Mr. Ives' Christmas
I wouldn't have found this beautifully sad, heartbreaking yet uplifting story if I hadn't read Elyse's review and I may not have read it if I hadn't read Steve's review. I was quite stunned when I read his review, not just because it is as beautiful, sad, inspiring and uplifting as this novel, but because I felt an immediate connection with Steve and his loss . My family and I also lost a loved one to a violent act . Many years ago my brother who 22 at the time was a robbery victim. So of ...more
For the second time in my life I am speechless, not merely because of Hijuelos's superb book, which stirs up every possible emotion, but for other reasons, as well. I just read Steve Sckenda's review, and am so stricken by his loss, which resonates with mine, that it is impossible for me to add anything further. I know how Steve felt when he found his wife murdered, and I can only imagine how he must endure living with that horror on a daily basis. Both Mr. Ives and Steve have similar ...more
Every human being is confronted at some point by a choice between doubt or faith, indifferent despair or spiritual struggle, torn between breaking down and breaking through to a deeper way of learning.
I was raised and educated as a Catholic, but the simple, unquestioned faith in early life always gets tested. I started doubting the idea that death could be the ultimate sacrifice in earthy life to ensure eternal rest in Heaven. I ...more
I'm Jewish. I normally don't choose Christmas stories to read. I just don't.
I particularly shy away from books about Christian Faith.
I had a change of heart - earlier this year. After reading *STEVE'S* review. I purchased "Mr. Ives' Christmas", within seconds.
I intentionally waited for the season to read it. This is a novel that can easily be bumped to the top of your TBR list ( even if you've promised to read 23 ...more
"It is difficult to be religious, impossible to be merry, at every moment of life, and festivals are as sunlit peaks, testifying above dark valleys, to the eternal radiance." Clement A. Miles, epigraph to Mr. Ives' Christmas
A Christmas Carol. The Book of Job. Crime and Punishment.
Mr. Ives' Christmas channels all these through Catholic eyes.
But I look at Mr. Ives' Christmas as sort of The Recognitions lite, but completely without the satire. Instead we get unabashed earnestness. As in The ...more
As the novel begins, Edward questions his own life as an unwanted child left at a foundling house with no past history to sustain him. And while there are flashbacks of happy times depict here, a good portion of the rest of story is devoted to Edward's struggle to find spiritual peace after the tragic loss of his son at Christmas time.
As a man of strong faith, with an unbelievably devoted wife, Edward's...more
Last Christmas I read a couple of reviews of “Mr Ives’ Christmas” on Goodreads that were unbearably heartbreaking. I waited a year to get acquainted with Ives and now I know why his story resonated so deeply with individuals who have experienced a tragic loss during what is believed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Oscar Hijuelos’ book is pitch ...more
I'm not sure why this book did not resonate with me as it did for so many readers. I was brought up Catholic, and I definitely have my ingrained thoughts about faith, so the focus on faith did not bother me. I generally like reflective works, but this one weighed too heavy on me.
Edward Ives son, Robert, is killed just before Christmas. The whole book is about grief and being unable to move beyond your grief, so your life is moving forward, with total ...more
I think this will come in as my favorite read of 2017, squeaking in at the 11th hour! Hijuelo’s writing was masterful! He tells you the framework of the whole of ...more
The book is also an amazing depiction of New York City in the mid-20th century. It's very much the city I grew up in and Hijuelos is both accurate and evocative in a way few writers are. He makes that city come to life again and ...more
Oh! Despite the title, be advised, it is NOT your usual Christmas novel.
*BTW, I am not giving anything away by telling you this. The author lets you know this almost from the beginning, then leaves the details to emerge ...more
I came across this book only because my Hispanic book club was looking for a Christmas book. I’d read Hijuelos’ Pulitzer-winner The Mambo Kings Play ...more
So how does one come to terms with losing the love of your life and cope with the sheer senselessness of it all? Mr. Ives' Christmas tackles this subject. And so Mr. Ives' life has changed ...more
What started off as a slow read for me and a bit of an annoying overabundance of commas turned into an appreciation for what the author accomplished here. I was almost ready to discard this at first because of all the commas the author was using. It was really slowing me down. Then there was the use of lists. If the author was going to tell you what was in Mr. Ives’ basement, you would get the whole inventory. If he was talking about the churches near Mr. ...more
The couple, Mr Ives of Cuban descent and Mrs Ives of Irish, are bound together by passion, intellect, and faith. Content to remain living in a multicultural neighborhood ...more
Why do bad things happen to good people? Ives thinks "that [God] was of the Spirit and He did not interfere in human affairs...He provided a light toward which to aspire..." This is a remarkably moving story of faith put to the test, of facing heart-breaking loss and spiritual crisis. Ives is a genuinely good person who has done his best in life, loved his wife, family and friends and his God...until one day just before Christmas in ...more
He is an incredibly descriptive writer and I felt like I got to know New York in a different way as a city with her own story to tell through the ...more
Hijuelos was born in New York City, in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, to Cuban immigrant parents. He attended the Corpus Christi School, public schools, and later attended Bronx Community College, Lehman College, and Manhattan Community College before matriculating into and ...more