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The Christmas Shoes (Christmas Hope Series #1) Hardcover – October 26, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Two couples find their lives transformed by a Christmas gift in VanLiere's debut novel, a gooey holiday parable that leaves no stone unturned in its pursuit of tear-jerking moments. Robert Layton is an ambitious lawyer who sacrifices his youthful idealism to become a partner and specialize in bankruptcy law. His ambition backfires, though, when his wife, Kate, announces that she wants a divorce from her often absent husband, throwing family life into chaos right before the holidays. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, another couple anticipates impending tragedy as young mechanic Robert Andrews tries to prepare his family for the coming death of his attractive wife, Maggie, from ovarian cancer. The two families' lives critically intersect when Layton goes Christmas shopping and encounters Andrews's young son, Nathan, trying to buy a pair of shoes for his mother as a going-away present. When the hard-hearted lawyer sees that the boy is short of cash, he ponies up for the purchase. The transformation that follows makes for a heartwarming story, and VanLiere writes some affecting family scenes that contrast the material poverty of the Andrewses with the spiritual poverty of the Laytons. But the story's beauty is marred by the author's nonstop holiday clichs in both assorted characters and passages of decidedly preachy prose.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
“A heartwarming story.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Heart-tugging...an inspiring Christmas story.” ―BookPage
“A delightful book.” ―Tampa Tribune & Times
“Heartwarming.” ―The Sanford Herald
“Has precious gifts for all of us.” ―The Washington Times
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Top Customer Reviews
On Christmas Eve, Robert is in line to pay for his last minute Christmas shopping when he marvels at the young boy in line ahead of him with a pair of fancy, sequined shoes in his hand. At the register, the boy comes up short and must either come up with the remainder of the cost of the shoes in his hand or go home empty handed - and this is to be his mother's last Christmas. Young Nathan Andrews knows his mother is losing her battle with cancer, and he is determined to buy her this one last gift. Beautiful shoes for her to wear when she goes to Heaven to meet Jesus.
Moved by Nathan's remark to the clerk that he wants to buy the shoes for his mother so she'll be pretty if she goes to Heaven to meet Jesus this night, Robert realizes in a flash that what really matters in life isn't monetary, physical things but the love, faith, and hope we all feel in our hearts. And, after paying the remainder of the price of Nathan's shoes, Robert goes home to right his wrongs and allow faith, hope, and love to take hold in his heart. At long last, Robert has truly learned the true measure of success in a man.
Seldom do I read a book that touches me the way this one has. Inspirational, faith driven, and just so powerful in its message, "The Christmas Shoes" is filled with characters the reader will instantly connect with. Simply the most amazing, spectacular, moving, intensely satisfying book I've ever read.