Review of The Christmas Clock by Kat Martin

This is one of those books that you know the outcome even before you turn the first page. But you also know the plot of “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Does that stop you from watching it? No, and it shouldn’t. At Christmas you have a built-in excuse to watch and read heart-warming, obvious stories that make you cry and feel good all at once.

The Christmas Clock is the story of Teddy Winters, who lost his single mom at age four, and now, age eight, lives with his grandma Lottie. But Lottie has been stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s, and it is only a matter of time until darkness will totally descend on her mind. When that happens, Teddy will be taken from Lottie and handed over to Social Services. Teddy doesn’t know this, however, and takes on a number of little jobs so he can buy his grandma the small hand-painted clock she has wanted for so long.

One of Teddy’s jobs is working for Joe Dixon, who at 29, is getting his life on track after having served in prison three years for involuntary manslaughter. He had gotten in a fight in a bar, punched a guy, and the man hit his head on the way down and died. Joe was in the bar drinking because the love of his life, Sybil, had broken up with him and left town right before their marriage. What Joe didn’t know was that Sybil broke it off because she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and she knew how much Joe wanted a family.

Sybil, cancer free for six years, moves back to Dreyerville, Michigan, and sees Joe again. She and Joe realize they never stopped loving one another. (Sybil is still beautiful, and Joe has more rippling muscles than ever, but what: you were expecting another Jimmy Stewart?)

Evaluation: You can guess the outcome of this story. But does that mean you shouldn’t read it? Does that mean you still won’t enjoy it? The answer to both questions is “No way!” This is a story you’ll love reading every year, along with the rest of the Christmas genre.

Rating: 3/5

Thanks to Margot at Joyfully Retired for sending me this book!

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15 Responses

  1. I have a lot of books knowing the outcome and loved those too. It sure seems worth checking out.

    Teaser Tuesdays: The Scottish Whistle by Cindy Vallar

  2. I like seasonal books a lot but have trouble timing them correctly. Reading Chritmas books in January really, really does not warm the cockles of my heart but I can’t seem to get my list together before then. Hmmmm. I love the bright cover on thisone though.

    I am working on cataloging the books that I own so that I can make sure that 2010 is a year for reading what is on my shelf. I have books from last year still waiting patiently for me to pick them up. See? They cut into my holiday reading time.

  3. I don’t usually read these types of books, but this one sounds worth checking out. Thanks for the review.

    –Anna

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the new-to-me word: oeuvre. I can always count on you to increase my vocabulary.

  5. Sounds like the perfect holiday read. I think these books are often times predictable but I still enjoy reading them this time of year.

  6. I am in need of this great holiday book. Thanks for the recommendation. You know a few years back my book club read
    “A Redbird Christmas” It was just the perfect holiday read for me. This sounds like another.

  7. Thanks for this fun review. Sounds like a great holiday read and I tend to need something cheery after Christmas is over.

  8. Predictability is not a bad thing this time of year. It adds a little comfort to all the hustle and bustle of the season.

  9. I really enjoy Christmas-themed books during the holidays and books with a Christmas setting. Often they aren’t as sophisticated or well-written as the books I try to read most of the time but during the holidays I feel the need for a cute, happy-ending feel-good story! Thanks for a great post!

  10. I must have a bit of the grinch in me because all these type of Christmas books leave my little heart cold and disinterested.

  11. It looks like a good Christmas read. We were just discussing that at book club tonight – our Christmas read was pretty warm and fuzzy as well but a good read.

  12. This sounds so sad! I stay away from Christmas fiction for the most part, so it’s probably not for me.

  13. I find that there’s something very comforting about those “old” familiar stories. This sounds like a lovely bittersweet Christmas read.

  14. I don’t usually read these holiday books, but broke down this week and was pleasantly surprised by the warm & fuzzy feeling.

  15. I tell this to my students all the time. Knowing the outcome does not ruin a great story.

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