Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Night Like No Other - Review

Title: A Night Like No Other
Author: Chip Davis

Rating: 3/5 (this rating is for the book only, the CD which comes with gets 5/5)

Grade: A - All ages

Evan Darling has long kept a life-changing experience which happened to him as a boy a secret - even from his children and wife. But one Christmas Eve, as a blizzard is raging, and his children show no enthusiasm for the traditions of christmas, he realizes it is time to share his story. When he was a boy of ten he felt similarly. He wondered what was the point of all of the traditions that most of the time just seemed like work. After recieveing a beautiful snow glove from a travelling christmas sales men, Evan begins a journey that teaches him the real meaning of Christmas.

The writing in this book, especially the beginning, was beautiful. But by the end of the book I have to admit that I was groaning. In ways the plot was original, but there were so many elements of it that have been done many times in Christmas stories. I didn't feel that the point was very well made either. Which was that the traditions of Christmas are important, they have meaning and value to us even today. For being the point of the book, I thought this part was skimmed over. What I really think is that they were trying not to offend anyone. I mean Christ as the reason for Christmas was not mentioned, which is fine as they were going into the roots of the Celtic traditions of the holiday - what it was even before the Christians turned it into the celebration of Christ. But they didn't go into enough detail, and they hinted at Christianity through mentioning the origins of the Christmas tree ligths and Martin Luther. And the whole Santa theme, with them all being touched by this Christmas spirit at the end, and saving christmas...Well, lets see, it was rushed, and didn't make much sense. Sorry, I am not feeling it.

However, it was a cute story, it had a good message: that family and tradition are the reasons we celebrate christmas, and that we materialize it too much. I think it could be a fun family read, and that children would enjoy it, and maybe learn something from it. I guess I put it on the same level as all of those made for TV holiday movies. Yes, they are rather corny and unrealistic, but we watch them anyway, because they make us feel all warm and fuzzy, like a little kid again.


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