Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Christmas List

Rate this book
The New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box returns with a holiday novel of hope, love, and redemption.

Dear Reader,
When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don't remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn't considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.

What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson's assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.

As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them. Their legacy.

Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family's holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. I don't know how many times I've seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, "giddy-as-aschoolboy" man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That's what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas -- a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.

Merry Christmas

353 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2009

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Richard Paul Evans

192 books5,370 followers
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 eleven consecutive New York Times bestsellers. He is one the few authors in history to have hit both the fiction and non-fiction bestseller lists. He has won several awards for his books including the 1998 American Mothers Book Award, two first place Storytelling World Awards, and the 2005 Romantic Times Best Women Novel of the Year Award. His books have been translated into more than 22 languages and several have been international best sellers.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
6,066 (44%)
4 stars
4,640 (33%)
3 stars
2,398 (17%)
2 stars
449 (3%)
1 star
118 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,184 reviews
Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,970 reviews2,040 followers
March 11, 2018
EXCERPT: Saturday - three weeks before Christmas

James Kier looked back and forth between the newspaper headline and the photograph of himself, not sure if he should laugh or call his attorney. It was the same photograph the Tribune had used a couple of years earlier when they featured him on the front page of the business section. He had worn a silver herringbone-weave Armani over a black silk t-shirt for the photo session, the corner of an ebony silk handkerchief peeked strategically from the breast pocket. The black and white photograph was carefully posed and lighted to leave half his face in shadow. The photographer, a black-clad young Japanese man with a shock of bright pink hair, chose to shoot in black and white because, in the photographer's words, he was "going for a Ying-Yang effect - to fully capture Kier's inner complexities." The photographer was good at his craft. Kier's expression revealed a leaky confidence.

While the photograph was the same, the headline could not have been more different. Not many people get to read their own obituary.

When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don't remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn't considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.

What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson's assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.

As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them. Their legacy.

Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family's holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. I don't know how many times I've seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, "giddy-as-a-schoolboy" man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That's what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas -- a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.

Merry Christmas

MY THOUGHTS: I know it's not Christmas, that has been and gone, but this modern-day version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol appealed and, I am pleased to say, was a rewarding read. Reading his obituary, and all the accompanying online comments, is a real eye-opener for this very successful and self-absorbed businessman. It did make me wonder what mine might say about me. Beyond that all that I am going to say is, have a box of tissues handy.

3.5 stars for this emotional work by Richard Paul Evans.

I listened to The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans, narrated by John Dorsett and published by Simon and Schuster Audio, via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Shirley Chapel.
571 reviews75 followers
December 29, 2021
This books goes on my favorites shelf and I can truthfully say it's one of the best ones I've read this year. I found The Christmas list to be a very moving story. The main character was a rich real estate contractor. He reminded me of Ebenezer Scrooge from the Christmas Carol. This Christmas Story wasn't like other Christmas books but it did end up giving readers the true meaning of this holiday. I was bought to tears by the beautiful ending. The Narrator, John Dossett , did a great job on the narration and made the story come alive.
James Kier wasn't always a hard hearted business man but times had changed him . Making money was all he cared about and he didn't mind walking all over people to get it. He didn't care who he hurt because after all it was just business! Then circumstances and fake news allowed him to read his own obituary. He found out what people really thought of him and it was a real eye opener. He took a long hard look at himself and wondered if the money was really worth the price he had to pay to get it. Was it to late to make it up to all the people he had hurt over the years?
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy Christmas stories and fans of the Author Richard Paul Evans.
I borrowed an audio copy of this book from the Hoopla library. A review was not requested. All thoughts and opinions shared here in this review are my own.
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
December 23, 2011
James Kier is a ruthless businessman. Ruthless in the sense that what he wants is only to make money and he does not care about the feelings of his employees and their families. He also does foul business practices and he enjoys seeing his competitors close their shops. There was a time when he drove one of his competitors to bankruptcy by clandestinely buying all the materials in the market so the poor winner (his competitor) in the bidding had to close shop so James Kier got the job for his company. Then he marches to his competitor, calls him "donkey" and says that he should improve on his planning.

One day, he is reading the newspaper and sees an obituary of himself. What's in it makes him think of what he is doing in his life. So he asks his secretary to make a list of the people he has wronged and as he wants to make amends. Since the list is given 3 weeks before Christmas, he now refers this as his "Christmas List."

So, the rest of the story is about the lives of these 6 people who his secretary thinks her boss hurt or did wrong in the past and how James Kier tries to use his money and power to make them happy and his secretary is like his guardian angel. You see, James Kier and his secretary work very closely that the secretary knows almost everything about her boss.

Sounds like very similar to the plot of Charles Dicken's The Christmas Carol minus of course the three ghosts. Instead, the plot is filled with people who were like characters in a T.V. afternoon drama. There is nothing to it really. It's just that they mouth terribly melodramatic words and they are there to highlight how opportunistic James Kier as a person not even as just a savvy businessman. It is like James Kier is all evil and the other characters, the ones that have been wronged, are good if not like angels without wings.

Life does not normally work that way, right? There are always the good side and the bad side in everyone. John Paul Evans' way of presenting his characters is what I am not so happy about his works: it is so simplistic that his characters appear like unreal or caricatures.

But the theme of repentance followed by redemption is there and oh what the hell, at some points in our lives, we all sat down on front of the television and watched afternoon series. Or like Coney Reyes in the recent hit T.V. series 100 Days. The ABS-CBN writers were probably inspired by Dickens or maybe even this one.
734 reviews7 followers
April 10, 2015
There are some spoilers in this review.

Having had first-hand experience with a relative that died of pancreatic cancer, I was disgusted with Evans' patently romanticized version of Sara Kier's death. One does not impart declarations of love and a pithy bon mot about how heaven-won't-be-heaven-if-you-are-not-there-my-love in the final stages of death by pancreatic cancer. In reality Sara Kier would have been comatose. And the schmaltz doesn't end there...Sara dies on Christmas Day...which was their 25th wedding anniversary to boot!

Another point where I had a lot of trouble suspending disbelief was when Sara tells her son how good his father used to be, how he had wanted to be a social-worker, how he had been a just and upright man, it was only after he got swindled that he turned evil. So Junior had never before heard this bit of family lore? What house did he grow up in? Was Sarah keeping it a secret? Call me crazy, but it seems like this family history should have come out much sooner, say the first time Junior expressed anger or frustration with his absentee father, maybe at age 13.

We are lead to believe that James Kier is real estate developer in Utah, and Mormonism is never mentioned...I can't believe that Mormons in good standing aren't going to be a little wary of doing business with a man who appears to be an unrepentant sociopath. Wouldn't his reputation preceed him in such a community and he'd quickly be frozen out?

Finally, James keeps a Bible given to him by an old woman whose walk he shoveled as an adolescent, a Bible that he can lay his hands on immediately. It's not buried in some box in the attic somewhere, no, apparently he took it with him when he left his cancer-ravaged wife!

So the moral we are to take from this little syrupy gem is that apparently, when you are rich, it is super easy to make amends. First, because you can afford to take lots of time off work (and have your staff handle everything.) You can buy houses for people you've wronged, you can give your loyal secretary an outrageous pay raise and let her work from home, you can remodel your basement to create an art studio for the son you've neglected, endow scholarships, etc...so what are us working class slobs supposed to do? (I guess since we'll never have the power to be as cartoonishly evil as James Kier, we don't have to worry about it.)

This book is a heavy-handed morality tale with very little nuance and flat characters. If this novel had been written by a thirteen-year-old girl, I'd say the girl had some talent, but I expect more than this pabulum from a grown-man with 13 (!) bestsellers to his credit.
November 29, 2019
Christmas 2019 - Book 2 - NICE!

So far I'm on a roll with my 2019 Christmas reading. I really enjoyed this story, which was a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol without the supernatural overtones.

Jim Kier is a wealthy, ruthless businessman despised by everyone he knows, including his son. He has done truly terrible things and ruined lives. After he is declared dead in a case of mistaken identity, he gets a rare chance to find out what people really think of him (via on-line comments on his obituary. (This convenience was not available to Ebenezer Scrooge, who needed the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future to provide this service.)

Determined to repent and become a better man, Jim compiles a list of people he has hurt the worst and sets about to make amends. It was definitely unrealistic but I found it to be a touching read that really put me in the Christmas spirit.
Profile Image for Carole.
314 reviews38 followers
December 10, 2018
This was just the book I wanted for this Christmas season. A quick read with an inspirational message of forgiveness and that people can change their ways.
Profile Image for Julie.
548 reviews39 followers
December 25, 2010
This is a modern day Ebenezer Scrooge story. Kiel is a very busy business man who has left his wife and son. He and his girlfriend have plans to steal away for the weekend at a quaint bed and breakfast in the mountains. He arrives early and waits...and waits...and waits. She never comes. The morning paper arrives and he sees his obituary. He supposedly died on the trip!

Comments are pouring in from all over the world about him. Comments that you don't want to read about yourself. The only nice ones? From his wife. Who he left. Who he served with divorce papers the day she had her first chemo treatment. What a jerk!

Kiel decides he wants to change things. After all, he's alive. Now he just has to convince others of that. He calls his secretary Linda and asks for a list of all the people who he's wronged in life. She returns with a list of 5 stating that these were the most affected. He sets out on a quest to right these wrongs and along the way, learns many valuable lessons.

This book was written out of an experience that the author had while still in school. His English teacher had him to write his own obituary. I have my students to do the same. It's a lesson in leaving legacies. What kind of legacy would you leave? What would you want others saying about you when you are no longer here?

I highly recommend this book. It didn't necessarily have to center around Christmas because the story could apply at any time. This book will make you consider choices you have made in this life. There is still time to make amends if you need to! Leave a legacy you'd be proud to read of in the paper!
Profile Image for Jill.
142 reviews7 followers
December 30, 2011
This book was a Christmas present two years ago. At the time I really wanted to read it and I was reading a lot of Christmas books, and then the holiday passed and I guess it ended up on the shelf for longer than I was planning. I think though that sometimes books come to you when you need them or are ready for them, so it wasn't really forgotten there on the shelf, it was just biding it's time until it was the right read for me for right now. Maybe that sounds silly, but I know I buy books thinking I can't wait to read them, only to let them sit for months (or years) and then when I pick them up they are just what I was looking for then.

This is the first book I've read by Richard Paul Evans. I've thought about picking up other titles he has written, but for whatever reason I haven't. I know I have seen some of the his made for TV movies made from his books like The Christmas Box.

The main thing I brought away from this book is that it is never too late to do the right thing and that there are more important things in life than money. I know we all know that, but to have it brought home in a meaningful way is so much better than just spouting platitudes. James Keir reminded me quite a bit of Scrooge and how his death affected other people. To get to see what people really thought about you because they believe you have died was a blessing for him because it opened his eyes to his past mistakes and took him on the path of righting the wrongs he had done. A modern retelling in a new and light.
Profile Image for Elizabeth .
1,012 reviews
October 25, 2018
I just listened to this book rather than reading it this year- my library had the audio and it helped me get through a few work days. Beautiful beautiful book. I got more out of it this year than I did last year. I think it will be a yearly read or listen for me.

This book was outstanding! I couldn't put it down! Thank you so much, Jennifer!
Profile Image for Nina Draganova.
992 reviews56 followers
December 4, 2020
"Ние хората...поне някои от нас, сме сериозно увредени. Нещата , които са най-необходими, най-важни за нас, са онези,които приемаме за даденост. Въздухът. Водата. Любовта. Ако имаш кого да обичаш, значи си щастливец. Ако ти отвръщат с любов, значи си благословен. Но ако пропиляваш времето, което имаш, за да ги обичаш,значи си глупак."
Да, много наивно казано, но това е самата истина. Само няма кой да го разбере. Да не говорим , че тези , които трябва да четат такива книги, няма да го направят.
А аз си оставам все така наивна.
Profile Image for Becky R..
458 reviews81 followers
December 28, 2009
Richard Paul Evans is famous for his The Christmas Box series. I was one of those kids who received his books for many Christmases along the way, and have almost everything he's ever written. The funny thing is, all of them were gifts, and I might not have picked them up had someone not given them to me. Why? I can't really say, but I somehow thought these were too short to really have a story I could sink my teeth into. I'm happy to say, I was wrong.

In The Christmas List, we find a "what if" story that asks what you would do if you woke one morning and found that you were reported dead, and your obituary was posted in the newspaper. For real estate, businessman, James Kier, this is his reality. In the process of divorcing his wife, who is dying of cancer, and putting people out of their homes and properties around Christmas, nothing seems too low for Kier. The depths of his selfishness and greed can make your blood run cold, until Kier reads his own obituary and reads the comments posted in the online comments following it and realizes what he's become.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. The story felt developed enough that I genuinely cared about the various characters we were introduced to. I liked the redemption built into the story, and the way Evans showed how one man tried to turn a disastrous life around. This was a great, subtle Christmas "spirit" novel.
Profile Image for Deb.
471 reviews5 followers
November 26, 2012
This book is a kind of modern retelling of Dickens' Christmas Carol but without the ghosts and time travel. I read this book to get in the holiday spirit. It is did not get me in the holiday spirit. It was one of the most depressing books I have read in a long time. Set in areas of Salt Lake City I am well famliar with, this is the story of a man who totally messes up his life and then decides one day, after mistakenly being reported as dead, to put things back together and change. The problem is that he can't reverse the damage he has done. In the end, there is a message of hope, repentance and forgiveness, but it is not strong enough to overcome the total helplessness the main character experiences as he realized that in many ways, it is too late for him. This is an interesting book and does have a significant and important message in the end, but don't count on it to make your holiday spirit bright.
Profile Image for Kristin Lees.
194 reviews1 follower
November 6, 2017
What a fast read! Those mini chapters kept me talking myself into reading another. I liked the tidy and good-feeling ending with such an unlikable character you think it’s impossible. Without Sara and Linda, it would all be impossible. Entertaining modern day Scrooge!
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
645 reviews57 followers
December 24, 2011
This book was inspired in part by Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and reading it, I can certainly see the parallels. However, while Scrooge's sin was indifference to others' suffering, the miser in this story, a business exec named James Kier, is guilty of causing suffering. Instead of being visited by a ghost, as Scrooge was, his change of heart comes after his identity is mixed up with that of a car accident victim: he reads his own obituary and finds out what people really think of him.

All in all, it's an interesting premise, but I found the book to be a disappointment. The characters, for the most part, are too flat to be engaging. The dialogue is too soppy-sweet, and parts of the book just feel like a cheap Harlequin. Some elements are so ridiculous as to be funny, and parts of the book, particularly parts involving some of the flatter characters, were almost predictable. Worse, the main character's initial interest in the people that he's hurt, which ultimately leads to his redemption, is just a little too sudden, out-of-character, and convenient to be believable. The worst part for me, as a reader, came about two-thirds of the way through the book, when his (ex)wife delivers a shmaltzy monologue about how she will always love him because this horrible person that he is isn't who he really is. She even tells of a specific bad situation that turned him into the cruel, selfish person he became. I think I understand what Evans was trying to do -- showing that everyone has a past, that the main character is himself a victim, and so forth -- but the whole passage just left a bad taste in my mouth. In addition to being an unrealistic (and also unnecessary) back story, it makes the main character seem rather passive and dumb. He's not really a villain, you see, not on purpose: he just kind of fell into it and doesn't realize what he's doing. I don't think it makes sense for someone just to change in a single moment for no good reason (Star Wars III, anyone?), particularly since the cruel person that James became is polar opposite to the kind, generous, loving person he was. People can change, of course, which is more or less the point to the story, but I don't think people suddenly start doing things they never would have done before without serious, conscious, thought. It also takes away from his triumph when he changes his life for the better. He wasn't fixing a gradual mistake, nor was he even changing himself since, as we find out, the bad, hurtful person (who is, as you may recall, worse even than Scrooge) wasn't "really" who he was to begin with!

That said, the book wasn't all bad -- not by far. After I began it, I couldn't put it down, and I stayed up until one or two o'clock just to finish it. There were some aspects of this book that were very well-done, especially in those places where Evans differed from Dickens' famous novel. For one thing, James Kier's change of heart does not come in a single epiphany. He decides to make amends for his actions near the beginning of the book, but he is more concerned about his legacy, his reputation, than about his own morality. This attitude is very real and human. His subsequent encounters with the people he's hurt are what lead to his ultimate change, and this change comes gradually, rather than in a single moment. It was well-done, all things considered. Best of all, I liked that he was unable to make amends for everything he'd done. He has destroyed lives, and no amount of sorriness or good will can change the past. I liked the darker edge that the book got from his visits with his former victims (victims is probably the wrong word, but I couldn't think of what else to call it). Moreover, it is these victims, particularly Estelle, who are among the most real, fleshed-out characters, even though they only appear for a handful of pages. Perhaps Evans should have written less about James' family and business associates (and business associates' families), and included more about the people whom James visits, who are the reason for James' change of heart. As it stands, they are just shunted into the background. And they're the best part of the book.
Profile Image for Judy.
1,945 reviews28 followers
August 1, 2010
Since some of my Christmas decorations are still up--hey, I think that once you reach June, you should just leave them up because December is right around the corner--I decided to read this as a "Christmas in July" treat. Not such a treat. This book is a retelling of A Christmas Carol without Jacob Marley dragging his chains and I missed that. James Kier reads his obituary in the newspaper while at a bed and breakfast several hours from home and when he logs onto the computer he finds out that he is universally hated and practically everyone he knows is thankful that he is dead. In fact the only person who defends him is his wife, Sara, who he is divorcing while she is in the last stages of cancer. Lovely man. The obituary is a case of mistaken identity so James goes to the memorial service for the James Kier who really died and finds out that the dead man was a school bus driver who was universally loved and changed the lives of everyone around him. So James decides that he is going to change and find the people that he has wronged in his life and make restitution. You could cut the schmaltz with a knife, and a butter knife at that. Not worth the time when A Christmas Carol has the same message and is a far, far better book.
Profile Image for Ray.
763 reviews43 followers
December 12, 2019
I walked into this book blind. I didn't really read the blurb that closely. I found it very dickens like in it's portrayal of the character with a rebirth and cathartic outlook. I was touched and found an emotional connection to the story. I would recommend this one to those looking to feel something. i often find his work to be that way. RPE writes a story that might not have all the twists that some people claim to want. In the end though, I think about his story and feel with his characters. That means more to me than some where did that come from twist. Happy holidays and happy reading.
Profile Image for Karla.
279 reviews98 followers
November 8, 2009
Was a perfect Christmas read I was a blubbering mess by the end. This was a great read to get you in the giving, loving mood for Christmas. The main character of the story reminded me in some ways of Scrooge with a modern twist. This would be a good read to take on a journey or trip home to see the in-laws. Make sure to take your tissue along. Great book about love, family, loss, redemption, giving, and forgivness.
Profile Image for Karin.
777 reviews44 followers
December 19, 2018
A not-so-sweet man reads his own death obituary and all the mean comments from people in the community. He tries to make amends but not even his estranged wife wants to give him a second chance b/c they think he's not really sorry, but sorry he got 'caught'. He learns that some mistakes aren't fixable just cause he wants to change. He does try, tho. A little naively, thinking that an 'I'm sorry' would fix everything even tho he ruined their lives, and that on purpose. These were actions to swindle people out of their dreams and money, calculatingly, delibrately.

Get out the kleenex for the last few chapters tho. You know, it's Christmas, so it has to have a sweet ending.

I listened to this story on a long car ride and it was a pleasant way to spend the time.
Profile Image for Eva Marie Everson.
Author 53 books339 followers
June 8, 2021
This is, of course, a retelling of A Christmas Carol by Dickens. That came as no shock. However . . . HOWEVER . . . unlike Scrooge, forgiveness doesn't come to James Kier on a silver platter. With a short list of people to forgive--but longer than Scrooge's, it seems--Kier sets out to make amends after seeing how people really felt about him. Only, some are unforgiving, some are angrier than he expects, and some cannot forgive for other reasons. And there are two others, not on the list: his soon-to-be ex-wife and his son who is about to marry his sweetheart.

What I loved about The Christmas List is that the author didn't lay out a happily ever after story, which is real. So while Kier cannot settle all of his emotional debts, he CAN, at least, fix his family . . . to a degree. I won't say which degree.

I read this in two days (and as writer with scheduled time to read, that's saying a lot). I'm a die-hard RPE fan. This books proves why. Note: there are some proofing errors in my edition. There always seem to be in RPE's books, perhaps because S&S are in a hurry to get to print (I can understand that). Missing quotation marks, etc. Not that I care because the story is so awesome!. Again, I'm a writer. I just filled them in with my trusty purple pen. :)
92 reviews
November 13, 2009
This book has the subtlety of a sledgehammer. After an unbelievable epiphany, the main character goes from being the most heartless man on earth to being the most loving. What upset me the most is that the character couldn't even make his own list. He destroyed countless lives with his greed, but looked to his secretary to define his redemption.

We all need to live the best lives we can. However, his need for external validation represents one of the main deficiencies in our society. Searching for external answers instead of looking within leads to a shallow easily manipulated society.

I'm glad I got this book from the library and didn't actually part with any money.
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 3 books5 followers
April 10, 2015
This book was entirely too syrupy for me. Maybe I'm a cynic, maybe not. Richard Paul Evans always seems to straddle that syrup fence in all of his novels, but he never completely went over the edge. That kept me coming back to read more. (I loved the Walk series. Good stuff.) But poor Richard took a nose dive into the syrup side with this one. To call it unrealistic would be putting it mildly. I can see how some would like this kind of story, but it is just my personal preference that everything not be tied up in a neat little bow at the end of every book. If fiction is supposed to mimic reality, this one fell short. By a long shot.
Profile Image for Nancy Brady.
Author 5 books37 followers
November 23, 2014
James Kier reads his own accidental obituary (and the comments people make about him), and after meeting the family and friends of the real James Kier that died, decides to change.

Asking for help from his secretary Linda, he approaches five people whom he hurt (destroyed their lives) in various ways. He gets varied responses from them, but continues on his quest to change.

Will people accept the new James? Especially the woman he is divorcing? His son?

This is a real tearjerker and not unlike Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and gives new meaning to redemption, love, and forgiveness.
Profile Image for JoAnn/QuAppelle.
383 reviews20 followers
November 30, 2009
I did finish this book, or would have given it one star, but this was a stretch for me.

What is the appeal of this author? The writing is amateurish, the theme is overused, and the whole "story" is manipulative. After hearing for years how awful he was, all of a sudden this guy has a "revelation" after reading some things written about him on a website.

Worst of all, he had to ask his secretary to come up with the list of people he had damaged!!! He could not even do this himself?

Profile Image for Book Concierge.
2,768 reviews332 followers
June 26, 2016
Audio book read by John Dossett

I know that Evans’ works are hugely popular, and I feel as if I’m dissing a saint. But really … this is so maudlin and formulaic. Rich, ruthless businessman is reformed just in time for Christmas with the help of his trusty assistant. Oh, and I really hate how he strings people along as he prepares to give them a great gift. What a jerk!
Profile Image for Kristen Landon.
Author 7 books85 followers
December 31, 2016
A little sappy. A little sad. But isn't that why we read Richard Paul Evans? I did enjoy it.
Profile Image for Judy.
1,623 reviews26 followers
December 22, 2021
The abstract for this book doesn’t really say anything about this book—it just gives a hint. It is a take-off of Dickens’s story of Scrooge. The protagonist, James Kier, a ruthless businessman reads his obituary one day, and soon learns that associates hold him in contempt. So, with the encouragement of his Secretary, he makes a list of ten people he has harmed through his business dealings. Then he tries to make amends and ask for forgiveness. The story made me stop and think of how I have neglected or maybe hurt people that are a part of my life. Good for this season to stop and consider your life, and make changes.
426 reviews8 followers
April 30, 2020
I usually end up read one of Richard Paul Evans books around the holidays. The audio for his books is one of my favorites. In this book, the main character reads his own obituary and finds out what his legacy will be. He has the chance to redeem himself, and it’s in the spirit of A Christmas Carol. Many of Richard Paul Evans’ books make us confront difficult questions that we face. In this one, it’s what would we want our legacy to be? This one was another good story, and I’d recommend it on audio. It’s quick to listen to, and the story has a good message.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,184 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.