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Monday, December 29, 2008

The Christmas Sweater...Review

About the book:
If you could change your life by reversing your biggest regrets, sorrows and mistakes...would you? New York Times bestselling author and renowned radio and television host Glenn Beck delivers an instant holiday classic about boyhood memories, wrenching life lessons, and the true meaning of the gifts we give to one another in love. We weren't wealthy, we weren't poor -- we just were. We never wanted for anything, except maybe more time together....When Eddie was twelve years old, all he wanted for Christmas was a bike. Although his life had gotten harder -- and money tighter -- since his father died and the family bakery closed...Eddie dreamed that somehow his mother would find a way to have his dream bike gleaming beside their modest Christmas tree that magical morning. What he got from her instead was a sweater. "A stupid, handmade, ugly sweater" that young Eddie left in a crumpled ball in the corner of his room.

Scarred deeply by the realization that kids don't always get what they want, and too young to understand that he already owned life's most valuable treasures, that Christmas morning was the beginning of Eddie's dark and painful journey on the road to manhood. It will take wrestling with himself, his faith, and his family -- and the guidance of a mysterious neighbor named Russell -- to help Eddie find his path through the storm clouds of life and finally see the real significance of that simple gift his mother had crafted by hand with love in her heart. Based on a deeply personal true story, The Christmas Sweater is a warm and poignant tale of family, faith and forgiveness that offers us a glimpse of our own lives -- while also making us question if we really know what's most important in them.


I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was a completely true story, but Glenn explains at the end that while it was a true story, he novelized his experiences and condensed them into this book. Whatever the reason, the Christmas Sweater is a must-read story of faith and forgiveness.

Eddie's father has died and his mother works 4 jobs to provide for him. As Christmas approaches, all he wants is a bike. What he finds under the tree instead, is a hand-made sweater which, at first, represents all that is missing in his life. But, as we read Eddie's story and the experiences that follow, we find, as he does, that the pathway of life isn't always easy, but with God's love, you can get through it and even enjoy the journey along the way.

I didn't like Eddie at first. He was a selfish boy even before his dad died, but afterwards he became downright prickly. He pushes everyone away with his ugly accusations and cruelty. Then, through some remarkable, spiritual experiences, he finally comes to understand that he is not alone: God loves him and his family loves him.

Some might say the book is predictable and full of platitudes, but I found it thought-provoking and compelling. There is a ring of truth to the lessons that Eddie learns. Lessons we can all learn from. This is a book that I know I will read again.

Thanks to my local bookstore for having a copy I could purchase.  You can get your own copy here.

Read 12/08

* * * *

4/5 Stars

4 comments:

bermudaonion said...

I've heard great things about this one, but sadly didn't get to it this year. Maybe next year.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

It sounds like a wonderful book!

April said...

Great review, Holly! I have this one and hope to read it very soon. Usually I can't read Christmas/holiday books after the New Year, but I think this year will be an exception. This one sounds so great!
I have left you a Butterfly Award at my blog! Here's the link: http://cafeofdreams.blogspot.com/2009/01/butterfly-award.html

Amanda D said...

This is one on my to-read list. I'm quite far down on the list but I have heard good things about it. Glad you enjoyed it!