3 out of 4 stars
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Christmas is coming quickly. A time for lights and decorations. Family and Christmas carols. Presents and Holiday cheer. It's also a time for classics like A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life. Christmas Voices is another wonderful Christmas tale, and it's just in time!
John Daily grew up in a loving home. Loving but poor. Their family barely had enough money to put food on the table. Every year at Christmas, though, they build a Christmas village which John loves to play with. In playing with the village, John promises the figurines he would be rich and make a difference in all their lives.
Fast forward a few years, and John is a very successful businessman. He has everything he wanted; a wife, two children, and wealth beyond imagination. Unfortunately, he is ruthless and cutthroat. His business comes before his family. He no longer tries to make a difference; rather he lives to amass more wealth. Will he be able to change? Will he find a way to spend more time with his family before it's too late?
The author mentions that this story came from a beautiful tradition in his family. Every other year, his family builds a Christmas village. (It takes six weeks to put up, so they can't build it every year.) Each year they add to it. This rich history shines through in the story, adding another meaningful layer.
I loved seeing John through his life. As a boy, he is young and innocent. He loves his family and would do anything for them. As an adult, he loses focus. He becomes more self-centered. The character changes which makes him feel more realistic.
This story is told in the third person point of view. The narrator is very formal sounding which doesn't quite fit with the personal nature of the story. I feel the story would have been more fun - as well as bringing out the message better - if the narration was more personable.
This third person narrator also leads to jumps in perspective which can be confusing. At one point we are following Katherine, John's wife. Suddenly, we are listening to two crooks talking. This quick change jolted me away from the story.
All in all, though, the story is cute with a great message. Therefore, I give Christmas Voices 3 out of 4 stars. The book is well-edited, but loses a star due to the problems in narration. I recommend this to all who enjoy a good Christmas story with a great message.
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