One Summer by David Baldacci
Genre: Loss (Psychology) Fiction
Christmas is approaching, but Jack’s household is missing the festive spirit. Jack is terminally ill, spending his last days preparing to say goodbye to his wife Lizzie, and their three children. Then Lizzie is killed in a car accident on her way to the pharmacy to purchase his medicine and the children are sent to live with family members around the country.
Sounds like a holiday mood damper, but in truth, this New York Times best-seller is an encouraging read. It tells us that miracles happen, and that love brings the best out of the worst.
In a miraculous turn of events, Jack recovers from his terminal illness, but he has work cut out for him. While mourning his wife, he has to struggle to reunite with and reconnect with his children. In honour of his late wife, Jack takes his children to spend the summer at her childhood home. They learn to live without her, struggling with anger and the angst of the setbacks that come their way. In the mean time, Jack finds love with a special woman, but guilt and other external factors are keeping them apart.
This heart-wrenching story reminds us to put things in perspective, for there are misfortunes in life that far exceed our petty worries.
If you were dreading the annual get together with your noisy little cousins or your busybody aunt, this is one story that will make you go home with an open heart.
This book is available at most libraries. Call number: English MON ~[BA]
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
In a woodland forest, there lived a tree that longed to become a Christmas tree. But each year when people came to select trees for their homes, he was always left out. Eventually, he grew too tall to be used as a Christmas tree, thus sealing his fate and dashing his dream. Realizing his sorrow, the forest animals whom he has been providing for decide to’give him a surprise to show their love and appreciation for him.
Despite this being a children’s book, its meaningful and sweet tale is likely to delight adult readers. For a simple story, it delivers a strong message on the meaning of life and the significance of goodness and generosity to others. The text is smooth and a joy to read. The animals delivered thought provoking statements that were not at all juvenile. The story is delivered with the aid of gorgeous illustrations by Michael Glenn Monroe, a wildlife artist who frequently draws for children’s books.
This is an entertaining and educational Christmas book to read to junior. Being a sturdy and wonderfully illustrated book, it would also make a lovely gift for people who love beautiful books and Christmas.
Available at select public libraries. Call number: English MON —[BA]
– These book reviews first appeared in a lifestyle magazine