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The Noel Diary

(The Noel Collection #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  7,335 ratings  ·  982 reviews
In this new holiday-themed novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Mistletoe Promise and The Walk, a man receives the best Christmas present he could ask for: the chance to re-write the past.

Bestselling romance author Jacob Churcher hasn't been home for almost twenty years — not since his mentally ill mother kicked him out of the house when he was just
ebook, 304 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Gallery Books
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Gretchen The book jacket indicates that it is the first in a series of three.
Gretchen In the author's remarks at the end of the book he says that it is more autobiographical than most of his books.…moreIn the author's remarks at the end of the book he says that it is more autobiographical than most of his books.(less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
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 ·  7,335 ratings  ·  982 reviews

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Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read a few Christmas books by Richard Paul Evans and since I enjoyed them, I thought I'd pick this one up. I was surprised that this isn't truly a Christmas story, but it does occur at Christmastime.

Jacob Churcher is a successful author who's bitter about his childhood. Growing up with a mother who had mental instability has scarred him. He receives an unexpected phone call informing him that his mother has passed away and he travels back home to a house full of memories as he begins a jou
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excerpt from "The Noel Diary":

"She looked at me with piercing eyes "You're still him, Jacob. You're still that sweet, bright-eyed little boy. He's still in you. And he is still living and vulnerable. Every time I read one of your books, I can feel his sweetness rising up from the pages like groundwater. And it's not just me. So do millions of others. That's why they love you. They feel it too..."

Opening a Richard Paul Evans book at Christmastime is like opening the door to an old friend and c
Each Christmas, Richard Paul Evans releases a new holiday-themed novel. This year in 2017, it was The Noel Diary and it was wonderful as expected. Raw, real, and full of perspective. It's about flawed parents and the consequences of their choices. It's about the children left behind searching for answers. It's about forgiveness, understanding, and grace. It was an incredibly satisfying Richard Paul Evans novel and I already can't wait for next year. Check it out.

My favorite quote:
"There comes a
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
I didn't really enjoy this book. It was very simplistic, predictable and had a lot of showing rather than telling. I felt disconnected from the characters and felt all the dialog was stunted and or unrealistic in some way. I was hoping for a much more Christmassy feel than what I got. It is simply a story that takes place in December and really has nothing to do with Christmas. It was an easy read and I wasn't tempted to stop reading, but it didn't really satisfy what I was looking for. I did gi ...more
First of all --- the book description entered here on Goodreads is incorrect. (It appears it has now been changed. Thank you!)

After reading I noted these discrepancies: There is no mention of the title character having just become separated from his wife. (In fact, he talks about how he's unlucky in love and has failed to form a permanent bond with any woman) He lived in Idaho and his mother in Salt Lake City. I have no idea where the Oregon reference comes from. He did not travel home and fin
Rhonda Ruff
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Once again rpe writes a beautiful short sweet story! I look forward to his books!! His stories touch
Your heart! Sometimes you just need the happy ending!
Janet C-B
Richard Paul Evans writes a Christmas themed book every year. This year, I was lucky to be able to pick up The Noel Diary at the library ahead of the Wait List.

This book has three well developed characters. Jacob, a young man who is a very successful writer, despite childhood trauma and neglect. Sarah, a young woman, who is searching for her birthmother. Noel, a married woman who lives in the suburbs & is in need of healing. This is a story of hurt, overcoming obstacles, healing, resolution & g
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Richard Paul Evans book always has a lot to offer. There’s always a great story, some universal truths, and a good life lesson along the way. I usually highlight quite a few passages as I read his books. He offers some wonderful thoughts and counsel given through the words of his characters. Below are two of my favorites from this book:
“That’s the way we live our lives. We speed on, happily or not, in the same direction until we collide into something that alters our destination. Sometimes t
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this in one sitting. A wonderful story as all of RPE’s books are.
How long until his next one?
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I look forward to Richard Paul Evans annual Christmas novel, and "The Noel Diary" does not disappoint.
Jacob Churcher, now a famous romance novelist, is surprised by a phone call from a lawyer informing him of his mother's death. He hasn't seen his mother in over 20 years. His mother was mentally ill, abusing Jacob as a child, finally throwing his things out in the yard and locking the door when he was sixteen. Jacob found a home when invited by a co-worker to stay with them, treating him like f

The Noel Diary is Richard Paul Evans 2017 Christmas / Holiday novel. I haven’t read all of his annual holiday novels, but I have read quite a few of them beginning with his debut ”The Christmas Box”, which was one of those “overnight success” stories that you hear about. He followed that book up with two more in the Christmas Box Series, ”Timepiece” (The Christmas Box #2) and ”The Letter”(The Christmas Box #3), and then, annually, he manages to deliver a new book, which seems a bit like a miracl
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
This one was a miss for me. I found it depressing, and laced with angst for the majority of the book. The ending had some redeeming qualities, but not enough to make me say that I liked it. It was just an okay read for me. I also didn’t get any real Christmas vibes from the story. The cover seemed to be the most Christmasy aspect to the book.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jacob and Rachel are two adults who have been wounded both physically and mentally by their pasts. Each has been physically beaten by unstable parents, but both were touched by the same woman who gave them the love their parents didn't. This woman brings them together as they search for her.
Both Jacob and Rachel are looking for love that they felt they never got from their parents.

This book is a love story on many different levels. Its themes of forgiveness (both self and others), family, love
Terri Wino
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-2017
This book wasn't really a Christmas story, but rather a story that takes place around Christmas time. I had a little trouble finding some believability in parts, mainly two people falling so deeply in love in the space of a few days.

I found the dynamic of Jacob trying to come to terms with the way his mother treated him as a child a much more interesting part of the book.

Overall, this was a quick, decent read. While it wasn't quite what I was expecting, it was still worth the time it took to re
Sherri Thacker
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A quick read and another great book by Richard Paul Evans. I always enjoy his books for the holidays and this one did it for 2017.
Luanne Ollivier
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 It's the time of the year when I start watching Christmas movies and reading Christmas novels. First up this year in books is The Noel Diary by Richard Paul Evans.

Jacob Churcher is a successful author. His childhood, however was not as successful. His mother suffered from mental illness and her care of Jacob wasn't great. Now that she's passed away, Jacob heads back home to clean out her house. Being back in his childhood home evokes many memories. When a young woman named Rachel knocks on t
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
What an enjoyable Christmas tale! The Noel Diary is the start of a new Christmas Series and it was lovely as expected.

Jacob is a successful author that grew up with a distant and mentally ill mother. The scars from his childhood are brought to the surface when his mother passes away. Watching him go through the healing process was rewarding. I loved the sprinkling of humor added through Jacob's dry sense of humor.

The final pages of the novel were so heartwarming.

On the plausibility scale...are
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Why do I keep reading these sappy books!?!? Ugh. No one talks like these people in real life. And people don’t fall in love in 24 hours. And people don’t use the term “even my breasts were weeping” after giving a baby up for adoption. That was a bit much. Geez. Sigh. But I’ll be back to read whatever he writes next Christmas. Because that’s just who I am.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am having to play catch up on my books through the work exchange, so I was so happy when this book came my way. I love Richard Paul Evans books. They always make me cry, but I think that is why I like them so much, besides being such a quick read.

This was a delightful little read about an author who has not been back home in 20 years after his mom kicks him out, only to come home after she passes away. After cleaning out her house, an unexpected visitor shows up at his door, Rachel. She is lo
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to all who enjoy a holiday story with a special ending.
Shelves: own, fiction, holiday
This story is a searching story. Richard Paul Evans’ The Noel Diary takes place round Christmas, but there is a story within a story. Two characters, Jacob and Rachel, who accidentally meet at Jacob’s childhood home where he has returned to close his mother’s estate. There is a knock at the door and it is Rachel who is searching for someone. Jacob, himself, has returned ‘home’ as he is searching for something also. These two characters join together hoping to find what it is they are attempting ...more
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Richard Paul Evans is a master at storytelling! I could hardly put this book down and was excited to see that there will be two more books in the series in the coming years.
I could feel the sadness that the characters felt and was right there with them wishing that some of that could be taken away. The book comes together in such a beautiful way and I won't share more of what happened in the book because I don't like spoilers...
Carol Irvin
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book 📚 it sure made me feel good inside 💙
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nls-audio
Have you ever noticed that there's a kind of confluence of time and events associated with Christmas for many of us? As Ebenezer Scrooge found out, Christmas is the time to look at our past, our present, and ponder our future in many instances. Christmas is a tender time when it is easy to remember those who have gone before us who made such a tremendous difference in our lives. It can be, under the right circumstances, a magical time when we anticipate the coming day. Even during a pandemic, it ...more
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I look forward to these Richard Paul Evans books that come out every year. I love the way he writes, his plots and characters are always so great. His books are always easy to read and just great! This one was no different.

I liked Jacob in this story. I felt way sad for him, though. The way he was treated as a child by his mom just made me want to cry. His whole past was just sad, but it made him a great man, a great writer and really just compassionate. I liked that he was willing to work to cl
Colona Public Library
Another great book by Richard Paul Evans. I highly recommend this book for all the Hallmark Movie Lovers out there. This book is right up your alley. This was a great feel-good book to read at Christmas time. I can't wait until the next Noel Collection next year.

Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read several of this authors books and they're beautiful. Easy and quick and I just can't put them down. This has a 2nd book just released and I will probably eventually read it as well. ...more
Jenn O'Brien
3.5 Stars -- The last few Christmases, my mom and i have read the Mistletoe series aloud to each other. She purchased this book before Thanksgiving in hopes of continuing the tradition. Unfortunately, time ran away from us and we never started reading together. I brought the book back with me to read myself and return to her. I'm curious how this would have been to read to each versus how I read it in my mind's eye.

When I called her today to let her know that I was mailing the book back, she ask
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful holiday read. Like his other Christmas stories, The Noel Diary: A Novel blends loss, hope, love, and forgiveness. Another beautiful story. I just wish it was longer. ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So when you're reading a book and you don't want to put it down, but you have to go to sleep, not only because you have work in the morning, but it's your turn to drive in the carpool...that frustration is real if you're reading a really good book. The Noel Diary was that book for me. It's in the 'romantic' genre I believe, but for me it's just a good book about...people. ...more
Susan Peterson
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Richard Paul Evans writes the most wonderful Christmas stores, and this one is no exception! A quick read, filled with grace and love.
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When Richard Paul Evans wrote the #1 best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author. His quiet story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than eight million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. He has since written ele ...more

Other books in the series

The Noel Collection (4 books)
  • The Noel Stranger (The Noel Collection, #2)
  • Noel Street
  • The Noel Letters

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“I've always believed that we don't choose the life we want, we choose the life we think we deserve. We self-sabotage as a way to punish ourselves." "Why would we punish ourselves? Doesn't the world punish us enough?" "Why wouldn't we? We live in a world that is always making us work for love. It's cause and effect.” 5 likes
“holding on to anger is like swallowing poison and hoping someone else will die.” 3 likes
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