Have yourself a conservative little Christmas.
Vaughan, a prolific Christian author of manly historicals and military novels under various pseudonyms (including female ones, for his category romances), takes up several ultra-right and back-to-the-Bible causes in this low-key holiday tale. Should the Inuits and just plain white folks of Point Hope, Alaska (which might sit atop undiscovered reserves of oil), believe the scaremongering of Clay Berber, an untrustworthy, tree-hugging, pointy-headed activist who once fought to have the Ten Commandments removed from a county courthouse? Our hero, Galen Scobey, steps up to the podium with the real facts: among them, the infamous Valdez oil tanker disaster had no lasting measurable effects upon Alaskan wildlife or environment. Galen, a single father to young Nels, is still haunted by the memory of his dead but much-loved wife Julia, who loved Christmas. And he’s troubled by his own responsibility for an oil-search accident that killed two New Guinea natives several years ago. Heck, that pretty little teacher, Ellie Springer, isn’t going to charm him out of his holiday blues by holding a Christmas pageant at the Tikigaq school. And hasn’t she ever heard of the separation of church and state? He won’t let Nels perform. The dispute ends up in court, where a muddled defense avers that since the government is supporting “faith in atheism” by upholding the law, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating a religious holiday in a publicly funded school system. What a miracle: the befuddled judge agrees in an unlikely ruling on behalf of the pageant. What a hero: Galen, lost in a storm on the tundra, follows a brilliant star back to Point Hope and joins the rejoicing townsfolk.
Uninspiring story with a not-so-hidden agenda.