A Marriage Carol
Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman
Moody, Sep 1 2011, $14.99
Two decades of marriage that began on Christmas Eve is ironically ending on Christmas Eve. The relationship between Marlee and Jacob Ebenezer is colder than the wintry weather outside the car they share on their way to see the divorce lawyer to sign the final papers. Both worry about telling their three kids though they agree to say nothing until after the holidays. Driving on the road to the attorney leads to a fight as Marlee feels with the snow and ice they should remain on the main road while Jacob chooses a shortcut. On a curve with headlines bearing down on them, Jacob loses control.
Marlee awakes alone and frozen; Jacob is nowhere in sight; her cellphone fails to work. She leaves the car looking for Jacob but sees lights so heads there. An elderly man Jay opens the door allowing the shivering Marlee to warm up, but he insists no other visitor has arrived. He searches for Jacob but fails to find him. Marlee and the couples’ retreat center owner chat while his wife rests upstairs thinking about God and marriage. As her host goes to check on his wife, Marlee sees her past and present through her loving family members, and a future path with two choices.
Paying obvious homage to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Chris Fabry & Gary Chapman provide an engaging family fantasy that starts off with an emotional question of “When do we tell the kids?” An entertaining parable, the story line focuses on the importance of honesty communicating as the key fuels to maintain loving relationships. Although the cast is never deeply developed beyond relational roles, readers will appreciate this fun contemporary version of the classic.