REVIEW–The Christmas Journal by Kimberly Jackson

Book Title - The Christmas Journal

Author - Kimberly Jackson

Stars - 5

Buy Link – AMAZON

Ashley Moore’s life forever changed the day her mother died, and she was sent to live with relatives. Now, ten years later, Ashley returns home, hoping to connect with her estranged father. When she learns he’s decided to reopen the family’s Christmas lodge for the upcoming holiday season, Ashley volunteers to help. While cleaning, she discovers her mother’s journal detailing the last month of her life. Will the book hold the answer as to why her dad sent her away? Who is the mysterious Adam her mother keeps mentioning in the diary? Can the words of her mother reconcile father and daughter in time for Christmas?


This was a fantastic story that had me tearing up more than once and at the same time I was angry with the characters. When I seen the title, it was like something was telling me that I had to read this particular story. I couldn't put it down, actually I didn't want to put it down until I had all all the answers from the questions that were asked in this story. I was on an emotional rollercoaster with the characters in this book.

Ashley Moore had been away from her family home for 10 years and decided this summer was the summer to go home and face her dad and get answers on why he gave her away after her mom died. Her mom and dad owned a piece of land and a  Lodge was on this piece of land and people would come from all over right before Christmas and enjoy nature or just spend the night on their way through town. Her mom always made the Lodge look fantastic for Christmas but what Ashley saw when she arrived was not what she remembered. The lodge was in disarray. Dirty dishes piled high, dust think enough you could write your name in it. She didn't understand how her dad could have let it go this bad. But this was the man who gave her away to her aunt, so why would he care about the lodge and its surroundings.

Ashley while looking for her dad meets Cy. Cy says he was hired by her dad to help fix things around the lodge and other buildings. Cy after that first day just never left. Well Cy gave Ashley the feeling that something wasn't right and she was going to find out why Cy was there and she needed to find her father to start answering the questions she had for him. Seeing her father after so many years, she wasn't sure how to act around him. Her dad, James Malone couldn't believe his eyes when he seen his baby girl in person. So many years, so many mistakes. He had a lot to ask forgiveness for but since he had God back in his life, he knew he could ask Ashley to forgive him. But he still wasn't sure how to act around her.

Now, with Ashley, Cy, and her dad all cleaning up the lodge and the surroundings, Ashley decided to clean her parents old room. Under the mattress was a red journal. Her mothers last thoughts before she died. While reading this journal, Ashley found more questions and not the answers she was looking for. Her mom mentioned a little boy named Adam and how she wanted to keep him out of foster care but James wouldn't listen to reason at first. But James agreed that he didn't want this little boy in foster care either, so Ashley's mom left to go get this boy and bring him to his new family. Ashley found out that her mom never made it to pick up Adam. She was hit and killed on the way to get him. It was time to ask her dad about Adam and something else she found while going through her moms stuff.

This story brought tears to my eyes because I could feel how lost Ashley was because she thought her dad gave her away, that he didn't want her. All she wanted was to be loved and stay with her daddy but he sent her away with her aunt, and she only heard from him with birthday cards and such. I know what's its like to feel not wanted. To feel like the one person who should've been there for you, just didn't care enough to stand by you. This is not a great feeling and Ashley was determined to find out the answers to the questions that were bothering her day and night. I am not giving away anymore from the story because you need to read this and go on this trip with Ashley back through her childhood while living at the lodge with her parents and then when things changed for her. 

The ending made me cry. Ashley finding out answers and having to deal with those answers, I couldn't help to cry. There is quite a bit of talk about God in this book and normally I don't really care for books that have a lot of god talk in them. But yes God was in this book, but it wasn't pushed down the readers throat. All the people in this story found God in their own way when they needed him the most. Maybe there is someone higher up that is watching over us until our journey is done and then he is waiting for us to cross over. I loved how each one of the characters had to find God on their own and how the author goes into detail on how they found him and the outcome of finding him.  I can not wait to read more from this author. She made me look at things a lot differently while reading this book. Give it a chance. It is beautifully written and it will make you smile and it will make you think about certain situations. Thank you for writing this book, I have a new way of looking at things and to think things out before reacting.

Barb gives The Christmas Journal

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