Official Review: Christmas Voices by John Callas

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: Christmas Voices by John Callas

Post by kandscreeley » 23 Nov 2017, 20:35

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Christmas Voices" by John Callas.]
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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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Christmas Voices
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Mercy Bolo
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Post by Mercy Bolo » 04 Dec 2017, 11:34

The cover is pleasing but a distorted perspective is not my favorite. The different perspective of the young John and the adult add an interesting touch though.
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Post by kandscreeley » 04 Dec 2017, 11:39

Thanks Mercy Bolo. It's a great Christmas read. :)
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Post by ParadoxicalWoman » 05 Dec 2017, 03:56

Yay, another book to read for Christmas season. Thank you for your review.
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Post by inaramid » 05 Dec 2017, 09:47

I'm wondering how a poor family managed to put up an entire village (unless it's made from scraps or recycled materials)? For some reason, I'm envisioning something lavish and...well...expensive. I hope it's also explained in the book how a child who grew up in a loving home ended up to be so cutthroat later in life.

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Post by kandscreeley » 05 Dec 2017, 10:38

Thanks for your comments.

Inaramid-It's definitely explained how he grew up the way he did. The author does a good job with that. As for the village, it's something that was just accumulated over years and years. Handed down to each subsequent generation, so it kept growing. I hope you read it!
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Post by Steph K » 05 Dec 2017, 11:42

I'll have to read this. It sounds like it could be heartwarming like a Hallmark holiday movie!

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Post by GODSTIME EDET » 05 Dec 2017, 16:26

I love it

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Post by Dragonlady63 » 05 Dec 2017, 17:16

Just from readin the review of this book it seems interging.I can't wait to read the whole book

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Post by MsTri » 05 Dec 2017, 20:56

Kind'a sounds like a cousin story to A Christmas Carol, but minus the three ghosts!

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Post by kandscreeley » 06 Dec 2017, 09:13

Steph K wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 11:42
I'll have to read this. It sounds like it could be heartwarming like a Hallmark holiday movie!
It definitely reminded me of a Hallmark movie in book form! It's a great inspiring Christmas story to remind you of what's important. Thanks for commenting!
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Post by kandscreeley » 06 Dec 2017, 09:14

MsTri wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 20:56
Kind'a sounds like a cousin story to A Christmas Carol, but minus the three ghosts!
You know, there actually is a little bit of A Christmas Carol in there. Complete WITH the ghosts. :) I'll let you read it and figure out where that comes in. Thanks for commenting.
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Post by Miriam Molina » 06 Dec 2017, 13:46

Christmas stories are always touching. A personal favorite is the movie "While You Were Sleeping." I hope to see John realize his foibles and make his family a happy Christmas (and ever after), in keeping with his promise to the "village people" in his youth.

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Post by kandscreeley » 06 Dec 2017, 14:03

Thanks Miriam! It's heartwarming, and I recommend it to everyone this season!
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Post by hsimone » 06 Dec 2017, 14:14

I love the idea of building a Christmas Village! It's great that the progression of John's life seemed realistic and natural. Too bad about the perspective jumping, but I'm glad that you found this read enjoyable!
"Love is patient, love is kind." -1 Corinthians 13:4

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