The 13th Gift #review

November 18, 2014



I received a copy of The 13th Gift and could not wait to get started reading it. My kids and I love to leave surprises and do random things throughout the holiday seasons so this book title and description kind of caught my attention. I love giving back during the holidays and I can only hope that me and my family have brought some joy to others. 
So onto the book itself. 
I think anyone who has suffered a loss can relate to this book in regards to the holidays. Not wanting to be all in the mood for celebrating and shopping, baking and singing. It just gets to be overwhelming throughout the holiday seasons. It is hard to want to be happy when you loose someone. 
The story goes through the thirteen days leading up to Christmas, the daily struggle of a widow, a single mom, over those thirteen days. The excitement of Christmas ans surprise in the children mixed with the woes of the mom trying to do her best to make it through. 
This is a real page turner. I loved it! I don't want to give the whole book away so I am trying to keep it general but it is a great holiday read. A great inspiration to those going through a loss for the holidays and a great inspiration for those wanting to do something for others.

Excerpt from the foreword:
"I learned the lyrics to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" carol as a kid in grammar school choir, when the magic of the holiday season still filled me with a sense of wonder and possibility, a dreams-come-true mentality. Partridges and pear trees, ladies dancing and leaping lords -  I had thought the words of the tune farcical. I didn't know then that the key to happiness was hidden within its silly stanzas. 
I had spent my life grasping at those five golden rings: a husband, three healthy children, and a comfortable home. Then just before Christmas in 1999, my beloved husband died in the night, and I realized my gold was fragile as glass. 
We were shattered. 
I found no comfort or joy in the approaching holidays, only memories that cut at my heart like broken pieces of a treasured Christmas ornament.
I stopped singing. It hurt even to breathe. I wanted to banish the holidays from our lives. But then something extraordinary happened. 
Thirteen days before Christmas, gifts began appearing at my home. They were just small tokens of the holiday season, accompanied by a card with the lines similar to the carol. Each was signed simply, "Your true friends." At first, I resisted the intrusion of Christmas into my grief. But slowly, as the gifts kept arriving my heart began to thaw."
About the book:
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. 


About the Author:
Joanne Huist Smith is a native of Dayton, OH. She earned a bachelor's degree in English at Wright State University and works as a reporter for the Dayton Daily News. 

You can order a copy of The 13th Gift on Amazon and Goodreads




Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books. However, any opinions and thoughts are honest and my own. This post does contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you click a link and make an actual purchase. 

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