Posted on November 16, 2012 - by Kav
There’s a beautiful Irish custom of keeping a lighted candle in the window at Christmastime. The candle is a symbol of warmth and welcome to any weary traveller who might wander by — in memory of Mary and Joseph who found no such welcome in Bethlehem. By giving the candle a prominent place in the window, the household is declaring their faith and love for the Savior. In fact, you might say the candle reflects Christlike love to world.
I’ve always loved the imagery of this custom that comes from my Irish heritage so you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover a book with this tradition as it’s central inspirational theme. A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman is an engaging historical read that not only packs an emotional punch, but a spiritual wallop as well. I love all of Julie’s books but this one touched my heart in a special way. Perhaps it’s because of the season coming upon us, or the fact that this is Marcy and Patrick O’Connor’s love story and I’ve always adored the staying power of their decades long romance in The Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change series. Lessman’s ability to wrestle emotions out of this reader plays a huge part as well. I live each moment with every character and often immerse from a read emotionally spent.
So, what did I take away from A Light in the Window? That I can be a figurative light in the window to everyone I meet; a reflection of Christ’s love in a world darkened by despair. That leads me to ponder over how successful I am at doing that? Is my light bright enough? Or are the curtains half drawn so that only a portion of that light spills out? I know there are some days when it might be hard to catch the faintest glimmer. And other times I know I’ve shut the blinds tight has hurt or confusion temporarily blocks the light. Reading this book has made me resolve to be a more open and accurate reflection of the light of Christ in all my dealings with everyone I meet. I am so grateful that Julie Lessman continues to let her light shine in stunning novels that are guaranteed to touch the hearts of many. Her candle is bright, the flame steady, leading readers to a new understanding of what it is to follow Him.
Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a well-founded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston’s most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart.
While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the “light in the window,” meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.”