O Holy Night: The Peace of 1914 (written by: Michael C. Snow and published by Evangel Press) tells the historical story of the German and English Christmas Truce of the First World War. Through giving first-hand accounts of the various participants in the story, the reader is transported into their world for a time. This book invites its readers to fully engage their senses as they are encouraged to take in the sights, smells, sounds, and sentiments of that Christmas day back in 1914 on the German lines. Throughout the book, Snow provides a tale of courage, peace-making and amnesty in the most profound and unexpected of ways as he challenges the kingdoms of this world with the true Kingdom of Christ. In Christmas spirit, Snow beautifully and theologically lays out how Christ came to triumph over the powers of sin and darkness in this world in order that we could all experience true grace and peace.
Poetically weaving Scripture, historical events, and narrative together while generously drawing from classic Christmas hymns, Snow brilliantly develops an inspirational Christmas read. Reflecting back on how enemies turned into friends for those 24 hours, Snow writes, “Thus Christmas, the celebration of Love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time.”
A must-read for every Christmas library I give this book 3 out of 5 stars for readability, 3 out of 5 stars for depth of thought, and a 4 out of 5 stars for overall creativity and presentation. Despite Snow’s general theme being timely and interesting, the amount of letters referenced throughout seem to often times be placed in a rather haphazard way which takes away from the over thoughtful quality of his work. My recommendation to Snow would be to more carefully place his letters within the context of his overall work in order to enhance what he is trying to say. The high volume of letters he uses, especially near the end, may create strain on some readers as they are waiting to hear more of the historical account rather than simply what may appear to be additional letters used to take up space. Nevertheless, I applaud Snow for his dedication in discussing a topic rarely explored within the Christian (and especially Anabaptist) traditions, for his effort in combining his passion with his artistic and writing abilities, and for his enthusiasm in being unconventional in his approach. Overall an excellent read, I give this book a total of 3 out of 5 stars.
Critique for O Holy Night: While I applaud Snow for his dedication in writing a book on a topic rarely discussed in Christendom, his overall writing was weakened by his extensive use of letters that often appeared to be placed rather haphazardly in his manuscript. This significantly detracted from its readability and overall quality. Nevertheless, I have given his some credit due to his thoughtfulness of writing and his apparent passion on the subject matter.
****Deborah-Ruth Ferber is a freelance writer and blogger who has reviewed many books including:
Becoming: God Heals Broken Self-Esteem By: Miriam Martin (http://www.adnetonline.org/:/HTML/Resources/Newsletter/Connections/Connections%20201406/A-Becoming.html)
Undiluted By: Benjamin L. Corey (https://debdebbarak.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/book-review-undiluted-by-benjamin-corey/)
I Am Troy Davis By: Jen Marlowe (https://debdebbarak.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/i-am-troy-davis-by-jen-marlowe-a-book-review/)
and The Hour of Sunlight By: Jen Marlowe and Sami Al Jundi (https://debdebbarak.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/the-hour-of-sunlight-by-jen-marlowe-and-sami-al-jundi-an-exploratory-book-review/)
Do you have a book you would like Deborah to review? Send her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to review it for you 🙂