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Finding Noel: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 3, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On the night that Mark Smart has decided will be his last, his car dies in a blizzard. He enters a closing coffee shop and finds Macy Wood, who literally offers him a shoulder to cry on. The two forge a deep friendship, and after three weeks, Mark proposes marriage. She declines, but waitress Joette, who has taken care of Macy since she was 13, orchestrates a reunion as Mark tries to smooth over the rifts dividing what remains of his family. Mark's stepfather's advice—"sometimes it's the fight that makes a thing worth having"—serves as the defining aphorism of Evans's yuletide offering. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Evans' latest offering is a charming holiday story about two strangers who change each other's lives. Mark Smart thinks he has hit rock bottom when his car dies on a snowy evening in Utah. He stumbles into a coffee shop and meets Macy Wood, a young woman he connects with immediately. She gives him a ride home and over the next few weeks, the two swap their life stories. Mark is reeling from his mother's death and his estrangement from his father, while Macy, adopted at age seven, longs to find her younger sister who was taken by another family. Mark encourages Macy to look for her sister, and with his support, she ventures first to the adoption agency and then to the house she and her sister lived in with their troubled father. Mark wants to marry Macy, but his unresolved family issues give her cause for concern, and she pushes him away, forcing Mark to confront his own demons. Evans' many fans will want his latest, and this heartwarming tale is perfect for every reader who loves sweet and uplifting fare. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743287037
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743287036
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Paul Evans
When Richard Paul Evans wrote the #1 best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author.

Officially, he was an advertising executive, an award-winning clay animator for the American and Japanese markets, candidate for state legislature and most importantly, husband and father. The Christmas Box was written as an expression of love for his (then) two daughters. Though he often told them how much he loved them, he wanted to express his love in a way that would be timeless. In 1993, Evans reproduced 20 copies of the final story and gave them to his closest relatives and friends as Christmas presents. In the month following, those 20 copies were passed around more than 160 times, and soon word spread so widely that bookstores began calling his home with orders for it.

His quiet story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than eight million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. The Emmy award-winning CBS television movie based on The Christmas Box starred Maureen O'Hara and Richard Thomas. Two more of Evans's books were produced by Hallmark and starred such well-known actors as James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Naomi Watts, Mary McDonough and Academy award winner Ellen Burstyn. He has since written 10 consecutive New York Times bestsellers and is one of the few authors in history to have hit both the fiction and non-fiction bestseller lists. He has won three awards for his children's books including the 1998 American Mothers book award and two first place Storytelling World awards. Evans's latest book, The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth, is now available.

Of his success, Evans says: "The material achievements of The Christmas Box will never convey its true success, the lives it has changed, the families brought closer together, the mothers and fathers who suddenly understand the pricelessness of their children's fleeting childhood. I share the message of this book with you in hopes that in some way, you might be, as I was, enlightened."

During the Spring of 1997, Evans founded The Christmas Box House International, an organization devoted to building shelters and providing services for abused and neglected children. Such shelters are operational in Moab, Vernal, Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah and Lucre, Peru. To date, more than 16,000 children have been housed in Christmas Box House facilities.

As an acclaimed speaker, Evans has shared the podium with such notable personalities as President George W. Bush, President George and Barbara Bush, former British Prime Minister John Majors, Ron Howard, Elizabeth Dole, Deepak Chopra, Steve Allen, and Bob Hope. Evans has been featured on the Today show and Entertainment Tonight, as well as in Time, Newsweek, People, The New York Times, Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, TV Guide, Reader's Digest, and Family Circle. Evans lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"And perhaps after all the songs and poems and stories of the season, Christmas is really no more than that--humanity's search for the familiar. Every year we bring out the same songs, partake of the same foods and traditions, and share the things that make us feel that there's someplace we belong. And in the end all any of us are looking for is home." -- (My favorite passage) From the book

I admit it--I'm a sucker for Christmas stories. Skpping Christmas (a delightful story), The Christmas Train (a forgettable tale), A Redbird Christmas (another wonderful story)--I've read them all.

As Christmas draws near, I stay on the lookout for holiday heartwarmers found either at my local bookstores or at the library.

I came across Finding Noel at the library, not realizing that it was a new release. (Admittedly, Richard Paul Evans was unknown to me up until this book.)

Sadly, the author lost his mother on Valentine's Day 2006 and after weeks of struggling with his grief, he decided to write a story for her.

I, for one, am glad he did.

Although Macy and Mark are the central characters in this story, Finding Noel shares the universal struggles of *several* compelling characters, delving into areas such as emotionally detached parents, making ends meet, looking for meaning, surviving child abuse, terminal illness, sudden death of a loved one, and finding a soulmate who accepts and loves unconditionally.

Once I began reading Finding Noel, I couldn't stop. Several times--including the last few chapters--I had to put the book down for a good cry. At first, my worried husband looked over at me and asked "Are you OK?
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Format: Hardcover
FINDING NOEL by Richard Paul Evans

December 23, 2006

Amazon Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Fans of Richard Paul Evans will enjoy this holiday story just in time for Christmas. FINDING NOEL was written in honor of Richard Paul Evans' mother, who had passed away in February and was his biggest fan. The story centers on a young man, Mark Smart, who had just recently quit college and was down on his luck. He had found out by accident that his mother had passed away. No one notified him of her death because he had left no forwarding address after leaving college, and it was during a call to his family back home that told him of the bad news.

Mark is the picture of a young man who seems to be failing in everything in life. He's an academic failure, he has a very low paying job, and he is alone in the world. It is by a fluke of an accident that Mark meets a woman that will change his life forever, Macy, and it becomes a turning point in his life.

Macy is also a loner, with a past that she doesn't divulge to too many people. But she slowly opens up to Mark. Both of them have something in their past they don't want to deal with or talk about, but unless they can get past these issues, it doesn't seem like they have a future together.

The subplot of Macy's search for her lost biological sister makes for a fast paced story line, and this adds to the story of Macy and Mark's love story, revealing part of Macy's hidden past that she herself had forgotten details to. For me, it was this part of the story that kept me reading to the end, because I found her search fascinating.

As in all of Richard Paul Evans' books, FINDING NOEL is a very sentimentally told story with a lot of old fashioned romance.
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Format: Hardcover
Richard Evans has a history of writing touching stories. His first book The Christmas Box left many of our library patrons touched for weeks, most freely admitting to shedding many tears.

His newest book, Finding Noel, is sure to please those who read The Christmas Box. The lead character, Mark Smart, is facing perhaps the darkest night of his young life. His scholarship at the University of Utah has been cancelled. He's lost his dorm room and part time job at the college. Just days before he's lost his beloved mother. Then on a dark, cold, and snowy night his car dies near a small cafe. Struggling into the warmth of the diner he meets a young woman name Macy and the rest of his live changes.

Interesting characters make this read worthwhile. Mark's father is a virtual neer-do-well who embarrasses Mark but in the end has one of the more memorable lines in the book. Macy's mother died when she was only five of cancer leaving her and her infant sister, Noel, to be tended by an unreliable father. Jo, the unrelated woman who takes in Macy after her mother died works as a waitress in a truck stop. Yes, there's plenty of tension in Finding Noel. In addition to the wonderful characters, the story is tightly written and doesn't waste the readers time.

This is the first of many holiday books and may turn out to be one of the best.
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Format: Hardcover
Finding Noel has more of everything I have come to know and love about Richard Paul Evans' writing. It's seems as though he has taken even more time to develop and enrich his characters, which I love. He has taken me back to the snowy winters of my college days and made me feel those still tender, poignant feelings of being so far from home and family, of searching for something I could not find. And then he takes, once again, my heart in his hands and shows me the way to go home. I saw so much of my life in this book and that, to me, is what makes this writer golden. What a joy to have another tale from Richard, but especially, another tale of Christmas.
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