Sara - posted on 10/28/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )
Here's the review...
In Beck's debut novel, the conservative talk-radio host (An Inconvenient Book) makes a weak attempt at a holiday classic in the vein of It's a Wonderful Life. Despite his single mother's financial hardships, 12-year-old Eddie is certain this Christmas he will receive his much-desired Huffy bike. To his dismay, what he finds under the tree is "a stupid, handmade, ugly sweater" that his mother carefully modeled after those she can't afford at Sears (one of four places she keeps part-time jobs). After he insults her and tosses the sweater, Eddie's mom takes them to his grandparents' farmhouse for the rest of the day. On the drive home, Eddie's exhausted mother falls asleep at the wheel and crashes into TK, dying instantly. Sent to live with his grandparents, an increasingly bitter and angry Eddie lashes out at his accommodating guardians, engages in typical teenage angst and grapples with belief in God in the face of all his woes. For all his focus on traditional family virtues like respect, love and forgiveness, Beck's lightweight parable cruises on predictability, repetition and sentimentality.