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Christmas on Jane Street: A True Story Hardcover – October 21, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (October 21, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688164420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688164423
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Romantics will relish, but cynics will dismiss, this unabashedly sentimental memoir from Romp, writing with Urbanska (Moving to a Small Town). Every Thanksgiving for the past 10 years, Romp, who owns a tree farm in Vermont, has come to Manhattan with his wife, Patti, and their three children to sell Christmas trees. They operate a stand on the corner of Jane Street and Eighth Avenue in Greenwich Village and live in a tiny camper parked nearby, in which Patti produces delicious home-cooked meals. Romp's friendly manner and philosophy of matching the tree to the customer endear his family, known as "the Tree People," to the Village community. Not only do neighbors, who eagerly await their arrival, offer the family the use of their apartments for showers, but storekeepers provide free food and coffee. The Romps' ideal family life is threatened, however, when daughter Ellie, on the verge of adolescence, asks to attend a performance of The Nutcracker with her girlfriend as a Christmas gift. Romp considers such an activity extravagant and can't comprehend why his tomboy daughter and chief assistant would want to do such a thing. After some gentle nudging from Patti, Romp realizes that young Ellie just needs to try her wings, and all is well again just in time for Christmas. Readers needn't be ashamed to find this charming, but those who don't aren't grinches. Color illustrations throughout. Agent, Sterling Lord. First serial to Ladies' Home Journal.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

“ [a] sweet tale, a cross between It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol” (USA Today)

“This true story tells how a tomboy blossoms, a daddy reconciles to that fact and how friendly New Yorkers really are.” (Dallas Morning News)

“a heartwarming story” (Newsday)

“a touching tale fragrant with the season … a special treat for those who love Christmas trees.” (Tampa Tribune)

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Customer Reviews

A heartwarming Christmas story.
Nora Hampton
I kept putting myself in her shoes and...again, wasn't feeling the "holiday charm" at that point in the book.
Mom of Sons
BOught this book to read on Christmas break.
Kristin M. Black

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Disguised as a book about Christmas, this is really a touching story about fathers and their daughters; and the sometimes clumsy struggle that occurs as they BOTH mature. A comic and heartfelt story which is certain to touch every dad and his daughter, I will buy many copies of Christmas On Jane Street for the upcoming holiday season.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I first heard about this book when I read that the Romp family was riding from Vermont to Alaska on a bicycle built for four and pulling a trailer containing the youngest family member. I ventured onto their WEB site and noticed that the father of this family had written a book about selling Christmas trees in New York each year. This interested me and I obtained the book. The first evening I had the book, I started reading it and couldn't quit reading until I finished the book. This is a wonderful little book with a BIG story. I was inspired by the tale and it brought tears to my eyes during one part. I'm going to buy multiple copies and give them to all my friends for Christmas!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Chel Micheline TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I LOVE Holiday stories, and I LOVE true-life stories, so I thought this one would be a slam-dunk. Instead, I'm wondering why this book was written, and what purpose it serves.

This is the story of a family of Vermont farmers spend most of December in NY's Greenwich Village, selling Christmas Trees on the corner of Jane Street and 8th Avenue. They live in a tiny camper with no running water while they are there, but the neighborhood comes out in droves to support and provide food, electricity, water, comforts, etc. while they are there.

While I loved the bits about their neighbors, and life in NY in the holidays, the "main plot" of the story was lacking. Billy Romp becomes despaired when his young daughter, Ellie, decides that for Christmas, she'd very much like to go see the Nutcracker with one of the families in the neighborhood. Romp, who had planned on giving her a toolbox for Christmas, immediately despises the idea and believes that her desire to see the Nutcracker means that his daughter must be turning on her own family and the simple, "back to the land" way that Romp and his wife has raised her.

There's some confusion about a phone call (during which the parent in me screamed "if you were so worried, why didn't YOU make the call, Mr. Romp?") and finances (the enterprising young daughter opens her own little candle stand to raise funds for her ticket to the Nutcracker) along the way, and all ends well, but the book sort of made me sad- shouldn't we have more faith in our own children, especially when everything they have done up to a certain point has been with good intention and love?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Christmas on Jane Street first intrigued me since my name is Jane, and I've spent time in New York City and also rural New England, both settings in this book.
It's a beautifully written tale about how the people of New York City befriend, and in turn are befriended by, a family from rural Vermont. The father in the family comes to believe that his daughter has turned to 'city' values, and feels that she is no longer his best friend. In the end, the meaning of family and the holiday spirit is poignantly brought to light.
This book is very relevant to today's families because it talks to the misunderstandings, conflicts, and - ultimately - love, bonding parents and their children. (And it's so well written that I read it completely in one sitting.)
Christmas on Jane Street would be a great gift from a parent to a teen or adult child, or to anyone who believes in the holiday spirit of love and forgiveness...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My husband and I personally know the Romp's and just want to give them the highest of accolades for this excellent book Billy has written. It really makes you smile and get warm and fuzzy inside reading about this Vermont family that moves to the city each year to sell Christmas trees and the friendships and bonds that have developed over the years. Christmas on Jane Street is the story about the love between a father and his daughter, family and friends, and the unconditional generosity and true caring people can give to one another. I would highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By af130@virgin.usvi.net Bob Foster on January 17, 1999
Format: Hardcover
after readcing this bbok, you'll want to come down to jane street next year and stand around watching and talking to Romp family members..nd gawk at the little beat-up pickup truck with the 8 foot cap/camper on the back Imagine living for a month right off 8th ave..on a street. After reading the book and talking with the Romps..you'll be more amazed to learn that come April, they will take off from Vermont on a bicycle built for four heading for Alaska!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
We live on Jane Street and the Romps have been filling our holiday season with great joy for many years now. They are what they appear to be and have told their story in an eloquent and touching manner. This wonderful story of a father and a daughter reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dee on September 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was given this book by my son many years ago. I re read it every year, and so enjoy it every time. I now have it on my ipad too.
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