Friday, November 14, 2008

A review of For The Love Of St. Nick

For The Love of St. Nick by Garasamo Maccagnone

This is a small, brief book, the story of a family facing a number of crisis. Tiger's mother is dead, dying in childbirth when he was just three years old. His brother Johnny, the result of that birth, has some medical issues that make him delicate and subject to great bouts of fever. And their father, the Commander, is in the military during the Vietnam War era, reassigned when the boys are about 8 and 5 years old, from their familiar California home to a base in northern Michigan. It seems that the Commander to be involved in some sort of 'secret' air mission.
And all of these things will come to a dramatic head as their first Christmas in the snowy north approaches.
A lot of material for a very small book.

After I read the book, I went around and read reviews on Amazon and elsewhere, as I often do. It doesn't effect my opinion. I'm just curious. Well, it seems that everyone who reviewed it, granted not a huge number, loved it. Words like magical and heartwarming are used.
I am sorry to say that I just can't see that. One reviewer refers to the “quiet simplicity of the language” in the book. I found it often awkward and a bit unclear. And the climax, if you will, of the story was abrupt and just too much was tumbled into the last few pages. That was the time to draw it out more, to create that magic that I would have loved, because there is nothing as grand as a magical Christmas story. But it wasn't there for me, sadly.

I must say that it is an attractive little book, with a beautiful cover. I can see this as a children's book, with some artwork in the style of the cover illustrating the story. A bit less stark of a story.
Keep in mind that mine appears to be a minority opinion.


  1. Sorry to see that it was a disappointment. From the title and cover, I thought it held great promise.

  2. I do the same thing you do--I can't write a good review until I've read what other people say about the book. I often have something completely different than what I've read, but reading the reviews helps me clarify my thoughts.

  3. I know it sounds sort of like cheating...but it really does not effect what I think or write.

    with this book, I was so out of line with the other reviews that I took a closer look at just seemed odd. if I post it on Amazon...not sure that I will be like 5 five star reviews and mine. oh well....

  4. I didn't love it either. My review is here.


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