After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children--especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their "True Friends." As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.
Acquired from: Amazon Kindle Store
Genre: Non Fiction
Grab a copy yourself on Amazon | Goodreads
I stumbled across this book on Amazon earlier today, which is a true miracle because I never go on Amazon. But nevertheless, I was on there, I saw this book and the cover just drew me in straight away. I didn’t even know what it was about, I just fell in love with that cover. But then I read the blurb and I knew I had to read it. Sidenote: I had a look on iBooks to see if it was the same price because if so I would have bought it on there, and it was $9.99 whereas this book was only $1.45 on Amazon. Go figure
This was honestly such a beautiful story. I don't really want to "review" it per-se because this story is real, and it was written by the person who experienced it so I don't feel like I have the right to criticise something as minuscule as the writing (which there was nothing wrong with by the way). I am honestly just grateful that this story was made into a book.
The story was told from Jo's (the Mother's) point of view, and to get that perspective of someone who has not only lost her husband, but has lost her Christmas spirit and is trying to keep it together for her children, was incredibly eye opening. I connected with each of the three children and the way they acted in their grief. The 10 year old daughter though, really broke my heart. She was just young enough to still have that innocence about her yet she understood what was going on. She knew, yet she tried with all her might to get her family into the Christmas spirit.
I strongly urge you to pick this book up. It's a very quick read, and at only $1.45 why not right? I started it at around 7:30pm and finished it at 10:30pm. The grief that this family goes through, and how over the 12 days they somehow manage to work through that and bring some joy back into their lives is inspiring. Whether you have lost a loved one or not, I can guarantee you can take something away from this book. Especially now that we are in the holiday season. Yes, it is a time of joy, but there are also people experiencing grief at this time, so spare a thought for them as well. It's not really a tradtition but I remember my Dad always reminding me at Christmastime that there's always someone out there who might not even have a home to go to at Christmas, and it wasn't until I read this book, that I really grasped that idea. See Dad, I do listen.
Instead of a rating, because how can I possibly rate a story like this? (If I had to it would probably be a 5, just saying) I will leave you with this quote taken from the book which really stuck with me. "One of the greatest gifts we all possess is the ability to give. Wealth isn't a prerequisite; compassion and a kind heart are all you need"- Joanne Huist Smith
So... The post you all (or the majority of you) have been waiting for.
Without further ado, the winner of the My True Love Gave to Me giveaway is…
Ellen has already responded to the email and the book is currently on its way :)
I wanted to thank those of you who entered the giveaway, and I especially want to thank all of my new (and old) subscribers for sticking with me and continuing to read my posts. I’m also really excited because I have now reached over 100 subscribers. When I first started my blog in January, I honestly didn’t think I would ever get that many subscribers so I am over the moon. So thank you all so much!
I wanted to read this book ever since Simon & Schuster first mentioned it in their upcoming releases. It sounded so intriguing to me and it was something different to the contemporary romance I normally read. So when I saw it sitting on the shelf in BIG W, I picked it up straight away. Fast forward 2 weeks when I finally start reading it. I felt like the book was captivating. I wasn’t necessarily hooked on it, but I was really invested in the story, wanting to know more. I took my time with the first half, just reading a chapter at a time. And let me say, I loved the sizes of the chapters. It made me feel so accomplished. But while I wanted to know more, I didn’t get the whole “omg I can’t stop reading until I find out what’s going to happen next” feeling that I was expecting.
As you can gather from the blurb, this is a mystery/suspense contemporary type novel. And it really hit that spot on. There were so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming throughout the whole book, and the element of surprise left me on the edge of my seat at times. So while I enjoyed the mystery/suspense aspect of it, I felt like I was expecting more in the action side of things, purely based on the premise of the story. So in that sense, I was let down a little bit, with the only real action happening in the second half of the book. But as a person who isn’t really into action, I’m not complaining.
Becca Fitzpatrick nailed the romance in this novel. I loved it. It wasn’t rushed and there was no “insta-love” which I hate. There was a little bit of suspense going on there, and some definite shocks that I was definitely not expecting. It just felt real, and that’s what I loved about it. Team Chet all the way!
Overall: I really liked this story, I thought the premise was really interesting. I would have liked a little bit more action, but other than that I think it was a really well written story. I liked the way Fitzpatrick can reel you in from the very first page all the way to that last sentence. I feel like this was predominantly more romance based, but if you love Contemporaries but you are looking for something a little bit different, this is definitely for you.
Rating: ★★★ ½ /5
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