The Jerry B. Jenkins File:
Reviewed by C.J. Darlington
Midnight Clear by Dallas & Jerry
"Reading this holiday tale is like reading the best parts of a favorite book."
Christmas is a joyful time spent with family, but what if you don’t have family? What if Christmas Eve is the anniversary of the worst event that’s ever happened in your life?
Midnight Clear has an eclectic cast: A middle-aged man who’s just lost his job. The owner of a run-down gas station having to work the holiday. A lady well past her prime with no reason to live. A mother who’ll do anything for her young son, and a struggling youth pastor who’s lost his zeal. Tonight the paths of these five will intersect, and nothing will ever be the same.
Reading this holiday tale is like reading the best parts of a favorite book. Better classified a novella than a novel, you’d think it would be hard to connect with five different people in seventeen short chapters, but that’s not the case. From the start you’ll be drawn into their situations, truly caring what happens to them. Jenkins & Jenkins skillfully make each character distinguishable with their own quirks and traits. Not every author could accomplish this. And they even managed to pull off a twist I didn’t see coming at the end.
Based on a short story Jerry wrote ten years ago, Midnight Clear (which has also been made into a movie by Dallas starring Stephen Baldwin) isn’t just another fluffy Christmas book you give to the person who has everything. There’s some real meat here that’ll have you pondering who you are as a person and whether you really are living out your faith.
The book does have its light moments. Some one-liners will make you chuckle, and the 16 pages of color stills from the movie complete the enjoyable reading experience. At the end you’re even treated to an interview with actress Victoria Jackson (of Saturday Night Live & Politically Incorrect fame) who has a small role in the film.
The hopeful message found in Midnight Clear is poignant—seemingly small gestures can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. And that’s something we all need to think about, every day of the year.
C.J. Darlington is the award-winning authof of Thicker than Blood, Bound by Guilt, and Ties that Bind. She is a regular contributor to Family Fiction Digital Magazine and NovelCrossing.com. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs, a cat, and a paint horse named Sky. Visit her online at her author website. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.