The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans was another wonderful, quick read. It’s a bit of a modern retelling of Scrooge in a way. James Kier is a money hungry, selfish businessman, stomping on people left and right to benefit himself and make more money. He’s even left his wife, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. One day, he reads his obituary in the newspaper after a mix-up, and sees all the spiteful comments people left about him online after they believe he is dead, and he has a change of heart. He makes a list of some of the people he has hurt most over the years through his manipulation in business, and tries to reconcile with them, making up for his past ways. I really enjoyed this book, just like I’ve enjoyed all of Evans’ books. I thought it was a great story of redemption and forgiveness. Though James was hard to like at times, I was grateful to see him make a change and become a better person. I rate this 4/5.
The Christmas Hope by Donna VanLiere was a quick and touching holiday read. Apparently it is the third in a trilogy (the first is The Christmas Shoes). I wish I had read the others first, but didn’t have too bad of a time without having read them. Patricia and her husband Mark haven’t celebrated the holidays since tragedy struck several years ago. They hardly talk to each other anymore, and Mark is on the brink of leaving. However, Patricia, a social worker, feels a special connection to five year old Emily, and breaks the rules by bringing her to her own home for the holidays. Her and Mark bond with the child and begin to love her. Emily’s spirit and love helps the couple heal and find peace and happiness again. I thought this was a really nice and meaningful book that shows the true holiday spirit. I did think the ending was quite abrubt and should have been drawn out more since it was very rushed. I also think there may have been a few too many characters for such a short book. All in all though, it was a pleasant read. I rate this 3/5