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The One Good Thing

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,882 ratings  ·  267 reviews
For as long as Halley Steen has known her husband Nathan, he has carried a handful of stones in his pocket. Each day he uses those stones to remind him to follow the Golden Rule, moving a stone from one pocket to the other with each act of kindness. So it's not unusual that Nathan stops to help a stranger on the side of the highway while on his way to his son's football ga ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Center Street (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,882 ratings  ·  267 reviews

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Dale Harcombe
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars
I’m at the stage where I am sick to death of books peppered with bad language and unlikable characters. What I want to read are books with likable characters I can empathise with and a good story. One Good Thing was such a book. From the start I was hooked with the story of Nathan Steen, his six rocks he carried around in his pockets each day and learning what the secret he carried with him to death was.
The story is told from several points of view, mostly from Halley, Natha
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
With all the good reviews for this book, I feel a bit like a curmudgeon for breaking the streak.

I didn't really start actively disliking the book until I was just over halfway through with it. It moved quickly and held my interest, so it seemed promising.

However, once more and more of the secrets were revealed, I found out that I just did not like any of the characters. The two main ones, especially, seemed very one-dimensional, and all their good deeds--their unrealistic, overblown good deeds--
Angel La
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Everytime I pick up this book I have a hard time putting it down because it is soooo good. I read most of it staying up all night last night.. I will finish by the end of today. I highly recommend everyone read it. Very inspiring!! Reading most reviews, everyone gets the idea of doing good things, but this book says so much more... Like about bullying; don't judge others...and about forgiveness for yourself and others..about what love can do and loss of a loved one; of how every choice we make a ...more
Heather Deminck
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome. It's about a man who leaves a legacy of doing good things. He passes suddenly (not a spoiler) and his wife discovers that he was married and had a child his senior year of his school. This is totally contradictory of his whole persona and the way he lead his life. Only his middle schooler daughter believes in him. I rarely cry while reading, and this one got me a few times. It's one of those books that stays with you, but also makes you want to be a better person. I highly ...more
PacaLipstick Gramma
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
How do we treat others? Do we step out of our comfort zone to reach out? Do we actually live by the "Golden Rule" or is it just something we say to make ourselves feel better? Do we make a difference in someone's life? Have you made a difference in just one person's life today?

Doing "one good thing" for someone else usually requires us to step out of our comfort zone. After a while, stepping out of that comfort zone becomes habit, and becomes a way of life. Nathan Steen decided as a teenager tha
Deb Higginbotham
Like the premise of the book of doing good deeds daily - even if small. very tragic events in this family however and choices extreme to resolve the issues. quick read however
Priscilla Perez
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed the book. It has a great message about helping others. It’s told from the perspective of several characters. Love the theme of sacrifice, unselfishness , anger, and forgiveness.
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nathan Steen carries six small stones in his pocket, transferring them from one pocket to the other each time he does a selfless act, mirroring the Golden Rule. Each day he begins anew. His wife Halley enjoys hearing his stories each night, of the way he has helped people.

When Nathan is killed in a sudden accident, Halley and children Ty and Alice are overcome with grief. As they begin to work through their feelings, an Facebook page appears that has people sharing ways in which Nathan had helpe
Trinity Rose
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I’ve read written by Kevin Alan Milne and it is just as good as or even better than the first. This book The One Good Thing is one of my favorites for 2013. Truly a book well written full of such love, compassion and an ending you won’t believe.
I like how loving Nathan is and how he helps others and mostly his family. How he would do anything to help others. This book is about Nathan even though he dies before much of the book is written.
How it is wonderful that his dau
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Nathan is one of those people who is good and kind and every day he tries to do several acts of kindness. Sometimes those acts are large, but very often they are small and seemingly insignificant except to the person who receives that kindness. When Nathan is tragically killed helping someone else, his family struggles to move forward. As they learn of many acts of kindness performed by Nathan, they learn of a woman from Nathan's past. A woman who claims that Nathan saved her life. As Halley lea ...more
Dana Tillman
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


Wonderful story about the goodness of people and how it can affect those that come into contact with it. Love how the past of Nathan rebuilds his can a person who is part of a problem become the answer for so many people? One word...."TRANSFORMATION". Nathan's sacrifice so selfless and no one knew how much. He is a reminder that if everyone did something nice for someone else what a better world this would. Good deeds can have huge impacts on the lives of other
Stacy Boyles
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: i-own-kindle
This was a feel good story. I enjoyed reading it but it was somewhat unbelievable. Several of the choices Nathan made were super hard to believe a kid would do those things. But this book did what it set out to do if it wanted me to pay it forward and help others more often. I will think of this book often.
Terri Dawson
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The One Good Thing by Kevin Alan Milne a book that made me give it a 2nd glance at the library and then gave me a gift of a fabulous read after.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a great book. How one person can influence so many others in a positive way...and sometimes not even realize it..A wonderful, hopeful and uplifting read-
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, redemption
not great, but a somewhat predictable and sweet novel about a man who attempts to do at least 6 nice things to other people every day, and some of the influence that has on family members.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Another book that was a bit disappointing. I don't know if I was expecting more base on some of the reviews I read, or if I just wasn't in the mood for this one, but it had much more of a "chick lit," cheesy feel to it than I thought it would. It was a quick and easy read, and I didn't have any major issues with the characters, so really, it just came down to me having higher expectations than the book delivered. I did enjoy the flashback stories more than I did the present-day, so that could ha ...more
Bhaavana Anna
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karla Goforth Abreu
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel has an excellent premise: live your life self-sacrificially, keep your word, even if these things hurt. It inspires the reader to begin loving life daily, aware of others and their pain. It encourages the reader, through the story of Nathan, to begin the journey by starting with "one good thing" a day. It may even make the reader want to live daily tallying 7 good things and carrying pebbles around! ...more
Diana H.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
An excellent object lesson - the lives of these characters are impacted by a lie (told for a seemingly good reason, of course). The entire cast of characters live with the consequences of the lie even though all of them don't know about the lie.
This is a very good story. I really enjoyed the plot and found myself wondering about those "random acts of kindness". Sometimes, I don't even think we recognize these little signs of caring by those around us.
Larry Sheerer
Jun 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A supernatural, yet realistic concept!

I classify this "one good thing" concept of Kevin Milne 's as supernatural because for a person to be caught up in this mindset truly requires the Holy Spirit's presence in our hearts to do good. Psalm 119:32 says: "I will run the way of your commandments, for you will enlarge my heart". A wonderful storyline, Kevin, in support of this biblical truth.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book because I started out really liking the premise that a man was trying to do 6 good deeds everyday. I then hated it as we learned about his "past". I then loved it as the true story came out. A great story that is worth reading. This should be a challenge for all of us to do 7 good deeds everyday.

Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this novel. Very quick read. Although it was sad that Nathan died in the beginning, I loved how his legacy of doing 6 good things every day lived on. Very touching and makes one want to also carry on his idea.
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this book rather dull until about 2/3rds of the way through and then it, at least in part, started to redeem itself. I still found the storyline and the likelihood of a teenage boy being so self-sacrificing very unbelievable but the book held my attention.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book, kept my interest, well written from the viewpoint of several different characters. My only negative would be that what happened and how it was dealt with was improbable, but without it, there would have been no story.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you need a feel-good story that is all tied up by the end, then this is the perfect book for you. It was a good choice to read while struggling with a terrible cold. Not challenging, but delightful. Sort of comfort food for the soul.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I red this on my Kindle reader. It was an interesting story with somewhat religious/faith overtones. I did find myself scanning in parts that seemed to drag but all in all an OK read.
May 19, 2017 marked it as not-finished
Made me cry so much so ... I am obviously one of those people who can´t read about death when they are grieving. Maybe in a few years.... But now I must stop and take something uplifting
Jun 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. Good story, somewhat predictable, and nice emphasis on kindness and how one good thing can lead to another.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Inspirational and heartwarming story <3
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Kevin Milne was born in 1973 and grew up in Sherwood, Oregon, a quiet country town south of Portland. He earned a diploma from Sherwood High school in 1991, in a graduating class of fewer than one hundred students.

In college, after studying such varied fields as film, journalism, communications, pre-dentistry, pre-law, and German, Milne eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology

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