The Noel Diary by Richard Paul Evans: Mini Book Review

The Noel Diary

by Richard Paul Evans

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BlurbIn this new holiday-themed novel from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of The Mistletoe Promise and The Walk, a man receives the best Christmas present he could ask for: the chance to re-write the past.

Bestselling romance author Jacob Churcher hasn’t been home for almost twenty years—not since his mentally ill mother kicked him out of the house when he was just sixteen. When a lawyer calls, days before Christmas, to inform him that his estranged mother has passed away and left her house to him, Jacob returns not just to settle the estate but to try and reconcile with the past and the pain and abuse he experienced as a child. Also, maybe cleaning out her house will be slightly less depressing than spending the holidays alone, watching re-runs of Christmas classics.

But as it turns out, the house holds more than just difficult memories, Jacob’s mother had become a hoarder and he must excavate through two decades worth of clutter. As Jacob digs through the detritus, like an archaeologist, he uncovers many puzzling items including a diary left by someone named Noel, a young woman he has no recollection of, who stayed with Jacob’s family during her pregnancy. That’s not the only echo from the past. Jacob has an unexpected visitor, Rachel, a woman looking for the mother who put her up for adoption thirty years before. United by their quest to make sense of the past and rewrite their futures, Jacob and Rachel begin a search for Noel. Along the way they find more than they possibly imagined, including grace, forgiveness and a chance at love.

My Thoughts:

I’ve read a few Christmas books by Richard Paul Evans and since I enjoyed them, I thought I’d pick this one up. I was surprised that this isn’t truly a Christmas story, but it does occur at Christmastime.

Jacob Churcher is a successful author who’s bitter about his childhood. Growing up with a mother who had mental instability has scarred him. He receives an unexpected phone call informing him that his mother has passed away and he travels back home to a house full of memories as he begins a journey to heal.

The story wasn’t exactly festive or fluffy like I expected, but I still enjoyed it. It’s a fast, light read. I thought the story was believable and it felt real to me. My only issue was the insta-love.

4****

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Meet The Reader Series with Starjustin

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for friends on Goodreads that have similar tastes. I like learning about new books and discussing them with others. I decided to experiment with a new idea and thought it would be neat to find readers that I’m friends with on Goodreads and share them with you. Maybe they might be someone you’d like to add too. As I find readers with an interest, I’ll introduce them.

Meet the Reader Series

Today’s reader: Starjustin a.k.a. Mom

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Q: Did you enjoy reading as a child? If so, what were some of your favorite books?

A: One of my fondest memories from my childhood is when my Mom decided to have bookshelves built into the north wall in our living room.  She filled the bookshelf with books and we also had a new World Book set of Encyclopedias we used through our school years.  I loved my ‘Tall Book of Nursery Rhymes’ most of all and remember reading from larger poetry books as I got older.   My Father was quite the reader also, still going for his Masters when we were very young and then on to becoming a teacher and eventually a grade school principal.  So, yes, books were a crucial part of my childhood. 

Q: What are some of your favorite books this year?

A: I am a ‘slow reader’ and have just gotten back into the reading world within the last year or two.  I truly like to take my time reading a book.  I would have to say that ‘The Life We Bury’ by Allen Eskins,  ‘On the Other Hand’ by Renée Paul,  which was actually life-changing for me,  The ‘Walk Series’  by Richard Paul Evens,  and even though ‘The Policewoman’ by Justin Roberts is not my typical genre,  I am very happy to have taken the time to read the book.  

Q:What are your favorite book genres?

A: Dystopian novels,  Self-Help, Memoirs,  Self Awareness,  Children’s,  Short Stories,  and Spirituality.  

Q:What are some of your favorite authors today?

A: Bobby Underwood, Renée Paul,  Richard Paul Evans,  George Orwell,  Liane Moriarty,  Allen Eskins.  There are just too many to list. 

Q: How many books are on your TBR shelf?

A: 414 last time I looked. 😊

Q:What’s an emotional book you’ve read this year or last?  

A: Two books come to mind. #1.  ‘A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Cat’ by Bernard Jan( I was teary from beginning to end with this one)

Click the covers to add…

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 #2.  ‘The Policewoman’ by Justin Roberts (an extremely emotional read for me several times during the reading.)

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Q: Is there a book you really didn’t enjoy this year or last?

A: No.  It may take me some time to read certain books however,  there are no books that I’ve read that I’ve not enjoyed in one way or another.

Q: They say to never judge a book by its cover, but just how important is the book cover to you?

A: Seeing a book cover for the first time is ‘Love at First Sight’ for me when it’s one that catches my eye immediately,  even though I know nothing about the contents of the book. However, It doesn’t determine whether of not I’ll read a book.f_lovem_2ec3144.jpg

Q: Do you have a blog? If so, what is the name? If not, have you ever thought about starting one?

A: Easy answer here.  No, I don’t have a blog of my own however, I do enjoy others and find interest in reading blogs.   No, I would never start a blog, only because I’m retired now and enjoy my free time to spend as I wish.  I feel the time I spend reading blogs is enough to keep me very content.  

Q: Have you written anything? If not, have you ever thought about writing your own book?

A: No, other than essays in my school years and of course college papers, etc.   No, I don’t think I would enjoy writing a book due to the hours needed, and the stress involved with printing and publishing.  It would just be too much for me at this point in my life.  

Q: Which do you enjoy more, ebooks or physical books? How about audio books?  

A: 51QEbDDolEL._SX425_.jpgI love my ‘Kindle’ and it’s much easier for me to read e-books than physical books. Don’t get me wrong, I have a bit of collector in my genes, and I love having signed copies from the authors. I love purchasing books so that I own them and can read them over again if I wish. 

Q: Where do the majority of your books come from? (Library, bookstore)

A: The majority of my books and readings, since I own the Kindle, come from Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.  So easy to obtain and purchase and many are free.   I have recently moved to stay with my family and I am learning to use the library system again.  I just picked up ‘Garvey’s Choice‘ by Nikki Grimes from the library r/t a GR recommendation from my granddaughter. ( She even went with me! ❤)

Continue reading “Meet The Reader Series with Starjustin”