Welcome to Advent Reads!
This is an event I have had on my blog for several years running now. Each evening I feature a different holiday themed book. Think of it as your Book Advent Calendar! I post a variety of holiday books including romance, children's, middle-grade, mystery, paranormal, and I try to find some that are other holiday celebrations than Christmas too. I hope you will stop by each evening to see what new book I have for you!
Synopsis: "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."
My Review: I am a bit obsessed with Christmas sweaters and so when I found this book at a second hand shop I just had to pick it up. It was a pretty easy read, but a bit of an emotional ride with plenty of heartbreak, anger, love and forgiveness. I was enjoying following Eddie's story, it was quite a journey he took us on as he struggled with things many kids struggle with and things no child should ever have to experience. The second half of the book definitely got a bit too heavy handed for my liking, it really pushed the religion aspect and got a bit carried away with the metaphors. I found the ending to be just a little too perfect, but for others they might be really happy with an ending that leaves the smile on your face and a breath of relief. There was definitely a good message in the story and it works well with the holiday season, so someone looking for these things may really enjoy it.
My Rating: I really enjoyed the first half of this story but unfortunately the second half just really didn't work for me, but I wanted to share it with all of you in case it is something you are looking for this holiday season. For me, I give it a rating of Two Paws.