characters and a beautiful setting. Christmas at Carnton is well-written and engaging. Ms. Alexander knows how to draw her readers into her stories. It was obvious that the author did her research for this series (on the battles, the conditions, what widows suffered and experienced, and on Carnton—a real place). The novel contains prayer, hope, struggle, faith, grief, heartache, love, and so much more. We are shown the true meaning of Christmas and that we should be thankful for each blessing in our lives. Andrew, Aletta’s son, was a delightful addition to the story. My rating for Christmas at Carnton is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). I appreciated that the author gave Aletta unique skills that were uncommon for a woman at that time (woodworking). I look forward to reading each book in The Carnton Novels when they come out.