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Monday, December 12, 2016

Book Review: O Little Town

I just finished reading this book, and it gave me a feeling of hope that I haven't felt a long time.
It's written by Don Reid, who is a member of the Statler Brothers singing group. It's labeled as "religious" but I never felt like it was preaching to me, but rather encouraging me instead.. not to be a Christian, but to be a compassionate human being. I try very hard to do that.
This book shows the inter-connectedness we have with other people; our families, our friends, our neighbors, even with people we've never met. Our lives are interwoven with one another and we are each more than just a name on a page.
It takes place in a time when people lived their faith, no matter what that faith was, and didn't demand that everyone agree with them and that religion was "my way or the highway". Their faith was strong and personal and didn't need to try to make others agree with them.
It's almost 60 years since this story takes place, and I find it sad that people are becoming more selfish, narrow minded and intolerant of differences instead of more enlightened.
This book showed that people can make mistakes and learn from them and thrive. It seems like these days, it's just the opposite. To make a mistake is wrong and to admit to making a mistake is a sign of failure. When in reality, mistakes are the best lesson we can ever have.
I loved how the book included multiple generations and time frames to show much each event affects the next. That the past matters. That memories matter.
I hope you will treat yourself to reading this book during the holidays.
"Christmas, 1958
In a small town where everybody seems to know everybody, there are still a few secrets. Three families find they are connected in ways they never suspected: an angry teen, a dying man, a lonely wife, a daughter in trouble . just ordinary people, muddling their way through ordinary challenges. Illness. Marriage. Bad decisions. Friendship. Faith. Forgiveness."

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