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Giovanni's Light: The Story of a Town Where Time Stopped for Christmas
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Giovanni's Light: The Story of a Town Where Time Stopped for Christmas

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  57 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Ryland Falls wasn't paradise, but there was a certain storybook quality about the town that made visitors catch their breath. As in a book, the order of the stories never changed. On December first, the Chamber of Commerce always hung out the "Yuletide Greetings" banners, the plastic Santa Claus went back on the top of the firehouse roof, and grumpy Diane at Elwood's Marke ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 22nd 2002 by Scribner (first published 2002)
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I was expecting an incredible book as the 10 reviews on amazon were all 5 star. This book seemed to be written for elementary school age children. It was really corny. I was surprised at the cliche writing as I'm reading theroux's memoir and it's anything but cliche. This little book reminds me of something you might read in condensed form in a reader's digest.
Children's Christmas stories are my favorite collection, and I have accumulated several favorite books over the years.

I haven't found too many adult Christmas books that I have fully appreciated (exceptions: Dickens' A Christmas Carol, O'Henry's The Gift of the Magi, Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory, Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas in Wales) and so wasn't expecting anything grand when Giovanni's Light caught my eye at the local library. Giovanni's Light by Phyllis Theroux is a quick read but
Jan 03, 2010 Relyn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: harried people at Christmas time
Recommended to Relyn by: spotted at the library
Four and a half stars

This is a small, but precious book. Perfect for an hour or two in the days leading up to Christmas. A pretty, well-written reminder to slow down, to savor. I'm so glad I read this.

From the book:
In truth, Giovanni was never ready to leave the mountain. He loved everything about it - how the birds formed a wreath of song around the roof in the early morning, the sound of melting creek tumbling over the rocks in the spring, the way the wind bent the treetops during a storm.
There was really not much to this book so I was a bit disappointed with it. It had a nice enough theme to it but I felt like it was really lacking both in the story and character development. It felt more like a little story someone might write for a school assignment than a published book. But at least it's a quick read, so it wasn't like I spent a ton of time reading it to come out not caring much for it.
I took this little book out of our local library with several other Christmas books to read for the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. It is a good story about a town at the bottom of a mountain that learns to slow down and appreciate what they have and the gifts they have been given. It gave me a nice warm feeling when I finished it which is what you expect from a Christmas novel. Very good!
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Dec 17, 2011 Leslie added it
This was such an uplifting little gem. Something occurs which stops this little town in its Christmas preparation tracks. The event opens everyone's eyes and hearts. I enjoyed the insights on the pitfalls of our current busy lives and how to stop, ponder and wonder again. Such a treat.
Really good book. It will put you in the mood for Christmas. Sit down with some hot chocolate and enjoy.
Just a nice and simple book. It was nice to read about Christmas when it is sweltering outside
A lovely little Christmas book. More on
Great book for Christmas gifts; not too hard to read and short, very short!
Sweet, little book. Uplifting Christmas story.
Small town rediscovers the spirit of Christmas
Very quick read - less than an hour :-)
Sweet, easy Christmas story. Short.
Sappy (but not bad) Christmas book #3.
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Phyllis Theroux is an essayist, columnist, teacher and author. Born in San Francisco, California, she is the critically acclaimed author of numerous books, including "California and Other States of Grace", "Peripheral Visions", "Nightlights: Bedtime Stories for Parents in the Dark", "The Book of Eulogies", "Serefina Under the Circumstances" and "Giovanni’s Light". "The Journal Keeper: A Memoir" wa ...more
More about Phyllis Theroux...
The Journal Keeper: A Memoir The Book Of Eulogies Night Lights: Bedtime Stories for Parents in the Dark The Good Bishop: The Life of Walter F. Sullivan California and Other States of Grace: A Memoir

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“His eyes were sharp but kind, and it seemed to amuse him to see children misbehave when he knew that deep down they didn't really want to misbehave, but were just feeling lonely or misunderstood or wanted to go outside and play instead of sitting in a hot classroom. (26)” 2 likes
“Every house has its own private cup of sorrow. (3)” 1 likes
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