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O Little Town

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,637 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
Christmas, 1958: Elvis is on the radio, Ike is in the White House, the Lord is in his holy temple . but there is no peace in Mt. Jefferson.

In a small town where everybody seems to know everybody, there are still a few secrets. Three families find they are connected in ways they never suspected: an angry teen, a dying man, a lonely wife, a daughter in trouble . just ordinar
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by David C. Cook (first published 2008)
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A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Best Christmas Holiday Books
257th out of 360 books — 486 voters
A Light in the Window by Julie LessmanA Highlander for Christmas by Jamie CarieSnow Angel by Jamie CarieThe Christmas Quilt by Vannetta ChapmanBaby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
Christian Christmas Novels
17th out of 34 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Early impressions:
Beaver Cleaver's Christmas in Virginia, with a little teen delinquency and coveting thy neighbor's wife thrown in to spice things up. Everybody's just so golly-gee wow decent, including the sinners.

Final impressions:
Peyton Place for prudes. Like eating candy floss on an empty stomach -- sweet but not very satisfying.

The best thing about the book was that it made me wonder why the author's musical group was called The Statler Brothers when none of the members was named Statler
O LITTLE TOWN is a wonderful feel good Christmas story, and I am not sure why it has taken me a few Christmas seasons to get around to reading it. But so glad I have now. There is a little bit of everything in the story, murder, drama and love.

Most of the story takes place around the events that occur during the few days prior to Christmas Day 1958 with one back story that links us back to the early 1900s. O LITTLE TOWN opens with Reverend Franklin’s 15-year-old daughter Millie caught shopliftin
Suzanne Williams
Reading this book was like participating in a gossip session. I was the observer being told, "Look what your neighbor has done." The characters truly seemed like average people you might pass by in any town in any neighborhood. Though it is short on plot, it's the first book I've read where the lack of plot didn't matter to me. The story was less about what was going to happen than what had happened to bring the characters to that place. I was completely fascinated by my view of each character's ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Resa rated it really liked it
I felt for each of the characters in this story, even if I didn’t agree with some of their life choices (like Dove’s not quite an affair-affair)I could still feel for them in their struggles. Everyone just seemed so human. No one was perfect, but no one was over the top “bad” or “evil” either. As far as plot goes there doesn’t seem to be much of one at first glance. It’s just a book about people dealing with everyday problems during the Christmas season. Yet, somehow, Reid makes this enjoyable. ...more
Dec 18, 2011 Pamelabyoung rated it really liked it
Sweet holiday read. Yes, the author is THAT Don Reid of the Statler Brothers. As an author, Reid has an authentic voice that weaves small town characters together in a tale that feels like truth to me. A story of forgiveness, family ties and generational connections, this is a simple, sweet and touching story for a winter afternoon read. The icing on my Christmas cake was that I got it as a free Kindle download. AND...I see that Mr. Reid has another book with the same setting coming out in Janua ...more
Nov 30, 2013 CarrieLyn rated it really liked it
This is a very simple book, but very compelling and full of characters who are like people you might know or hear about in your own family or community. It is not great literature, but just a good story. That makes it easy to think about how you would react to each of the family crises that are presented in this story about several families in a little town: teenage pregnancy; grandparent confronting death; rebellious teenager; depressed/dependent wife; various degrees of marital weakness, etc. ...more
Erik Orrantia
Sep 13, 2014 Erik Orrantia rated it liked it
I was ambivalent on this book. The writing was good and I liked the premise--a little town with its real-life complications, convoluted relationships, connections, and attachments. The writing is crisp. However, and partly because I read before I go to sleep and am tired, I oftentimes got confused. There are many characters and quick shifts from one scene to the next. I simply couldn't remember who was who and there weren't enough hints in the text to remind me. I usually figured that it would a ...more
Mary Ann
Apr 07, 2016 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing
“O Little Town” is described as Christian literature. That’s a turn off for many readers including me. It’s actually about the human experience. It’s about a small town, and how people interact with each other. It evokes the 1950’s, the dime and the department stores, the Sears catalog, the popular music and the neighbors.
This is the second time I read it. The first time, I panned it, but even then there was much about the story I liked.
It isn’t preachy; it’s as easy to read as it is to liste
Brenda Roberson
Mar 02, 2016 Brenda Roberson rated it it was amazing
O LITTLE TOWN is set in Mt. Jefferson, Virginia in the 1950's. It was your typical small town where everyone "knows your name" as the song goes and their lives are intertwined.

The story opens at Christmas time in the year 1958. The local pastor's daughter, Millie Franklin, was just caught shoplifting in Macalbee's department store. Milton Sandridge, the manager, doesn't want to raise too much of a scene and tries to keep the news from getting out. But he still has to call Buddy Briggs, the Chief
At first this book made me feel like I was reading all the gossip on everybody in "small town" America. I did like the storyline more as I got into it. I really enjoyed the minister's Christmas Eve sermon at the end and how he reached out to each of the characters with a message that person thought was just for them.
Dec 01, 2014 Mmtimes4 rated it liked it
Christmas, 1958: Elvis is on the radio, Ike is in the White House, the Lord is in his holy temple . but there is no peace in Mt. Jefferson.

In a small town where everybody seems to know everybody, there are still a few secrets. Three families find they are connected in ways they never suspected: an angry teen, a dying man, a lonely wife, a daughter in trouble . just ordinary people, muddling their way through ordinary challenges. Illness. Marriage. Bad decisions. Friendship. Faith. Forgiveness.

Dara S.
Nov 30, 2012 Dara S. rated it really liked it
I would recommend this book. A sweet read about a small town in Virginia in the 1950's around Christmas. Written by a member of the Statler Brothers it has wonderful characters.
Jan 14, 2012 Dianne rated it liked it
Recommended to Dianne by: Kindle website
Shelves: christmas
This was a sweet story, set in a small town in Virginia. The characters were interesting and the reader could easily relate to their challenges.
Mar 14, 2014 Melba rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book lovers
I truly enjoyed this book, and to find out it was written by one of my favorite singers was a treat. Don Reid, of Statler Brother fame, is also from Virginia, so he is a home state celebrity.

This story was touching, and it kept me interested & intrigued from the beginning. It didn't take very long to read either, and it was a wonderful respite for my heart & mind.

I felt like a part of the town while reading, and I was drawn in to the lives of the characters. I didn't always agree with t
Dec 15, 2011 Doreen rated it liked it
Interesting how all of these lives are intertwined. Great ending.
Jun 10, 2015 Jill rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
This little book was past on to me by my younger sister, I believe it was a book club choice for her group.

from the book jacket: "Spanning three generations. O Little Town is a tender tale of love and redemption... the redemption only a Savior can bring. Let it touch your heart."

The end of the book is good as it skips ahead so the reader knows what happened to the families. I needed some tissues!

I am going to share this quick read with my sisters...the older ones but am asking for it back so I c
Feb 08, 2016 Jilly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally decided I wanted to read this because the premise of the story seemed to be about one event that really effected everyone and you were apparently going to get everyone's take on what was happening. Turns out that isn't exactly what it was.

I can't say the book was one I would recommend for someone to rush out and read and yet it wasn't a bad book either.

I felt, that as the reader, we were stepping into these people's lives as a ghost watching and listening to everything going on. You
Jan 08, 2016 Frosty61 rated it liked it
Overall, it's a nice story that takes place in a bucolic town around Christmas time. The characters are only slightly flawed, the problems aren't catastrophic, and some compromise and soul searching helps to solve the issues. The inspiration for the story is used as the back story of the grandfather character and it makes the book more interesting. My biggest complaint is that it was difficult to keep the characters straight and remember their relationship to one another. I needed a cheat sheet.
Jan 24, 2015 jimtown rated it liked it
Somewhere I had found this title and added it to my 'want to read' list of books. I wasn't able to find it at the library, so later it got added to my Amazon Kindle wish list. I keep the list of available kindle versions just in case the price gets really low. In this case, I found this book was free of charge on Christmas eve, so I downloaded it right then.

Between two Kindle titles, this one caught my interest to read it first. This was a pretty sweet seasonal story to read this time of year, b
Dec 11, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
Admittedly, my interest in this book was initially sparked because of the author. I've always been a bit of an anachronism, and when I was a child in the late 80s/early 90s, one of my favorite music groups was The Statler Brothers, a group whose hey day was a good ten to 15 years before that. Don Reid, one of the four members of The Statler Brothers turns out to be an author as well. Combine my interest in his musical side with my love of all things Christmas, and I had to give this book a go.

Jan 22, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
I've always said that sometimes the stories where you know the ending are the best, because it forces the author or storyteller or screenwriter to make the middle that much better, for why else would you read to the last page?

I've read a few reviews, talking about fluff and nothing much more and the super religious pushing. I have to say that I disagree. Not every book has to be an award winning yarn spun in overzealous prose and tightly holding on to whatever award is plastered on its cover. So
Dec 25, 2011 SaraJane rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-read
Started a little tradition for myself - reading a Christmas story this time of year. This was one of my first and I really enjoyed it.

Page 44:Location 560
"Life comes in stages and when each stage leaves, it takes a hunk of the soul with it."

Page 56:Location 703
"Fair is doing all you can for your family. That's what fair is. Not selling out. Not settling down and giving up. Fair to your daughter is giving her every opportunity in life that you can. You think fair is praying for the bull not to t
Jan 01, 2012 MissSusie rated it really liked it
This was a sweet Christmas book that I really enjoyed. Set in a smallish town where you may know who some people are but you’ve never been close to them. As Christmas comes along these families lives become intertwined and will never be the same again.

I was afraid at first when it started out with a pastor I thought uhoh it’s going to be preachy but it wasn’t at all. This was a story of failures and forgiveness and what family and love mean to you as a person. This book was full of flawed charac
Oct 09, 2013 Lynda rated it it was ok
I enjoy the Statler Brothers music and this was a pleasant little book but Don Reid is a better songwriter than novelist. The book, set in 1958 shortly before Christmas, revolves around three families with problems. The minister Paul Franklin's teenage daughter Millie has been caught shoplifting. Town policeman Buddy Brigg's teenage daughter is pregnant and wants to get married to Louis Wayne Sterret, son of a local daughter. Walter, an old man, is in the hospital with only a short time to live. ...more
Julie Graves
Dec 05, 2011 Julie Graves rated it really liked it
Mt. Jefferson in the 1950's was your typical small town where everyone seems to know each other and their lives are intertwined.

It is Christmas 1958 and the story opens with a local pastor's daughter being caught shoplifting in the local department store. Not wanting to raise too big of a scene the manager of the store attempts to keep the news from getting out. Unfortunately he has to call Buddy the Chief of Police in.

Buddy is having problems of his own. He has just found out that his 16 year o
Dec 02, 2008 Elaine rated it really liked it
I am breezing through this book. Last night while reading it, I thought "I'll just finish here for the night." but that didn't happen. It was some time after 11 p.m. when I made myself put the book down. I'm on page 200 something right now and at this point, I give the book a 5 star. That's not to say it won't change later on. It really depends how the author wraps it up. I find one thing somewhat annoying - one person goes back in memory throughout the book. I don't know at this point how it ti ...more
Carlene Cearley
Apr 05, 2014 Carlene Cearley rated it liked it
I read this, because Don Reid is from my hometown of Staunton, VA. I grew up listening to The Statler Brothers and seeing them around town. The book was loosely based on a hometown story. I personally enjoyed the book, as I pictured the places as places around town. My ties to the author and setting really enhanced my enjoyment of the story. I don't know how someone would feel about the story without those ties. Therefore, the 3-star rating.
Forgiveness is the theme of this novel. Christmas is the time when God's forgiveness was shown in the birth of His son, and the book has many characters that need forgiveness and need to find the strength to forgive others. It starts off slowly, but ends powerfully. Don Reid is not the most talented author I've read, but the message is wonderful. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good Christmas story or Christian Historical fiction.
elaine m. suda
Dec 29, 2014 elaine m. suda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life, Love and Forgiveness

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I really loved loved Walter and his love for Adrienne and how it stayed with him his entire life. We all have to forgive and also receive forgiveness, but we also have to love not only those who we are forgiving, but ourselves. This story has given me food for thought in the forgiveness I have to give. Thank you!

Dec 05, 2011 LadyCalico rated it it was amazing
Isn't it wonderful to be in a mood for a good Christmas tale and instead find a great one? This was just one thoroughly great slice-of-life story about the intersecting lives of the families of a policeman, doctor, pastor, and store manager in 1958 Western Virginia. This story will probably have the most appeal to those of us who grew up in and remember the 50's. At the heart of the story is Walter, the father of two of the wives, who is facing his "last Christmas" and is haunted by the memories ...more
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Don Reid, a member of the legendary Statler Brothers, has three Grammy awards, thirteen gold albums, and eight platinum albums. An award-winning songwriter, Reid is also the author of several books, including One Lane Bridge and O Little Town. He and his wife, Deborah, live in Staunton, Virginia.
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“grown steadily throughout the South ever since. The Mt. Jefferson branch was the twenty-third to open, and Milton felt lucky to be part of such a flourishing company.” 0 likes
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