From Publishers Weekly
As do several Christmas books this season, this one transports readers to a simpler, better America that never existed. On the last shopping day before Christmas, teenager Scott Reid, bagging groceries at a supermarket, befriends a mysterious stranger and invites him home for the holiday weekend. The curious old man, whose white bushy eyebrows, old fashioned clothes and cherubic disposition immediately endear him to the unbelievably hospitable Reid family, says his name is Zachery and claims to work for a charitable agency. Zachery soon elicits from the Reids a recital of the sad event that has afflicted the family. Exactly one year ago, Scott's younger sister, whom he was teaching to ride her bicycle, was run down by drunk driver Jake Fincastle; she remains in a coma. In short order, Zachery convinces the Reids to commit "an act of forgiveness"?visit Jake in prison and bring good cheer and food to his wife and children. When the Reids' own lives are next blessed by a double miracle, even the most credulous reader will not be surprised. A series of cliches stitched together by coincidences and facile solutions, one-dimensional characterization, predictable props (hot chocolate, a crackling fire) and issues reduced to the lowest common denominator rob the narrative of suspense, much less inspirational magic. Previously self-published by Allen, this sentimental story drips with a syrupy piety. 75,000 first printing; $300,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.