Have you ever seen or read a melodrama? The only one that comes to my mind is "Snidley Whiplash" which was one of the continuing features on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show I used to watch as a kid. The main characteristic of a melodrama is that everything is exaggerated; the heroes are very good and the villains are awful, with no redeeming characteristics. Mary Connealy's Cowboy Christmas is a melodrama. The heroine, Annette Talbot, was a singer with a travelling gospel show. The managers retired and a new crew took over. She discovered they weren't good Christians, and were actually using the show as a front for gambling. At that time they also told her she was going to wear an indecent dress and sing bawdy songs. She wants to leave, but is going to stay to protect the elderly organ player. However, after a beating, the organ player came to her, said her heart was giving out, and encouraged her to run away, and gave her some money. She ran back to her father's ranch, which she found abandoned. The bad guys were on her heels, they wanted her beautiful voice as a draw. She meets a lonesome cowboy who a few months ago discovered that his fiancee murdered his father. The cowboy and his mother take her in, but the bad guys are not far behind. Will this virtuous maiden escape the dastardly villain? You'll have to read the book to answer that question.
The book is Christian fiction, and like the plot and characters, the faith elements are melodramatic. The hero lost his faith as a result of watching his father die due to the actions of his fiancee. The heroine prays constantly, and dramatically. When the heroine and the hero's mom meet, faith is the first thing they discuss. By the end of the book, the hero's faith is restored.
This book was amusing in its own way, but I preferred Montana Rose and Gingham Mountain.
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