Category: Fantasy, Feel Good Fiction, Festive, Book Review
Joseph Winter is a good and gentle man, but he carries with him the pain and regret of a childhood mistake.
When a package mysteriously arrives on his doorstep, he is invited on a trek that defies logic. Traveling far from his quaint home in St. Paul into the snowy landscapes of the Arctic, the journey takes him in search of the one man who may be able to help him find peace—Santa Claus.
Geraldine and her husband Tom were having a family Christmas with their children and grandchildren. It’s the Christmas Geraldine had been looking forward to for a long time. She was going to tell everyone about her younger brother, Joseph.
“When I was a little girl,” she began, “my parents brought home a tiny bundle of blankets one night. Inside was my new brother, Joseph William Winter.” She looked up at everyone. They were all staring back at her, leaning forward in their seats.
“We called him Joey,” she said warmly. “And from the moment I first saw him, I loved him with all my heart. I wanted to protect him. I wanted to teach him things.”
“He grew up to be a newspaper reporter, right here in Saint Paul,” she said. “Then one day, back before you little ones were born—in November of 1947, to be exact—an unexpected package arrived on his doorstep. It was a small box, and in it was this journal.” She held it up for everyone to see. “And he was invited on a journey.”
Joseph had lived with regret since he was a child. All those years ago he said something to his mother that he felt guilty about almost as soon as the words left his mouth. The memory of hurting her had eaten away at him, turning him into a grumpy, solitary man who tended to be severe and joyless. His true nature had been supressed for such a long time he’d forgetten how to be any other way. He lived alone in the family house that really wasn’t a home anymore. His parents had passed away and his sister was following her own path. Then one day he received a mysterious package. A package that would change his life. It contained a folder, a leather bound journal, a red pencil and a note telling him to expect a phone call the next day.
When the next day came, although he still wasn’t sure about the validity of the package, he took the phone call. Joseph had been selected to go on a journey. When he was told where the journey would take him, he believed it was a joke and he’d been set up by a co-worker. But the items in the package brought back the warmth and joy that used to fill the house when he was a child.
The journey wasn’t a smooth one for Joseph and more than once he thought about going home, but slowly the dawning awareness he began to feel turned into a healing process, his personal growth helped along by Timothy and Max as he relived key memories and helped others along the way. A moving and poignant story with relevant life lessons, of choices and consequences and the impact they have for better or worse. The Journey of Joseph Winter is an enchanting read.
John Anthony is an author of Middle Grade, YA, and Family Fiction with good morals, traditional values, and (spoiler alert) happy endings.
He was born and raised in West Saint Paul, Minnesota, and grew up being tortured by three younger sisters. Raised with old-fashioned values, he likes to weave those through his stories. His sisters also instill the same morals and values in their children, and he enjoys watching his nieces and nephews grow into outstanding, caring young people.
When he isn’t writing, John is a licensed massage therapist with his own successful practice in Saint Paul. One of the most rewarding experiences of his job is meeting new people from different walks of life.
He lives with his long-time partner in West Saint Paul.