Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

Ever since I asked Divya to enable me to post at her blog, there has been only one question that was bothering me - what book do I review because I have read tons in 2014 and purchased equal amounts. Thankfully I found the answer when I went to work on Jan 2nd after a much deserved break .

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski is what I happened to pick at a Best deals on books  facebook page recently , little knowing its story . From its cover it seemed to be a story about a little boy and his family  and a boy probably who was all of 5 .

Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows that he is grappling with the loss of his young wife and infant son,whose mementos he keeps locked in an unopened drawer

However one early winter's day, a widow and her 7 year old son knock at his door with a gentle request -  she requests him to crave a new manger scene for them by Christmas and requests that her son watch him work since the child hopes to be a woodcarver one day.

So stern and strict is the wood carver that the little boy  even dreads moving his leg while watching him carve , while his mom sits at another corner knitting

You would probably let out a little gasp as the boy gathers courage to correct the best wood carver in town by stating that the sheep he is carving look a tad bit sad and they were supposed to be cheerful because they were meant for baby Jesus

The widow and her son show up often at his door, the little boy not mincing words in letting the best woodcarver know that his carvings were not perfect because the cow in the manger was supposed to be proud because it was meant for baby Jesus.

By now Jonathan has gotten used to the little boy and him pointing out mistakes in his carvings so much so that Jonathan asks the little boy how exactly he wants the rest of the scene to be presented before he begins working on them.

There is also a beautiful scene where Jonathan holds the little boy's hands and teaches him to carve a robin.

You would tear up when the woodcarver cannot get the drawings of Mary and the baby right
and finally pulls out a portrait of his dead wife holding his infant son. He holds it close to his chest , sheds a tear or two . He finally takes this picture to his workbench and his fingers work quickly and surely .  He works all though the night.

Early next morning,  on Christmas, the widow has a surprise at her door . It is the wood carver with the  nativity scene complete .  The nativity scene is exactly what the little boy had envisaged - 2 very happy sheep because they were with Jesus, a proud cow and an angel , a serious and a caring Joseph, Mary wearing a rough woolen shawl , looking down and loving her precious baby son. Jesus was smiling and reaching up to touch his mothers face

The story ends with the wood carver holding hands with the 7 year old and his mother and making it to Christmas service.

The village boys no longer called him Mr.Gloomy  because for the very first time they see Jonathan throw back his head, showing his eyes as clear blue as an August sky and laugh.

This is a delightful Christmas story with a touch of romance.

1 comment:

  1. Love your enthusiasm Vani! Thanks a lot for posting on Onestoryaday! :-)
    It is a wonderful Christmas story indeed. I love the way you have captured the moving narrative...very touching...true to the spirit of Christmas and new year!