Author: Dan Walsh
About the book: 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 that will have readers remembering every good and perfect gift of Christmas.
My thoughts: This book was sort of bittersweet for me. Rick's stepfather, Art, didn't have a stroke, but had a brain aneurysm, and while I was reading it, my Aunt Corinne had a brain aneurysm burst and passed away the next day. Her funeral was two days before Thanksgiving (part of the reason why I was absent from blogging for awhile). But I don't want to overshadow the wonderful story in the book.
Rick's father had taken off when he was a kid, so when his mom married Art, he made no effort to welcome him to the family.. Though Art made many attempts to get to know Rick, Rick continued to push him away, eventually leaving for college and a career. He seldom made it back to his hometown and had never gotten close to Art. He returned now to help his mom out, as she needed to be at the hospital and the bookstore they owned was their only source of income. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were some of the best sales weeks of the year, so they really needed to be open. Rick reluctantly gives up his ski weekend and heads home.
This was actually a very enjoyable book to read. Rick is the narrator and he remembers the events one day while sitting at the corner across the street from where the bookstore used to be. It isn't an over the top sentimental Christmas story though. The events really could have happened. It deals more with family relationships, finding out what's important, looking beyond the surfaces - making it all happen at Christmas time just makes for a nice Christmas book.
~I received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker in exchange for my unbiased review.~
Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Publisher/Publication Date: Revell, Sept 2011