Excerpt from Julia’s Gifts by Ellen Gable:
“Yes, it was extravagant, especially during wartime. Yes, there were less expensive items she could purchase. It didn’t matter. This was the ideal gift.
After purchasing it, she took it to the engraving department on the second floor. Behind the counter, the tall, lanky middle-aged man with a handlebar mustache smiled. “What would you like engraved on this?”
“To my beloved, next line, all my love, Julia.”
His eyebrows lifted. “I’m certain the gentleman would prefer to have his Christian name engraved on this lovely timepiece. Don’t you agree?”
“Well, yes, I imagine he would. But I don’t really know his name or who he is yet.”
The man’s mouth fell open and he stuttered. “I’m..I’m…s…sorry, Miss. I…I don’t understand. You’ve bought an expensive pocket watch for someone you don’t know?”
Julia sighed. She shouldn’t have said anything.”
Julia began buying Christmas gifts for her (yet unknown) beloved, almost as soon as she dedicated herself to praying for the young man that would one day become her husband.
This beautiful tale, woven through the historical WWI era, draws you into to Julia’s desire for true love from the beginning.
I have been a huge fan of author Ellen Gable since 2006, when we met by chance at a CWG/CMN conference and she generously gave me a copy of one of her books. I was hooked and have since asked, (um, begged) her to be one of the first people to read and review her new books. With that in mind, I am heavily and admittedly biased about her work. There is a good reason for that; Ellen writes in a descriptive, page-turning style that makes me lose sleep, because I can’t put her novels down.
Julia’s Gifts did not disappoint; I read the entire novel in one evening! Ellen weaves an engaging, gift of the Magi type, story in which love for Christ (and fellow man) triumphs over even a pure desire for an earthly love. Sweet and slightly Hallmark-movie predictable, I felt I could let my defenses down fairly certain that things would, in-fact, work out in the end… the fun was in getting there. I thoroughly enjoyed my journey with the characters in this book and I would feel confident in sharing it with my mother or my daughters.