Christmas Embers by Chautona Havig is a contemporary Christian novel that will really tear your heart and emotions to pieces. Chautona Havig writes sensitively about the hard hitting topic of adultery. She pulls no punches – adultery affects everyone – the couple, their children, friends, neighbourhood and church. The fall out is like a nuclear bomb – it’s ripples spread out, leaving no one untouched.
For some, this novel will be painful because it is your story. For some, this novel is a warning against complacency. For all readers, this novel will play with your emotions – you will need tissues as your heart breaks for all concerned.
The novel reveals there are different types of adulterers – the one off and the serial adulterer – but the pain on the family is still severe.
Hurt is painful. Hurting people want to hurt people. The harder we hurt, the deeper we want others to hurt. “You’ll hurt because you keep hatred in your heart.” There is a very fine line between love and hate.
The novel deals with truth and lies, issuing a warning. “Fiction repeated often enough becomes fact in the public mind.” A lie is still a lie, no matter how many times you repeat it.
A major theme is forgiveness. “Forgiveness is not an option.” We have to forgive because God has forgiven much in us. Forgiveness may be hard, we may need to ask God’s help in extending it.
The theme of sin is tied into forgiveness. There are no gradients of sin. Sin is sin. God forgives everyone who truly repents. We need to lead others to God and repentance. “Don’t let us… whip… with the Word, when he really needs to be cleansed by it.” We need to love and leave any convicting to the Holy Spirit.
The novel shows the importance of priorities. “There’s more to life than money… The Lord… will provide, even when we miss a good deal.” Our hearts need to be focused on Jesus and not the latest financial deals. We need to focus on our families. There will always be good deals and money off vouchers but our children grow up far too quickly. We do not want to miss that. We need to make memories and not accumulate stuff.
It is important to follow your heart but only if it lines up with scripture. Jesus will never lead up the path of adultery. “Only follow your heart if the Lord is guiding it.” Broken hearts can be deceptive. “You can’t trust a broken heart to lead you.” Lustful hearts are misleading. Only the heart focused on Jesus can be true.
The characters in Christmas Embers are realistically drawn. Your emotions are in for a roller coaster ride. Your heart will break for the children whose dreams are for parents. The novel emphasises that no child is ever a mistake in the eyes of God, even those who are a product of their parents sin. Children are a gift from God. Always.
Christmas Embers is a powerful read. Chautona Havig writes from the heart and from the point of view of love – love for humanity and love for God.
I adore Chautona Havig’s novels, they always hit home. They give a strong message. And they leave you with the hope of a God Who loves us all.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.