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on December 5, 2002
I started this book late last night and got up VERY early to finish reading. It was just such a quick read and so sweet that I didn't want it to end.
As you know from the title it is a story that is set during some various holiday seasons over the years. There are actually two stories that are intertwining together. The narrator is a successful lawyer named Robert. Robert has used his success and money to buy his family's love and is coming the realization that money can't buy love. The other story that we see is the story of Nathan, a third grader, who's mom is dying of cancer. A chance meeting on Christmas Eve intertwines the lives of Robert and Nathan together in a meeting that will affect the rest of their lives. In this meeting Robert realizes that the smallest things in lives are what matters and sets out to change his outlook on life.
This is one of the first books that I have cried over in a long time and cry more than once I did. As a teacher I was just touched by the kindness that Nathan's teacher showed him and as a person I was touched by the kindness of others in the book.
I have never heard the song that this book is based on, but now I hope I get the chance to. I also hope that you get the chance to read this book. It is wonderful.
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on December 2, 2004
This quick read is touching, tear-jerking, and a little overly sweet. It stereotyped characters and preachy passages will keep it off the list of the all-time greats in literature, but chances are good that you won't regret reading it anyway.

The story line is fairly straightforward: the loving, but poor, family is having its life turned inside out as the mother dies; the boy makes brief, but life-changing, contact with a worldly-minded, money-driven attorney whose wealthy family is crumbling from neglect.

The story is told primarily from the point of view of Robert Layton, the lawyer.

This is a three-hanky book; don't read it in places where crying will be embarrassing.

It is particularly recommended for people who have lost loved ones, especially around significant holidays, and healthcare professionals who care more about people than about the (admittedly important) scientific details.
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on November 27, 2001
The Christmas Shoes is bound to become a Christmas classic. It is heart-warming, intelligent and very touching. It is the perfect book to read during the holidays, or if you need to find something to cheer your soul up a little. It is the perfect book to put you into the Christmas mood.
The book contains two stories. The first is of Nathan, a young boy who's mother is dying of cancer. This will be her last Christmas as death is just around the corner. Nathan wants to make this Christmas the "best ever" for his mother. The second story is about Robert, a man who has just realized that he has put his business life in front of his family for way too long. When his wife tells him that she wants to leave him, Robert realizes that he has been a bad father and husband all these years and sets out to make things right again.
Both stories are wonderfully written and very entertaining. They also both offer great 'visuals' of Christmas as both famlies try to make this Christmas the best of their lives. Both stories are filled with hope, desire and love.
This is the perfect holiday book, the best of its kind since The Chirstmas Box. Its everything that you'd look for in a Christmas story. This is one book that I waill faithfully come back to every December from now on, in order to prepare myself to the wonders and joys of Christmas.
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on February 19, 2007
Do you like a book thats good but sad in other times? Well if you do then this is the book for you! This book is about a young little boy who finds out that his mother has a disease, his mother gets really sick one day. His father says "its not going to be much longer before momma goes home to heaven". As the little boy thinks of what to buy his mom before she dies, he walks pass this shoe store and see's these beautiful pair of shoes.... He goes in the store and he thinks of how he cna save enough money to buy these shoes but before his mother dies. He heard on the T.V. that people can save cans and recycle them to make money. After days went by he finally got enough money for these shoes. Dingle-ling the bell rang as he walked back to the shoes he looked and looked for the shoes and still couldnt find them, but all of a sudden he sees the beautiful shiny shoe's under some boxes. And then... you will have to read the book to find out what happens next!

This is a great book and you will love it if u read the book.
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Okay, I'm a Christmas freak. There really is no other way to put it. I just love everything about Christmas: the ambience, the decorations, the nice, cold winters, the food, the music (that I start to listen to in September), the movies (that I tend to watch all year round), and so much more. Except for the Christmas books. For some reason, I have yet to find a Christmas book that I truly love (in the interest of full disclosure I will say that I have yet to read A Christmas Carol. I know...). Unfortunately, The Christmas Shoes was no exception.

I didn't mind the cliches, I didn't mind the heartwarming-ness that can sometimes make people want to gag, I didn't mind the sweetness. What I did mind was the fact that apparently I was supposed to feel something for these characters, yet I couldn't because they weren't at all developed. Every single character fell into their stereotypic roles. And sometimes I can deal with that. But in The Christmas Shoes I couldn't because there was just nothing other than the stereotypical characters there. I'm supposed to feel depressed, at first, because of all that sad things that were happening and then feel oh so happy when the resolution rolled around. Maybe I would have...if the characters weren't paper thin development wise. But since they were, I didn't feel anything for any of them and in turn, I didn't feel what I was supposed to be feeling while reading the book.

So, unfortunately, I found The Christmas Shoes to be a huge disappointment. I just didn't find anything reedemable about it. It was a quick page-turner, but mostly because the book is so short. It would have been better with a couple hundred more pages to flesh some of the characters out. I, however, will still check out the movie as it seems eons better than the book.
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on May 28, 2003
The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanKiere is an amazing book. It'an emotinal rollercoaster. From fun laughter to tear jerkers. This story opens up your eyes on life. It shows having money doesen't always bring happiness. Kates family was rich and had just about everything they wanted but happiness. Maggies family was poor but filled with love. These families changed each others lives without even knowing it. Like Kates husband paying for Nathans shoes for his mom before she died. Nathans actions changed Maggies husbands mind on things and how he should be. Little things have big impacts on your life.Read this awsome book and let it change your life.
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on February 20, 2007
The Christmas shoe is a really great book. You known those books that ounce u are reading it, nothing can make u put that book down.

Well what this story is about 2dfferent families who are very different from each other. One family is rich , and there marriage is falling apart and all the husband care about is being rich but to the wife she can care less if she did have money or not all she cares about is saving her marriage . Another thing that bothers her is that her husband doesn't see it they have to kids and he never ever spends time with them all he cares about is his job. But one day that will all change.

The family is your average American family the both have jobs two kids and they spend time with each other a lot. But one day this will change to. Maggie who is the wife of the average family. one day the Maggie goes to see her doctor, she has been compiling about a stomach pain so she goes and sees her doctor and she finds out that she has cancer. But the bad thing about this cancer was that she caught at a bad stage witch meant that she really didn't have much time. So she goes home and tells her husben the have there cries and she tells her son. Well as the other family are still having family problems. Well Christmas eve day and everyone known that this is Maggie's last Christmas so there oldest son who is about 8 years old diede to go out and by his mom a Christmas present. While he was looking around to fine the perfect gift for her. So he finds these perfect pair of shoes. So when its time for him to pay he finds out that he doesn't have enough so her turned around and looks at this guy and sad is to him "I Want to by these shoes for my mama please and these shoes are just her sizes and this is going to be her last Christmas tonight'' so the guy is like what do I look like to you rich but he didn't say that to his face. So guy gives him the rest of the money and the boy turns around and said Thank you. The guy was so touch by this that he hpoes everything and runs home to go talk to his wife. And he tells everything that happens and he tells her how much she loves her and that he is going to change spend more time with his kids and his family so they fix everything. So the kid runs home and they all diede to open there Christmas present a little earlier that year so the kid gives her the shoes and she was so excited. And happy. And sad at the same time.
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VINE VOICEon December 3, 2006
Bankruptcy attorney Robert Layton has devoted himself to his career and has left little time for his family. By chance, he meets 8-year-old Nathan whose mother is dying of cancer. Nathan's father tells the boy on Christmas Eve 1985 that his dying mother will soon be going to Heaven.

Desperate to give her one last present, Nathan shops for a gift that will make her look and feel beautiful when she goes to meet Jesus. He finds a pair of brightly colored shoes that he thinks will fit the tab. Sadly, he does not have enough money to buy them and asks the man behind him in line to help. That man, as you have already guessed is Robert Layton.

Impatient with the boy for holding up the line, Layton all but curtly dismisses him until he hears why Nathan has to buy those shoes. At that moment, Layton's life is forever transformed by this boy who has an abundance of his family's love, but a paucity of material goods.

Maudlin, yes, but well written and a good way of reminding people that hope exists, especially in the most unlikely of places and sources. The book closes with the two men some 20 years later who "just happen" to meet again. By then, Nathan is medical school, studying oncology, looking for a cure. This is a good story and an even better reminder to appreciate the people who are meaningful in one's life and to appreciate the natural joys and not taking anything for granted.

I will admit that I cannot stand the song "The Christmas Shoes" and find it maudlin and somewhat depressing. As much as I hate the song, I hate the way it makes me feel even more. Readers got the point, so the song seems like overkill. It is like being hammered over the head to prove a point that has already been well taken, so my feeling is that the book served the purpose well without that miserable song.
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on December 9, 2002
The book is sweet -- saccharine sweet. It is also completely predictable, badly edited and, well, stupid. Could someone please come up with an idea that is at least approaching original? This one certainly isn't. It is full of cliches -- the good, dying mother; the workaholic dad who believes that money will make his family love him; the poor (and dirty and ragged) little boy who just wants to give his mom one last Christmas gift; the meddling mother; the long-suffering wife who doesn't want to be lonely anymore. The basic premise is a cliche -- how the workaholic was shown what Christmas is all about by a little boy who has nothing and is about to lose his mother. A cliched plot might be OK, if it were carried out with a little finesse, but, sadly, it isn't. Don't bother with this book. If you want a good Christmas story, grab a copy of "A Christmas Carol" instead. Same basic plot, better writing.
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on December 14, 2002
What a wonderful, inspiring story to read for the holidays or any day. This story of two people whose lives intersect briefly one Christmas Eve shows how a small, insignificant event can alter your life forever. Robert Layton is a high-powered bankruptcy attorney whose hard work and long hours at the office have given his family all the material things of life but very little family unity. Nathan is an eight-year-old boy whose mother is dying of ovarian cancer. One Christmas Eve, after his father has told him that his mother will soon be going to heaven, Nathan frantically searches the stores for something to make his mother feel beautiful when she meets Jesus. He finds a pair of glittery silver shoes with red, blue, and green rhinestones and shimmering sequins. When he attempts to pay for them but doesn't have enough money he turns to the man behind him in line and asks for help. That man, Robert, has his life changed forever in this poignant moment.
The book details the family life of these two characters that brings them to the pivotal moment in the store and takes the reader into the future when Nathan is a grown man who once again has a chance encounter with Robert.
This is a story of how one man attempts to regain the family he has neglected while another family comes to terms with losing their wife and mother. It is a story to remind us all to be appreciative of the life we have, the small joys, and shared memories. It is a story of hope and faith and, most of all, the love that transcends the deepest heartaches.
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