A Christmas Carol is one of my all-time favorite Christmas stories. It really doesn’t matter to me if it’s the original version by Charles Dickens or the cartoon Mickey Mouse version or the more up-to-date version with Jim Carey. I just love the story. There is something about looking carefully at the past and the present, then looking toward the future, and taking note of what path you’re on. But also the redemption of the “Scrooge” character . . . none of us are lost causes.
I was thrilled at the chance to read A Marriage Carol by Gary Chapman and Chris Fabry. The authors focus their version of A Christmas Carol on a couple who is on the brink of divorce. Literally on their way to the divorce attorney’s office. Neither has committed a major offense. Instead, they have suffered a series of minor offenses, miscommunications, gradual disinterest, and basically have ended up living separate lives even though they are married. When they are involved in a car accident on the way to the attorney’s office, Marlee finds her way to a house at the top of the hill, which just happens to be a marriage retreat center. The couple who run the center take her on a trip through time to see what her marriage has actually been like.
While the idea of looking back and looking forward is not new, Chapman and Fabry do a great job of applying a classic story to a modern-day marriage relationship. Practical relationship helps are intertwined through the story. However, the story is not at all preachy. Rather, through Marlee's thoughts and her conversation with the couple at the retreat center, these truths seem to naturally flow through the story.
A short book, at only 128 pages, I quickly read this in one sitting. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys a wonderful Christmas story as well as for anyone looking for hope for their marriage.
I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers and Net Galley in exchange for my fair and honest review.