Thursday, December 23, 2010

My December Book Reviews

Have a Little Faith: The Story of a Last Request
by Mitch Albom

Goodreads Review:
In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight-year journey between two worlds--two men, two faiths, two communities--that will inspire readers everywhere.
Albom's first nonfiction book since Tuesdays with Morrie, Have a Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an eighty-two-year-old rabbi from Albom's old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy.
Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he'd left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor--a reformed drug dealer and convict--who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.
Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Albom observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.

My thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed Have a Little Faith. So much so, I couldn't put it down. First of all, and the story aside, I enjoy Mitch Albom's style of writing. Whether it is one of his works of fiction, like The 5 People You Meet in Heaven or For One More Day or his non-fiction, like Tuesdays with Morrie or his latest, Have a Little Faith, Albom's voice is as though he is sitting across from you as a dear friend who has come for a visit and tells you a story, always with a message that won't leave you immediately. You'll find yourself thinking about the characters, the events that take place, the setting and always, how would you respond to the events or situation. I highly recommend Have a Little Faith.

Here is a video interview with Mitch Albom to pique your interest:

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve night. If the experience doesn't change Scrooge's ways, he will end up walking the Earth forever being nothing but an invisible and lonely ghost, like his deceased friend Jacob Marley. Mr. Scrooge is a financier/moneychanger who has devoted his life to the accumulation of wealth. He holds anything other than money in contempt, including friendship, love, and the Christmas season.

My thoughts:
A Christmas Carol is a Christmas tradition. I never tire of reading it and discover something new in the characters with each reading. I love this story this year, last year and I know I will rate it high in the future. A true classic.

Promise Me
by Richard Paul Evans

Publisher Weekly Review:
The bestselling Evans is back with another earnest tale set around a certain holiday in December, but this time he's got something up his sleeve. Beth has everything, a loving husband, an adorable daughter ("a joyful combination of lunacy and grace"), and a great job where she works with friends. But when her daughter becomes mysteriously ill, and she discovers that her husband is dying, her perfect life falls apart. She is soon impoverished and embittered, and still can't discern the source of her daughter's illness. Then she meets a handsome stranger, who diagnoses the illness and convinces the wary Beth to trust again, only to disappear with the home equity loan he pushed her into getting. Devastated once again, Beth's resolve is tested when he returns with a truly unbelievable story. Believing him means altering the entire course of her life. Evans combines his usual holiday themes with a bizarre twist lifted straight from science fiction. Readers will undoubtedly feel attached to Beth, even as they struggle to understand the bizarre relationship she finds herself entering into. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My thoughts:
I've always enjoyed Richard Paul Evans' Christmas stories. They are romantic and sweet and a nice holiday easy-read. However, this was not the case this time with Promise Me. I tried to give this two stars and perhaps I should since I did read the whole book. Generally I'd have stopped much sooner. The story was intriguing at first and I didn't mind the time travel aspect. However, it turned bizarre and quite frankly, distasteful to me with the relationship Beth developes with her future son-in-law. The final scene and end of the story I found to be contradictory to Beth's search for the love she deserved in her husband. I never felt a connection between her and her husband, only that he loved her but no indication that it was returned. There are so many inconsistancies and what I found rather bizarre in her relationship that I just can't give this book more than one star. I really wanted to like this unusual story, but as I turned the last page all I felt was disappointment.

I see the ratings for Promise Me all over the place with many giving it 5 stars down to my 1 star. I guess this is a case of personal taste and preference.

Here is a video synopsis:

Until next time,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reviews Jennifer, you must being enjoying your Kobo.

    I have never read A Christmas Carol
    by Charles Dickens, maybe next Christmas I'll finally read it.

    Merry Christmas ~ Jovi


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