Thursday, November 17, 2011

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

A real "feel good" book!

From the Publisher

Rick Denton lives his life on his terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. So when his mother calls on Thanksgiving weekend begging him to come home after his stepfather has a stroke, Rick is more than a little reluctant. He's never liked Art and resents the man's presence in his life, despite the fact that his own father abandoned the family when Rick was just twelve. When what was supposed to be just a couple days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and running off the homeless man who keep hanging about, Rick's attitude sours even more.

Still, slowly but surely, the little bookstore and its quirky patrons--as well as the lovely young woman who works at his side each day--work their magic on him, revealing to Rick the truth about his family, his own life, and the true meaning of Christmas. With skillful storytelling, Dan Walsh creates a Christmas story will have readers remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.

My Take

I enjoy reading Christmas novels—maybe it’s because I’m a “bah humbug” person and I think reading about it will get me in the spirit. Or maybe because Christmas novels are usually “feel good” books that warm the heart. I’m not sure what it is but I was excited to receive Remembering Christmas to get that feeling.

There were several parts of Remembering Christmas that did give me the “feel good” feeling. I enjoyed that Rick came to the aid of his mom and stepfather without hesitation even though he wasn’t close to his stepfather. The down side to that was his attitude about it and thinking he would only be there for a few days. In my world, if my parents need me to help, I’m there in a heartbeat without the attitude. Some folks are different, of course, but I don’t really understand why.

After learning how much the community respects and praises his mom and stepfather, Rick starts to think about his childhood with a different perspective. He realizes maybe it was HIM and not his family that had a bad attitude growing up. It’s amazing how when you finally get to know about someone, your perspective and memories are altered. What I wasn’t so excited about was the fact that he didn’t know his mom and stepfather after all those years. Rick was selfish and self-centered and only interested in how he could climb the corporate ladder.

Because this is a Christian book, there are lots of faith references but nothing that is preachy. It was a good balance of antagonist and introspection. There was one aspect that did bother me a little. The title is Remembering Christmas but other than the weather, Walsh didn’t refer back to the spirit of Christmas. Yes, miracles happen at that time of year but they also happen throughout the year and the book didn’t really make me think of Christmas—spiritual or otherwise.

Remembering Christmas is a “feel good” book but it didn’t make a huge impression on me. I wasn’t compelled to sit and read it all at one—not a page turner to me. It’s a nice story but nothing special. For that reason, I give Remembering Christmas 3 stars. I am, however, interested in reading his other novels to see what they are like.

I received this book free from Revell  as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Author

Dan Walsh is the award-winning author ofThe Unfinished GiftThe HomecomingThe Deepest Waters, and Remembering Christmas. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. 

He lives with his family in the Daytona Beach area, where he’s busy researching and writing his next novel.

Visit his website here:  

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