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Showing 1-10 of 269 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 290 reviews
on September 12, 2016
It's not groundbreaking or surprising, but it's sweet and warm and in the end it leaves you feeling good. I'm ok with that - the writing style flows well and the characters are likeable so it's an enjoyable read. It's a nice change of pace from forced conflict and immorality left unchecked that many current novels employ.

O Little Town is set in 1958. It shares the tale of its prominent citizens and the birth of their familial ties. This is all done over a period of a few short days and a number of flashbacks. Even with the compressed timeline, we come to know the characters like they are old friends, and to care for them too. There's a message here, but it's not too preachy and is very appropriate.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 16, 2011
I enjoy reading Christmas stories during the month of December. I picked this up last year but didn't get to it before I ran out of month, so saved it for this season. Based on the product description, it was a book I thought I would really like so I made sure it got to the top of the TBR stack and I spent the past couple of days reading it.

Set in the fictional town of Mr. Jefferson, Virginia, the story mainly takes place in 1958 with some significant flashbacks to the year 1904. It's the week leading up to Christmas and the pastor's daughter is caught shoplifting from the local department store. This event is what sets in motion the remainder of the novel as we meet her parents and discover the stress their marriage is under. We also are introduced to other families in town who are all inter-connected in some way - friends, family, church members. Each family is dealing with a significant issue in their lives and those are the stories we follow for the week. The flashbacks to 1904 involve a young actress performing at the local theater with her husband. That marriage isn't on solid footing either and dramatic events take place that have long-lasting ramifications for the town.

On the good side - there is a lot of hope in the novel. While bad things happen, the characters manage to rise to the occasion and deal with them effectively. Uplifting without being sugary. On the negative side - 1) there is a cast of characters larger than necessary without a listing of them somewhere. I found myself struggling to keep them straight (particularly since they are so intertwined). 2) some of the characters feel "choppy" to me. One character in particular starts out the novel being a totally unlikeable character and exhibits behavior both unappealing and irrational. By the end of the book she has been transformed into a sympathetic character without the reader understanding why the drastic change has happened. I think a strong editor could have fixed both of these problems.

Overall, I liked the book and found it to be an enjoyable holiday read. Not something I feel a need to re-read in the future, but an entertaining and uplifting book for a one-time read.
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on March 2, 2016
O LITTLE TOWN is set in Mt. Jefferson, Virginia in the 1950's. It was your typical small town where everyone "knows your name" as the song goes and their lives are intertwined.

The story opens at Christmas time in the year 1958. The local pastor's daughter, Millie Franklin, was just caught shoplifting in Macalbee's department store. Milton Sandridge, the manager, doesn't want to raise too much of a scene and tries to keep the news from getting out. But he still has to call Buddy Briggs, the Chief of Police. Sadly, Buddy is having his own problems. When Buddy brings Millie home, Rev. Paul Franklin and his wife Dove are both disappointed in their daughter's behavior. She seems to have no remorse for what she has done. Then Dove decides to march up to the store and defend her daughter, which is exactly what Milton had wanted to avoid. Dove has been wanting to move from Mt. Jefferson for a long time. There is one temptation that she wants to flee.

Seventy year old Walter Selman is in Lenity General hospital with complications from the flu. At least that is what everyone thought. His daughters Doris and Colleen are waiting for him to wake up so they can visit him. Doris Sterrett is married to a Dr. Campbell Sterrett, who works in Lenity General. Colleen Sandridge is married to Milton, the manager of Macalbee's. Something is bothering Colleen that she cannot figure out. Things just don't seem right between her husband Milton and herself.

They all gather on Christmas eve for service at Pastor Franklin's church. He delivers a message on forgiveness. Everyone's lives are interwoven together. Will the message of forgiveness shine through the people of Mt. Jefferson?

Sometimes it is nice to read a story of forgiveness and hope. Even if the story is centered during Christmas time and you read it when it is not Christmas. Forgiveness and hope is welcome at any time of year, right? A nice feel good story worthy of 5+ stars.
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on December 29, 2015
I give this novel a 5+ star, because it's a true drama on real life needs. The author put it all together very
nicely as to bring about a moral and Christian ending to a chaotic beginning. Forgiving is the theme of
this story, and that is important in following Jesus on our pilgrimage to our Eternal Home with God!!!
God bless all that learn a crucial aspect in life when they finish reading this wonderful story......

Rolando Rushay
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on July 11, 2014
Of course, I love the Statler Brothers and have been a huge fan of theirs for approximately 40 years. (Since watching "Misery" I NEVER say I am anyone's "number one fan".) Unfortunately, sometimes when I hear an actor sing or see a singer act my first thought is, "Don't quit your day job." Therefore, I will admit that because I love Don's body of work and I did not want to be disappointed by the book he had written, I picked up this book with more than a little trepidation. I believe this trepidation is evidenced by the fact that even though I purchased the book in 2011 I am just now reading it in July of 2014! I am happy to report that I was extremely pleasantly surprised.

I am more than a little puzzled by the reviewer who "assumed" that Don Reid is a Promise Keeper and then went on to criticize him on that hypothetical basis. "Since he's a Promise Keeper he probably...." What???? How unfair is that. I don't know anything about the personal lives of Don or his brother Phil and I don't know if Don is a PK or not; however, it isn't really his personal life that interests me. What interests me are the awesome songs performed by the Statler Brothers over the past few decades, many of which were written by Phil or Don. I also know that in the marriages described in "O Little Town" it was the WOMEN who were in charge of many of the major decisions made in the home. And when a very serious crime was committed it was a WOMAN who decided how that was going to be handled and who made the decisions as to what the police would or would not be told and all of the men involved did exactly what she told them to do. I certainly did not see the women in this story as being downtrodden and at the mercy of the macho, alpha males in their lives.

The same skill that Don used in writing his award-winning songs is evident in the story of "O Little Town". I loved the way the lives of the people in this "little town" were entwined and I loved the skill Don used to keep all that entwinement a secret which was not revealed until the very end of the book. I am from a small town and while reading this book I found myself saying, "oh, that lady in the story reminds me of Mrs. X in my hometown" and "that man in the story reminds me of Mr. Y in my hometown" and "that girl in the story reminds me of a girl at my high school". I LOVED this story and whether you are a fan of the Statler Brothers or whether you have never listened to even one of their songs I think you would enjoy this book. I give "O Little Town" my very highest recommendation.
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on March 28, 2017
You're right.....everyone has a Doris. Great stuff....I liked every character for one reason or another. Loved the spiritual part too. This is my first book by this author but certainly will not be the last. Keep up the great writing.
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on April 10, 2017
I started to feel sorry for the characters and their secrets, but As it developed caring and goodness took over. I like Christmas stories and this took place in the good at Christmas time in 1958. Truly a different time!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 22, 2011
O Little Town is written in such a way that it is a peek into every town, especially small towns, where everybody knows somebody and there is a sense of connection.

While I may not live in the exact type of community, where we have the old corner drugstore, the book is well written, so I feel right at home as the location seems so real.

The many characters move the storyline along, and it seemed to me, each chapter offered a peek into their community and their lives. Thanks to the gifted author his writing makes the characters seem like family.

Adding to the storyline is a sweet mystery.

Overall, this book was a comfortable read and getting to know the characters was easy.

Highly recommend.
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on January 3, 2017
O Little Town is a comforting Christmas read.....or anytime that you may want to feel the Christmas Spirit! While it deals with everyday people and everyday situations it also has underlying thoughts that reach any and all persons. A time when life was simpler, a time when family, church and community mattered. The book seems to grab hold of you and you truly feel like you are living in the story. Don't read it for any great revelations, but read it to enjoy the personal side of Christmas....and life...in a small town.
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on December 13, 2011
This book is not a long read, but it is a good read. You will recognise basic character types in the story, but that does not make for a hum-drum read. Most of the characters in this town exhibit the truth about being a Christian. Although the standards set by Jesus are the highest, people believing in those standards don't totally conform to them--though they want to. Knowing failure, they reach out to Jesus and each other for the forgiveness and grace that lifts them and helps them keep the bonds of matrimony, family and friendship.

PS Loved Walter's "flash backs" storyline and how it manifested itself into the future!
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