Sweet Johnny was a year and a half old when I met him at the special needs daycare where I was assisting at. Both of his parents were deaf, but he was able to hear. I think he was there to learn how to integrate into a hearing world. You wouldn’t think that this would be a big deal yet his world was very different from most children.
This adorable, sunny boy was such a joy to get to know. Years after spending time with him, I can still picture his sweet smile.
He was also super smart. One of the things I will always remember about him was when he did get cranky and didn’t want to listen to what we had to say, he would cover his eyes with both hands. Can you imagine how frustrating that would have been to his poor mother?!
Silent Days, Holy Night
by Phyllis Clark Nichols
Published by Gilead Publishing
Publication Date October 30, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction
Setting: West Virginia Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 11-14, 35-60
Written for: Adults
The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house . . .
Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .
When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.
I would like to thank Just Read Publicity Tours for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Henry Lafferty the Second, aka HL2, aka H, was born deaf. When he was still a young boy, an accident put him in a wheelchair, never to walk again. Now close to sixty, he has spent the majority of his life in seclusion and silence. Despite the isolation he has experienced, he cared deeply for the people in the town. In addition to being a voracious reader and exquisite carver of birds, he has a special, secret talent.
Enter Julia. This precocious young girl had a bigger heart than most. When she tags along with her attorney father as he meets with his client, Mr. Lafferty, she is immediately drawn to him. She discovers that he is able to experience the music from the piano as she plays and that he recognizes the song. Realizing also that she can communicate with him if she learns sign language, she insinuates herself into his life and his heart.
There is so much to love about this special story! I can’t bring myself to call it heartwarming because that seems insufficient to describe the deep love that Julia and Mr. Lafferty develop for one another and the richness of this story of their friendship and trust.
There is a mystery as windows of the mansion are broken by an unknown source and a search and rescue mission that has to be executed.
In the world of the deaf, a sign name is something special. It is given to one by a deaf person and expresses much more than just a name. Parts of personality shine through. The sign name given to Henry by his mother spoke to me of her love for him. The sign name he gave to Julia was not only a great honor, it was absolutely perfect for her. I can only hope that if I were ever given one, it would be similar.
Many stories that have “Christmas” in the name or that are marketed as Christmas stories fall far short of that title in my opinion. Silent Days, Holy Night embodies everything a Christmas story should be. It is a story of friendship, of sacrifice, of giving of one’s self and speaks of the great love that God has for us in that He sent His only son so He might lead us into a relationship with Himself.
This is now the second book by this author that I have read (in just a few months even). I am now more convinced than ever that I need to read everything that she writes!!
If you are looking for a Christmas story that is one, I highly encourage you to read this!
(1) winner will receive (US only):
- a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
- a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.
Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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