PUBLICATION DATE: SEPTEMBER 01, 2012
race Livingston Hill wrote timeless Christian romance novels in the late 19th and early 20th century. Her classic romances are sweet historical novels for readers today. The release of her books with new, colorful covers gives a new generation the chance to read the treasured stories. The Christmas Bride is a reprint of number 62 which was written in 1934.
Gregory Sterling traveled out West at the age of seventeen following the death of his mother. For ten years he worked and struggled until he could buy a piece of land then suddenly, due to an oil strike he found himself a very wealthy man. He sells his property after making the decision to head back East to his hometown. The journey home teaches him to treat everyone with respect no matter their appearance. He arrives in the town after he shops for clothes and proper luggage in Chicago. After checking into a hotel his life changes yet again when he sees a woman collapse and fall from a park bench. Gregory scoops the unconscious girl up into his arms and transports her to a hospital.
Margaret McLaren had previously left her Vermont home after the collapse of the bank where her grandparents and sole guardians lost their savings. The sweet young woman has come to the area to work and send money home to help the elderly couple. After collapsing she regains consciousness in a strange hospital room. She soon meets her rescuer, Mr. Sterling, who assures her that the room is free for her care. The room is to be for anyone who needs care but is unable to pay. He has even hired a private nurse, Miss Gowan, to watch over her until her health improves. This is done in memory of his mother. The man goes on to tell her that he wants her to work for him as he is starting a new business. After he leaves the hospital the head nurse comes in to work after a weekend off. She tells Margaret that none of these things are true. The private nurse has gone to breakfast so the sick girl has no one to back up her story. Mortified, she dresses quickly and leaves the building without saying goodbye to her nurse. She is alone, jobless and homeless.
Greg searches and prays for Margaret but she has disappeared from the area. Alice Blair, his girlfriend from school days learns that he is in town after reading about the hospital room donation in memory of his mother. She contacts him after formalizing her second divorce. She assumes he may be wealthy and targets him for her own selfish reasons.
Rhoderick Steel, a young minister that Greg met on his train journey visits him and leads him to the Lord. Grace Livingston Hill always used Bible verses and Christian life lessons in her stories. Greg also has contact with Miss Gowan who is still on the lookout for Margaret.
In the meantime back in Margaret’s hometown her grandmother is anxious over not hearing from the girl for several days. The elderly couple has also been threatened with the loss of their mountain home. Elias Horner holds the mortgage to the place for a loan that covered their granddaughter’s college education. Tension mounts as the story moves forward. Poor grandmother gets to a point where she begins to question if God has forgotten them.
Greg has grown as a Christian and intends to serve God, using his fortune. He finds Margaret and convinces her that he was truthful with her from their first conversation. He sets up his business with her help. They work together daily and begin to admire one another.
Grace Livingston Hill books are true treasures. Her writing was my first introduction to romantic stories with a Biblical foundation when I was young. Her books are not preachy. They are well written and touch the heart. These books are appropriate for any age. The Christmas Bride is classic Hill.