Cover image for Finding Noel
Title:
Finding Noel
Author:
Evans, Richard Paul.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2006.
Physical Description:
304 pages ; 19 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780743287036
Format :
Book

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

A heartwarming and inspirational Christmas novel in the tradition of The Christmas Box, Grace, The Gift , and The Christmas List . The New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box and The Walk series returns with a holiday novel of hope, love, and redemption.

A young woman, who has been adopted as a child by a loving family, has only a Christmas ornament inscribed with the word "Noel" as a keepsake of her birth family, about whom she remembers nothing. When long hidden memories resurface, she begins an emotionally challenging personal journey as she searches for her biological sister and clues about her mysterious past...


Author Notes

Richard Paul Evans was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 11, 1962. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Utah in 1984. In 1992 while he was an advertising executive, he wrote a story about parental love and the meaning of Christmas for his daughters. The story, The Christmas Box, was copied and passed around to relatives and friends, and was published. It was adapted as an Emmy-winning television movie in 1995 starring Richard Thomas and Maureen O'Hara.

His other fiction works include The Locket, A Perfect Day, Promise Me, Lost December, A Winter Dream, A Step of Faith, and The Mistletoe Promise. His series include the Christmas Box series, The Walk series, and the Michael Vey series. He also writes non-fiction works including The Christmas Box Miracle: My Spiritual Journey of Destiny, Healing, and Hope; The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me about Life and Wealth; The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me for Women; and The Four Doors: A Guide to Joy, Freedom and a Meaningful Life. He has won several awards for his books including Romantic Times best women's novel for The Sunflower.

He is also a public speaker, traveling the country to bring awareness of the problem of neglected and abused children. In 1997, he used his Christmas Box Foundation to begin a shelter for abused and neglected children called the Christmas Box House.

(Bowker Author Biography) Richard Paul Evans is a bestselling author. He lives with his family in Salt Lake City, Utah.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Evans' latest offering is a charming holiday story about two strangers who change each other's lives. Mark Smart thinks he has hit rock bottom when his car dies on a snowy evening in Utah. He stumbles into a coffee shop and meets Macy Wood, a young woman he connects with immediately. She gives him a ride home and over the next few weeks, the two swap their life stories. Mark is reeling from his mother's death and his estrangement from his father, while Macy, adopted at age seven, longs to find her younger sister who was taken by another family. Mark encourages Macy to look for her sister, and with his support, she ventures first to the adoption agency and then to the house she and her sister lived in with their troubled father. Mark wants to marry Macy, but his unresolved family issues give her cause for concern, and she pushes him away, forcing Mark to confront his own demons. Evans' many fans will want his latest, and this heartwarming tale is perfect for every reader who loves sweet and uplifting fare. --Kristine Huntley Copyright 2006 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

On the night that Mark Smart has decided will be his last, his car dies in a blizzard. He enters a closing coffee shop and finds Macy Wood, who literally offers him a shoulder to cry on. The two forge a deep friendship, and after three weeks, Mark proposes marriage. She declines, but waitress Joette, who has taken care of Macy since she was 13, orchestrates a reunion as Mark tries to smooth over the rifts dividing what remains of his family. Mark's stepfather's advice "sometimes it's the fight that makes a thing worth having" serves as the defining aphorism of Evans's yuletide offering. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Except for a Christmas ornament, nothing connects Macy to the parents who abandoned her at age seven, but she's still determined to find the little sister she believes she has. With a five-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One Begin at the start, end at the end. It's the best advice I could give a friend. * SONG LYRICS FROM MARK SMART'S DIARY * When I was a boy, my mother told me that everyone comes into our lives for a reason. I'm not sure if I believe that's true. The thought of God weaving millions of lives together into a grand human tapestry seems a bit fatalistic to me. Still, as I look back at my life, there seem to be times when such divinity is apparent. None is more obvious to me than that winter evening when I met a beautiful young woman named Macy and there ensued the extraordinary chain of events that encounter set in place. Of course such a theory carried to the extreme would mean that God sabotaged my car that night because, had my car's timing belt not broken at that precise moment, this story never would have happened. But it did, and my life was forever changed. Perhaps my mother was right. If God can align the planets, maybe He can do the same to our lives. My story began at a time when it was dangerously close to ending -- a wintry November evening, eleven days after my mother died. My mother was killed in a car accident. There were three other people with her in the car, and everyone but my mother walked away unharmed. I was close to my mother, and the day I learned she died was the worst day of my life. Even before her death my life was in shambles. I had left my home in Huntsville, Alabama, nine months earlier and come to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah on an engineering scholarship. I had never been out West, and all I knew of Utah (other than that it had the only out-of-state school willing to give me a scholarship) was that it was a long way from Huntsville, with a few mountain ranges in between. This suited me because I wanted to put as many miles between my father and me as I could. Actually, I never really called Stuart Smart "Father." He had always been "Stu" to me, and I considered his full name an oxymoron. He was an auto mechanic with an eighth-grade education, grease under his fingernails, and a disdain for all things he didn't understand -- which included English grammar and me. His dream was for me to one day take over the family business -- Smart Auto Repair -- and every Saturday after I turned ten, he'd drag me down to the garage and put me to work. While my friends were hanging around the Tastee-Freez or hunting grasshoppers with BB guns, I spent my childhood changing tires and air filters. I hated everything about the garage; from the boredom of watching Stu dissect a transmission to eating bologna and mustard sandwiches on bread smudged with motor oil. But most of all I didn't like being with Stu. He wasn't one for idle conversation, so the long days were mostly silent except for the occasional whine of a pneumatic wrench and the constant twang of a country radio station. I wasn't much good as a mechanic and Stu always seemed annoyed with my ineptness. Every week I begged my mother to not make me go, and one Saturday, around the time I turned fourteen, Stu finally gave up on me and left me home. If love isn't blind it's at least horribly nearsighted. -- Mark Smart's Diary My mother, Alice Geniel Phelps, was nothing like Stu. She was soft, well spoken and thoughtful. She liked to read and talk about philosophy, music and literature, things my father generally considered a waste of time. I could never figure out why someone like my mother married a guy like Stu until I came across a copy of my parents' wedding announcement. To my surprise I learned that they'd been married just eight weeks before I was born. I figured that with the way things were back then, she had to. As I got older, Stu and I argued a lot. I couldn't tell you how many times my mother interceded on my behalf, sometimes standing between the two of us. My mother was the skin that held our home together. Now she was gone. And so was my home. As I said, things were already going badly. Though I worked hard and earned straight A's, after my first year in school, the university announced a budgetary cutback and dropped hundreds of scholarships. Mine included. Since I was no longer in school, I lost my job at the university registrar's office and my room in the dorm. In truth, I didn't care that much about engineering -- I had no real love for it -- but my parents couldn't afford tuition and the scholarship was my only way into college. My real dream was to be a songwriter. But music scholarships are hard to come by unless you're a classical virtuoso, which I'm not. I play the twelve-string guitar alright. I guess I'm more of a folksinger, not exactly Juilliard material. Stu had predicted my failure and I wasn't about to give him the satisfaction of making him right, so I stayed in Utah and wrote cheerful, fraudulent letters home, telling everyone that school was going well. The truth was I was lonely, poor and depressed, living in a rundown basement apartment and employed at the only job I could find -- on the janitorial crew at a nearby high school. My plan was to save up enough money to get back into school, but I was barely making enough to get by. The day my mother died, my aunt called the dorm to tell me. That's when my family learned I was no longer in school. Since I had left no forwarding address or phone number, I didn't find out about my mother's death until two days after her funeral when I called home to talk to her. Stu answered the phone. He called me a liar and told me not to bother to come home. I thought I'd hit bottom, but apparently there was still more room to fall. Later that same week Tennys, my girlfriend back in Alabama, whom I had dated for nearly four years, sent me a letter informing me of her recent engagement to a promising young chiropractor. I'm ashamed of what happened next. I now believe that under the right circumstances we are all capable of things we'd never think possible. In the last year I had struggled with depression. But now, with the added grief, loneliness and rejection, I began having thoughts of ending my life. At first it was no more than an errant spark, quickly extinguished. But as my depression deepened, the idea began to take root. The night this story begins I had arrived at work only to be yelled at by a crazy English teacher who accused me of stealing a classroom CD player. I knew nothing of the player, had never even noticed it, but she insisted that I was the only one with access to her room and she swore I'd be fired and reported to the police if I didn't return it by the next day. Later that evening, as I cleaned toilets, I decided this would be my last night of pain. That was where my mind was when my car broke down on the way home from work. God kicking me one last time, I thought. The truth was He had other plans. My mother used to say, "Man's extremities are God's opportunities." She also used to say, "Be kind to everyone -- you don't know what cross they're bearing and how sweet that kind word might ring." That night proved both pieces of wisdom true. That night was the start of a journey that taught me that one truth can change everything. It was the night I found Macy. And it was the Christmas season that Macy found Noel. Copyright (c) 2006 by Richard Paul Evans Excerpted from Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.