Remembering Christmas: A Novel

Image of Remembering Christmas: A Novel
Release Date: 
September 1, 2011
Reviewed by: 

“The author has penned a Christmas tale that will brighten the lives of all who read it.”

Despite the torrid heat wave sweeping across the country this summer, it was not at all difficult to get into the Christmas spirit while reading Dan Walsh’s new novel. Remembering Christmas, like most of Mr. Walsh’s books, takes the reader back to a time when it seemed our nation was a simpler, quieter place to live.

In this wonderful story, the setting is the 1980s in the Daytona Beach, Florida, area before it grew into the metropolis we now know. In the fictitious town of Seabreeze, we find a delightful couple, Art and Leanne, who own a small bookstore located in the basement of a church.

The store, named The Book Nook, is peculiar in that the owners seem more interested in their customers’ salvation than in making their business profitable. Indeed, patrons consider the owners friends, rather than shopkeepers. The store’s inventory consists of Christian books, music and religious knickknacks. And it’s not unusual for customers to come in and read a book or open a cassette tape and sample the music without buying.

Rick Denton is Leeanne’s son and Art’s stepson. Rick moved away to become a highly successful businessman and despises his former hometown of Seabreeze. His bad memories include his father walking out on the family, and his inability to become close with his stepfather, Art; however, a phone call from his mother, explaining that Art suffered a stroke, brings Rick back home to run the book store, ostensibly for only a few days. The days turn into weeks and Rick’s once fast-paced life slows to a snail’s pace.

Rick’s newfound position as shopkeeper is hampered by two things: a homeless man living in a box adjacent to the store, and a beautiful woman who works part-time at the Book Nook as a means to support herself and young daughter.

Despite Rick’s reluctance to stay and help, his once rigid views about the meaning of life begin to soften as he witnesses the fruits of Leanne’s and Art’s ministry at the store. Rick begins to reevaluate his own life and starts to clearly see that the things he used to value are meaningless.

The author has penned a Christmas tale that will brighten the lives of all who read it. Remembering Christmas is a classic seasonal story, one that has a rewarding ending that makes one feel there are good people left in the world and that hope is indeed alive. I recommend this novel for the readers on your holiday gift list.