Lori Copeland's novella The Christmas Lamp is a typical romance story – the ending can be discerned from the back cover. Nevertheless, the characters are charming. Copeland creates a very relatable main character in Roni Elliot. Roni is a single Christian woman with a bit of a sarcastic edge.
She wants a lot out of life, including the right man in her life, a discovery of the true meaning of Christmas, and the resolution of some old hurts and painful memories in the small town she thinks of as her place of security. The rest of the characters are community members from the small town of Nativity, and they are easily likeable as well. The other central character, Jake Brisco, is appealing, but we never are presented with much back story about him, and except for the facts that he’s the right age for Roni to be interested in and he’s rather good looking, there isn’t anything distinctly original about him.
The plotline struggles with depth and originality as well. The story is about finding the true meaning of Christmas as it relates to forgiveness, optimism, brotherhood, and joy. No deep conflict occurs, and this causes the plot to lack narrative drive. The novella resolves itself nicely, but there is not enough dissonance in the story to need much more than a pat resolution.
The Christmas Lamp may shed light on the meaning of Christmas, but it illuminates angles that have already been presented. – Rachel Kiely, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
When the small town of Nativity, Missouri, loses its much-needed seasonal business, more than the economy suffers. Lifelong resident Roni Elliot clashes with the new outside consultant Jake Brisco, whose drastic budget-slashing threatens the traditions and spirit of Nativity. However, as forgotten joys rekindle and new traditions emerge, Christmas once again becomes a season of hope.