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O Little Town

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  1,683 Ratings  ·  202 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
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259th out of 358 books — 486 voters
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Christian Christmas Novels
17th out of 34 books — 7 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Dec 15, 2011 Doreen rated it liked it
Interesting how all of these lives are intertwined. Great ending.
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
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
Sep 12, 2016 Tania rated it really liked it
It's not groundbreaking or surprising, but it's sweet and warm and in the end it leaves you feeling good. I'm ok with that - the writing style flows well and the characters are likeable so it's an enjoyable read. It's a nice change of pace from forced conflict and immorality left unchecked that many current novels employ.

O Little Town is set in 1958. It shares the tale of its prominent citizens and the birth of their familial ties. This is all done over a period of a few short days and a number
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 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.

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
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 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
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 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
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
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.

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
Dec 25, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
An enjoyable read during the holiday season. Filled with intertwining story-lines, images of grace, compassion, forgiveness and love, definitely helps to amp up the Christmas spirti and love for our fellow man.

"She was always trying too hard; trying too hard to win his love instead of enjoying it. She desired approval over affection. Attention over contentment." Page 119/Location 1466

"Funny the things you remember when you begin fearing that memories may be all you have left." Page 212/Location
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
Apr 08, 2012 Logan rated it it was amazing
When I was a little girl I told my parents that I loved to read because "I got to go there." I got to go to all kinds of new places and meet new people and experience things I would never do before. They thought I was a little strange since I made this statement in elementary school. I have to say though, this is definitely one of those books where you will "go there." You will love Mt. Jefferson and the characters. I feel like I spent my weekend in this small lovable town. This is one of 2 book ...more
Dierdra Byrd
Dec 20, 2012 Dierdra Byrd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
I am probably being generous with the 3 star review, I went back and forth from 2-3 stars but it is Christmas time after all. I got this book for free last year and it has been sitting on my Kindle, while looking for a Christmas book to read I decided to finally read this one. I wanted to like it more then I did and the book was not horrible but it was not good either. There was no real plot, nothing that made me want to keep turning the pages and I really didn't connect with the characters. The ...more
Jeff Grosser
Jul 08, 2015 Jeff Grosser rated it it was ok
After reading Don Reid's book Random Memories about his Statler Brothers career that he wrote with his brother, I had high hopes for his first novel. Unfortunately, there were just too many characters & storylines to follow. When you also include the flashbacks, the book was just too cluttered. It made it hard to follow from one chapter to the next. I know what Don was going for, but I think he became overzealous and tried to include too much in this novel. Hopefully he has scaled back in hi ...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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