REVIEW: The Christmas Kite by Gail Gaymer MartinSunday, December 27, 2009 13:00
I’m still searching for that feel-good Christmas story, and I think I’m about out of time for this year. While this book is an emotional and up-lifting story, it really doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Christmas, just as the previous four or five books I’ve read in the past month. To me, if the word Christmas appears in the title of a book, the majority of the book should be about that holiday, set during that season, and anything else to do with yuletide. So far I’ve been a little disappointed in my choices.
What I do like about this book is the use of kites, not only those free-flying wonders themselves but also well-done analogies when it comes to life and emotion, and this book is packed with both.
Meara and her son, Mac, who is a Down Syndrome child, are finally free of her deceased husband’s family and they’re starting a new life in a small Michigan town. Renting a cabin on the lake just outside of town, they meet Jordan Baird, the local recluse, while out on a walk. Mac spies a kite riding on the breeze and finds Jordan at the end of the string. Finally having their freedom to steer clear of people who stare and make remarks about Mac, Meara can do without the coldness coming from the handsome man who designs and builds such beautiful kites.
But as they are thrown together more and more, the wall Jordan has built around his heart since his wife and son died begins to crack. Maybe God has sent Meara and Mac to him for a specific reason, but why would God do that after punishing him so horribly by taking his family away. He struggles with the new faith he’d found years ago that Meara and Mac are now bringing to the surface once again, and Meara has her own demons to quash when it comes to faith, namely her former in-laws, who were no better than the strangers who treated their grandson so badly because of his disability.
Mac is such an endearing character. He’s a sweet, gentle eight-year-old who’s been overly protected by mom and now with this new-found freedom, he begins to spread his wings and take flight. Just like the kites he loves so much. He works his way into Jordan’s heart as well as Meara does. Each time Mac throws himself at Jordan and hugs the man’s legs whether in happiness, sadness, or fear, he works himself into your heart too.
The only disappointment for me is the actual Christmas kite. I expected something totally different than what I got. After learning about the wonderful kites Jordan creates, ones that people pay big bucks for to decorate their homes or offices with because they’re too expensive to fly, I waited for that beautiful Christmas kite, a one-of-a-kind creation, and it never came. What I did get was nice, no doubt, but I just expected more.
All in all, however, this is a satisfying read about love, faith, and forgiveness shown in a variety of ways.
The life of a single mom with a Down Syndrome child is turned around by a mysterious kite-flying stranger. Reclusive, Jordan Baird is drawn back into the world by a happy-go-lucky eight year old, Mac Hayden. His mother, Meara, is determined to make a life for her son and finds a niche in the Michigan town of Mackinaw City where her life becomes as colorful and exciting as the kites flying over the water. With her abundant faith, Meara comes to grips with her past and Jordan learns that forgiveness is possible with love and faith in God.
Read an excerpt.