Review: A Marriage Carol

Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite stories. I read it frequently and have loved every movie adaptation, including the Muppet’s version (1992) and Bill Murray’s modern retelling, Scrooged (1988).

Chris Fabry, with Dr. Gary Chapman, has penned a new Christmas novella, A Marriage Carol (River North/Moody Publishers), which borrows from Dickens while adding twists to keep the reader engaged.

Jacob and Marlee Ebenezer were married 20 years ago on Christmas Eve. On their anniversary they are driving to sign papers that will finalize their divorce. Their marriage has been a victim of inattention and bad choices. When a snowstorm derails their plans, could it also lead them to better choices?

Fabry, a two-time Christy Award winner and a member of the Guild’s Editorial Board, has found the perfect voice for this story—both world-weary and at times whimsical. The story shines when Marlee confronts the past, present, and future of her marriage.

Fabry wisely focuses on one of the marriage partners, but with clever asides to include the rest of the family and show how the parents’ choices affect everyone.

Reading A Marriage Carol is a perfect way to rejuvenate between decorating, baking, and shopping this season.

Consider reading it with your spouse and examining the choices you’ve made through the discussion questions included. But even if you’re not married, the story will teach you—as it entertains. Just as Dickens’s story instructs those who are not miserly.

Editor’s Note: See Chris Fabry’s three-part series on the writing of A Marriage Carol December 20, 22, and 23 on the Guild’s blog.

Michael Ehret is the Guild’s editor-in-chief. He has written for newspapers and other print and online outlets. He edited several nonfiction books, was the senior editor for a faith-based financial services organization, and is the ezine editor for American Christian Fiction Writers.

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