It’s 1967, and the Vietnam War is tearing the country apart, slicing through generations and shattering families. Because of Japanese atrocities he witnessed as a Marine in the South Pacific during WWII, Frank McRae despises all Asians. Now his son, Mike, is a grunt in Viet Nam, and his wife, Maggie, is fighting her own battle against cancer. When Mike falls in love with Thi Nhuong, a young Buddhist woman, and marries her in spite of his father’s objections, Frank disowns him. Then, as Christmas approaches, Frank’s world is torn apart, and he turns bitter, closing his heart to God and to his family.
But on this bleak Christmas Eve, God has in mind a miracle. As on that holy night so long ago, a baby will be born and laid in a manger—a baby who will bring forgiveness, healing, and peace to a family that has suffered heart-wrenching loss.
“Enthralling. This is the one word that pops instantly to mind when I think back on the story of One Holy Night. This is a story of hope, miracles, forgiveness, truth, and family. Set during the Viet Nam War the turmoil, heartache, heartbreak and upheaval of that time shows through, within the pages of One Holy Night. Ms. Hochstetler does a magnificent job of taking the reader to this era and this time. Her descriptions, dialog and storytelling easily transport the reader back to 1967. Even more importantly, the author does a wonderful job of telling a story of one family whose son is sent to Viet Nam at a very young age, a mother who is battling cancer, a father who is loving, yet set strongly in his ways, and a daughter who has a family of her own. The way in which the story is written makes the reader able to walk in the steps of each character, to see what they see and feel what they feel. One Holy Night will tug at your heart, make tears swell within in your eyes, and fill your heart with hope and love.” —A. Pohren
“Reading J.S. Hochstetler's One Holy Night is like watching a Hallmark Hall of Fame television production. Yes, it's somewhat predictable. Yes, it tugs at the heart strings and brings tears to the eyes. Yes, there are some things you want to know more about but only get a glimpse of. And yes, things seem to come together almost too fast at the end. But this is a novel about family, and we can see much of ourselves and our own families in this story of the McRaes and the Christensens of suburban Minneapolis. The struggles with past hurts; the hope we all have, often in the face of hopelessness; a family dealing with unimaginable loss; the wonder and tenderness of a young man and woman discovering love with each other—Hochstetler tells it all.” —Glynn Young
“One Holy Night is J.M. Hochstetler’s fourth novel, and within its pages you will discover the most beautiful modern-day essence of Christ’s nativity, mercy, and grace you’ve read in a very long while! Set amid the turmoil of the Viet Nam War, the McRae family’s story is one riddled with difficult situations and trials that rock the foundation of their faith. Frank, father to Mike and Julie, is particularly torn as his son leaves for a war he doesn’t believe in, and his wife Maggie must engage in a fight for her very life against an unseen enemy. Frank is still battling his own nightmares from his time fighting in the Pacific during WWII. From the very first pages of this story the battle rages around Frank on every front. Will God equip him for the battle or allow him to be destroyed on the battlefield?
“What do these images of war and turmoil have to do with the nativity? Well, the final battle is waged in Frank’s heart and mind during a Christmas Eve blizzard. The decision he makes that night determines life or death for two innocent people. As the story unfolds its final scenes, the reader is left with renewed hope in God’s sovereign design for each of our lives and His miraculous ability to bring good out of even the darkest circumstances.
“One Holy Night was my introduction to J.M. Hochstetler’s work, and I have to tell you it was really terrific! She richly captures the turmoil surrounding the lives of those affected by the Viet Nam War, and the many emotional conflicts that raged on as a result of that war. I look forward to reading her other books, and I highly recommend this one to you!” — Kim Ford