The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith {A Review}

DSC_0003In 1999, Joanne Smith lost her husband, Rick. They had three children, Ben, Nick and Megan.  As Christmas approached none of them felt much like celebrating. Joanne struggled to bring herself to shop for gifts for the kids. Every place she went, everything she looked at reminded her of Rick.  She had no desire to get a tree, gifts, to acknowledge the day at all.

But then a few days before Christmas she realized that had all changed. She felt invigorated, ready with eager anticipation for the day. What had changed?

Their “true” friends. People they didn’t know left a gift on their doorstep with a note. Inside the note was their own version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The 13th Gift is a true story, the story of a family wrought with tragedy and how love brought them together.

It is a Christmas book, but this one is good enough to read throughout the year. There is no time when we don’t know people who are struck by tragedy and could use our help to heal.  It is alway the time for random acts of kindness.

I really enjoyed this book. In a few instances, there are some words I would not choose to use, nor read, but that was the only “issue” I had with the book. I loved that the people were real. I know it’s a true story and really happened to the author’s family, but it would be so easy to gloss over, and pretty up their true feelings, to mask the pain they dealt with and pretend at least for publication’s sake that everything was super. But she didn’t do that. I appreciate the realness of the story.  Even though I haven’t experienced this tragedy, I found I could easily relate to the characters, and found myself inside the story living it with them.

I give this book 4.75 out of 5 turning pages.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. You are encouraged to purchase your own copy to form your own opinions.


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