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One Imperfect Christmas

Average Rating 4
( 83 )
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(25)

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(16)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Moving novel about what tears families apart and keeps them together

One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson is a poignant look at how tragedy can shatter a family. Natalie Pearce loves her life, and although she may complain about her messy husband or her teenage daughter's attitude, she's happy working part time as a graphic designer a...
One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson is a poignant look at how tragedy can shatter a family. Natalie Pearce loves her life, and although she may complain about her messy husband or her teenage daughter's attitude, she's happy working part time as a graphic designer and painting in her spare time. Three weeks after Christmas, she receives a phone call that brings her entire world to a shuddering crash; her mother has suffered a severe stroke and will most likely never recover. What brings Natalie to her knees is the knowledge that if she had just answered her mother's plea for help putting Christmas decorations away, her mother wouldn't have had the stroke while alone and may have received treatment in time to recover. Natalie's guilt propels her into pushing away everyone she loves and focusing on nothing but her work. As a new Christmas approaches, she is filled with both dread and hope, can she have one more "perfect" Christmas with her family? Every character is so wrapped up in themselves that it will take a miracle to bring them back together. Johnson performs with precision an autopsy on this dying family, portraying to readers each wound and sadness. My one complaint with the book is that in the 49 weeks the book covers, Lissa, the teenage daughter, never ages beyond 13. If her birthday was in the three weeks not covered, it should have been referenced somewhere! That petty point aside, Johnson's novel has a powerful lesson for readers about learning to love and letting go of regret.

posted by ChristysBookBlog on September 22, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Well Written but unsatisfying

Myra Johnson starts with an intriguing premise: dealing with guilt and how that affects a marriage. But her main character, the one to who we are to relate, was so selfish that it was hard to sympathize with her. And her husband was annoyingly passive.
One thing that ...
Myra Johnson starts with an intriguing premise: dealing with guilt and how that affects a marriage. But her main character, the one to who we are to relate, was so selfish that it was hard to sympathize with her. And her husband was annoyingly passive.
One thing that especially bothered me, and that was emphasized by one of the discussion questions at the end, was the complete lack of community these supposed small-town, church-going people had. Natalie has no friend who comforts, supports, challenges her as she goes her unhappy, selfish way. Neither does their pastor involve himself, except in a very superficial way.

posted by HippolytaTS on December 10, 2011

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  • Posted December 10, 2011

    Well Written but unsatisfying

    Myra Johnson starts with an intriguing premise: dealing with guilt and how that affects a marriage. But her main character, the one to who we are to relate, was so selfish that it was hard to sympathize with her. And her husband was annoyingly passive.
    One thing that especially bothered me, and that was emphasized by one of the discussion questions at the end, was the complete lack of community these supposed small-town, church-going people had. Natalie has no friend who comforts, supports, challenges her as she goes her unhappy, selfish way. Neither does their pastor involve himself, except in a very superficial way.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2013

    Graphic designer, Natalie Pearce, has problems with balancing he

    Graphic designer, Natalie Pearce, has problems with balancing her work, marriage, rebellious daughter and her own mother. When her mother suffers a stroke, Natalie must also deal with the “if only” emotions as well as the guilt and anger which require seeking God’s guidance. Natalie must now navigate through unforeseen circumstances…everything considered, definitely not the most ideal/ perfect Christmas that was hoped for…

    A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:
    “One Imperfect Christmas” was an interesting read as it could be relevant to many lives. Definitely not a light Christmas story, this book was more realistic in looking at Christmas through the lenses of people requiring God’s grace in many situations. Though enjoyable, this book did tend to slow a bit in certain spots; however, the message was good (God has a plan even with the hard and difficult times in life). Living with regrets is never easy but the author, Myra Johnson, did a nice job with it. Well written for a debut novel; I look to reading more of her works.

    RATING:
    3 (out of 5) pennies

    *I received a complimentary copy of One Imperfect Christmas from Abingdon Press for my honest review*

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    Pretty good read.

    This book was good, although I became very frustrated with the main character about half way through. It was written well, and the story line was interesting. I almost put it down, however, am glad I didn't because overall I enjoyed reading it and was happy with the ending. Definitely a good choice to read during the Christmas season.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2009

    An Imperfect Christmas

    I enjoyed this book. It was different from alot of christmas books and the book deals with serious issues. Myra has done a good job with this book. I appreciate how she deals with Natalie and I admit at times I wanted to shake her out of her feelings but I do appreciate guilt that can be associated with an elderly parent being sick or injured or in this case having a stroke. Guilt when a parent is in a nursing home is very hard to deal with but sometimes you have to let go of the guilt to go on. The way Natalies feelings affect the rest of the family is intersting to and I did enjoy how the story played out. The ending was well done and not quite what I expected but it was better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 22, 2009

    Moving novel about what tears families apart and keeps them together

    One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson is a poignant look at how tragedy can shatter a family. Natalie Pearce loves her life, and although she may complain about her messy husband or her teenage daughter's attitude, she's happy working part time as a graphic designer and painting in her spare time. Three weeks after Christmas, she receives a phone call that brings her entire world to a shuddering crash; her mother has suffered a severe stroke and will most likely never recover. What brings Natalie to her knees is the knowledge that if she had just answered her mother's plea for help putting Christmas decorations away, her mother wouldn't have had the stroke while alone and may have received treatment in time to recover. Natalie's guilt propels her into pushing away everyone she loves and focusing on nothing but her work. As a new Christmas approaches, she is filled with both dread and hope, can she have one more "perfect" Christmas with her family? Every character is so wrapped up in themselves that it will take a miracle to bring them back together. Johnson performs with precision an autopsy on this dying family, portraying to readers each wound and sadness. My one complaint with the book is that in the 49 weeks the book covers, Lissa, the teenage daughter, never ages beyond 13. If her birthday was in the three weeks not covered, it should have been referenced somewhere! That petty point aside, Johnson's novel has a powerful lesson for readers about learning to love and letting go of regret.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK This was one really awesome Christm

    MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK




    This was one really awesome Christmas read! When Natalie Pearce chose not to go help her mom take down her Christmas decorations, she never dreamed what the year ahead held for she and her family. When her mom suffered a stroke that left her helpless, Natalie blamed herself for her mom’s condition. A string of events lead to Natalie leaving her husband and daughter, accepting a job that would require most of her time, and leaving her with strained relationships that may not be fixable.




    Most of the time we like to think that all is perfect at Christmas time, but it is usually not. Life situations just doesn’t look at our calendar first before they happen. It was heartbreaking, yet refreshing to read One Imperfect Christmas because it was sad to see Natalie and her family going through what they had to endure with her mom, yet it was comforting to know that everyone has difficult situations during the Christmas Season, some not as bad as others, but we all have our heartaches. But I really like how Myra Johnson weaves everything together, good and bad, and brings an ending to the story that will give you peace, and make you smile. Not an ending that the Pearce family wanted, but one that gave them hope. This is an amazing debut novel for Ms. Johnson, and yes it was written a few years ago, but the message is still the same. I can’t believe I haven’t read it before this year. I really want to encourage you to pick up a copy of One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson for a few hours for delightful entertainment. You will be glad you did!

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  • Posted December 12, 2013

    I thought One Imperfect Christmas, by Myra Johnson, was interest

    I thought One Imperfect Christmas, by Myra Johnson, was interesting. This book is not a book I would have continued reading if I had not been reading it for a review. I do not like reading books where the characters dwell in their own misery and guilt for the entire book.

    This book could help a lot of people though, who are having a difficult time in their lives and are unable to cope with it. Natalie Pearce was unable to cope with her mother’s stroke. She blamed herself for it and shut everyone out, even her husband, Daniel. I understand that everyone may not feel the extreme guilt Natalie did, but many may. They may be able to use this book as a beginning point to help them recover.

    While this was not my type of book, I thought it was well written. You will have to decide for yourself if this is a good book or not.

    Disclosure of Material Connection- I received One Imperfect Christmas, by Myra Johnson, for free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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  • Posted December 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was an interesting story; I can't imagine how hard it would

    This was an interesting story; I can't imagine how hard it would be to have a parent suffer a massive stroke, especially if you feel like you're to blame. However, I found myself very frustrated with Natalie and I also felt like parts were repetitious where Natalie kept blaming herself. It really shows how important forgiving yourself is and also loving your family and being there for them. I liked the different perspectives so we could understand the story from multiple angles. I thought this would be a lighter read, so just be aware that though this is a Christmas story, it deals with multiple emotional issues and is definitely more serious with a touch of hope.

    I received a free e-book of this book from Abingdon Press in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

       One Imperfect Christmas is a five star book times 3. This





       One Imperfect Christmas is a five star book times 3. This book teaches that love is the perfect gift and that sometime having everything “Perfect” isn’t always the best.




    I wasn’t sure I was going to like this story, it started out being after Christmas and Natalie was not feeling the Christmas Spirit. Then she gets a call from her mother to help take down the Christmas decorations and Natalie tells her she is to busy to help! From then on the story captured me and I couldn’t put the book down till I had finished the last page.




    When Natalie gets a call to go to the hospital and finds out that her mother has had a stroke, she blames herself and then the troubles starts between her and her husband and their teenage daughter.




    While reading this novel I found myself  feeling the emotions of all the characters and I wanted to tell them, look at what you are doing to each other. This is a story filled with sorrow, hope and forgiveness and love. 




    There are tender moments as well as funny scenes. Lissa, the teenage daughter is quite the schemer.




    This book is about Christmas, a year later after the beginning of the story, which makes the title “One Imperfect Christmas” the right title for this book.




    I found myself having the same wish the family did for the “star” and hoping that Natalie’s parents could keep their promise to have fifty Christmases together!




    There are references to God and church attendance and you can tell this is Christian fiction but I believe anyone that has a family and has medical and financial problems and loves Christmas stories, they would love this story. “One Imperfect Christmas” leaves you feeling that even through you have troubles and every thing isn’t perfect, “It is a pretty good life”.




    I was given a free ebook copy of this book by Abingdon Press Fiction  for my honest review to be in the 2013 Christmas Blog Tour!

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  • Posted November 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Belinda and Bram Morgan have been married for almost 50 years an

    Belinda and Bram Morgan have been married for almost 50 years and have set the example for all their children to follow in what makes love work in a marriage. They celebrate Christmas the same way now that their children have grown beginning with the celebration of Natalie's birthday and then trimming the tree. But for Natalie, those are high expectations to have even within your own home. She is far from the perfectionist her mother is and often procrastinates more than she should. That's why her husband Daniel asked her to take down the decorations before his own parents arrived later that afternoon. So when Natalie's mom called enlisting her help to take down their decorations she had the perfect excuse. Her mother wanted to help since Bram and their oldest son were on a trip leaving her alone to begin the task if she didn't want to wait.

    So when Natalie told her she couldn't help today due to the visit from Daniel's parents she told her mom to simply leave all the boxes in the guest room downstairs and she would over later this week to put them in storage for her. She often worried that her mom did too much now that she was older and suffering from the effects of arthritis. What Natalie didn't expect when she hung up with her mother, was to receive a phone call later that evening that would forever change her life. Her mother had suffered from a massive stroke and since she had been alone at the time, the damage was far too great for her mother to return to her former self.

    Now plagued with guilt for simply being glad that she didn't have to join her mother that afternoon and instead had a day for herself, Natalie pours herself into her free lance job trying to earn money she knows her father will need to pay for her mom's medical expenses. This drives a wedge between her and Daniel as he tries to fix things between them, and Natalie avoids dealing with their own marriage issues trying to make up for not being there for her mother. She feels if she had only been there, this would have never happened. Will Natalie find a way to restore her own marriage or will this be the first imperfect Christmas to rock her family?

    I received One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson compliments of Abingdon Press as part of the Christmas Blog Tour for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I absolutely LOVED this novel based in part to being able to relate to Natalie's character so much. Often times when the holidays are upon us, we feel like we are expected to do our best and meet all family obligations despite having to manage our own. I could relate to the guilt that Natalie felt upon hearing of her mother's stroke and understood the need to do everything to make amends to her what she felt was her mistake. The resolution that evidently comes is believable and everything doesn't come wrapped up in a pretty bow like you would expect. This is real in my opinion and thus why I would rate this a 5 out of 5 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Decent

    Free book, not bad. Kept me reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Great read ~ Keeps your attention until the end

    This book was a great read, even not at Christmas time. It is based around a family and the values they have that keeps them together when it would have been really easy to all give up on one another. This book is very clean and anyone that loves a inspirational story ~ This is for you! I will definitely look for other books by this author, I hope she has more out there that reflect this writing style. I would definitely say this would be a book club discussion! Happy reading :-) !!

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  • Posted December 27, 2012

     I think this is a well written illustration of love, forgivenes

     I think this is a well written illustration of love, forgiveness, family, and the hope of faith. Yes, the main character got irritating along the way but I can think of times in my own life that mirrored the attitude of the character in this book. So I can relate. It wasn't a very long book and therefore, did not cover all the issues. However, I disagree with the comment that it lacked an illustration of community support. The author showed the need and use of therapy, pastoral counsel, friendly support, family connections, and showing vulnerability to others.. This was a PERFECT read for this holiday season. It showed the spirit of 1 John 4: 18-20. So, thanks Myra for a well written, realistic Christian novel. And thanks B&N for a pleasantly surprising free Nook Book read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    Annonymous

    THis book is about family relationships. Each member in this family was so busy doing their own thing that they were begining to go their separate ways. Daniel was busy with the team, Natalie was busy with her job. and the teenage daughter felt neglected. When illness struck a grandparent everything fell apart. I think the message in the story is to love and forgive. We dont know what will happen tomorrow, but we know who holds the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Great book

    Loved this book! Such a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Imperfect Christmas

    Good story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Good book

    Its a vet good boook

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    LOVED IT

    Very good chick flick book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Long drawn abd horrible ending

    This was the first book I read on my nook since it was free. It took me well over a month to finish it bc I could never get into it. It's extremely slow moving, boring and the ending of the book was finished like the author couldn't think up of anything else to write, so just quit writing. I wouldn't read another book by this author. Thankfully, I didn't waste money on this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    B

    A good read for Christmas.

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