Discussion #2 & Final Wrap-Up: The Christmas Sweater

What a quick and touching read, don’t you agree? So let’s finish up The Christmas Sweater with this final discussion & wrap-up. And now I present you with… questions:

  • Do you feel that Eddie finally learned something after enduring so much turmoil?
  • Were you surprised by the twist at the end of the book?
  • What are your thoughts on Beck’s personal note in ‘The way it begins…’?
  • How do you rate The Christmas Sweater on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst, 10=best)?

Without further ado, here’s an informal announcement for book #25: A Dog Named Christmas

Got yours? Let’s get started before Christmas passes us by!

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8 Responses to Discussion #2 & Final Wrap-Up: The Christmas Sweater

  1. maksbestfriend says:

    I am behind again, because of eye issues, I am hoping that I am able to finish reading this book this weekend, right now, I am not reading anything. I apologize.

  2. @maksbestfriend (aka “Becca”) – I’m so sorry about the eye issues and hope you’re feeling 100% soon. No worries about being behind, as I moved the timeline in hopes that we could finish another Christmas novel before the actual holiday. We’ll wait as long as you need! Meanwhile, please keep us posted and take good care. *hug*

  3. Dory says:

    * Do you feel that Eddie finally learned something after enduring so much turmoil?

    I do think Eddie finally learned something. He really had to hit the proverbial bottom in order to do so… but isn’t that how life often happens? The hardest lessons to learn are the ones you really NEED sometimes.

    * Were you surprised by the twist at the end of the book?

    I wasn’t really surprised. I kept thinking during the hardest parts of the story that since it began with him telling of the sweater and how he moved it from place to place over the years that it HAD to hold more significance than a reminder of just BAD things (the way he acted, the death of his mom, the look of disappointment on her face when she saw it on the floor). So I was glad to finally fully appreciate the scope of the entire story.

    * What are your thoughts on Beck’s personal note in ‘The way it begins…’?

    Well…. I don’t really know. I said on the discussion of the 1st section that I didn’t really know who he was when I started the book. I think what surprised me was that the story began with the loss of his Dad when in reality, his Dad didn’t die until many years later. Seems odd to write a story loosely about your childhood and have the wrong parent dead in it. I don’t know… can’t quite figure that out. It sort of baffles me.

    * How do you rate The Christmas Sweater on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst, 10=best)?

    A little better than middle of the road on this one… I liked it, although it really made me sad for a large part of it. I give it a 6.5. Had he not weathered and described that storm so wonderfully… it would be a smaller score. Tough, aren’t I?

  4. Dory says:

    Oh Becca, I didn’t know you weren’t finished! I don’t read your replies until I’ve posted mine so I missed it before. Get well soon, sweetie!

  5. maksbestfriend says:

    * Do you feel that Eddie finally learned something after enduring so much turmoil?

    Yes I think that you have to lean on those that love you, and you have to be happy even in the bad times because these too, will pass, the storms in life always do. You just have to be able to weather them to get to the other side.

    * Were you surprised by the twist at the end of the book?

    Honestly, I am stunned, I didn’t see it coming, but then again, I should have since the cornfield was but a dream.

    * What are your thoughts on Beck’s personal note in ‘The way it begins…’?

    I like that he was honest about his life and what he has done. I think that it gives some explanations to who he is as a person. I am glad that he was able to pull himself from his demons and go on to have a wonderful life with a wife and children and repair his relationships.

    * How do you rate The Christmas Sweater on a scale from 1 to 10 (1=worst, 10=best)?

    I give this book a 7. I don’t know if he is marketing on his appeal on CNN right now, or what. I think that it was a good book, but I can’t see it becoming a classic like Scrooge. As a matter of fact did you get the feeling like there were times that this book felt like that at points? Or was it just me?

  6. maksbestfriend says:

    When are we starting the new book? I have this on my IPod and am ready to go when you ladies are!

  7. Ok… I’m posting my comments here before reading Dory’s:

    *Do you feel that Eddie finally learned something after enduring so much turmoil?
    Eddie did finally learn that everyone deals with painful experiences at some point in their lives, and yet we all choose the way in which to deal with them afterward. After the death of both parents and denial of the Huffy bike that he felt he earned, Eddie was choosing to be angry and hateful toward others, including God. But then after talking to Russell and confronting the nasty storm he’d created for himself, Eddie was able to find happiness on the other side of the dark clouds. When Eddie finally awakened and found that his mother never actually died, he’d learned to not take her presence and all that she sacrificed for granted.

    Were you surprised by the twist at the end of the book?
    Yes, pleasantly though. I’m always a sucker for happy endings, and even though I find the oh-it-was-just-a-bad-dream thing to be a cop out, I was glad that Beck chose to redo his own reality in a way that he would’ve preferred it to happen.

    What are your thoughts on Beck’s personal note in ‘The way it begins’?
    In starting the book, we already knew the story was based on some form of real-life events. So I found it refreshing that Beck would tell us how he found himself over the course of time. Beck lived a hard life and needed to let go of so much pain that had become a burden over the years, and retelling his story in this work of fiction seemed helpful to him in taking that final leap.

    How do you rate the book on a scale from 1 to 10?
    This book is hard for me to rate, because I can’t compare the way Beck writes to the usual authors that I’m more accustomed to reading. In the basic sense, I thought it was good – but I don’t believe Beck would earn any major literary awards for his writing style. I’m giving this book a 4.

  8. @maksbestfriend – I just read your comments along with Dory’s. Sorry, but I hadn’t realized that you posted earlier! Probably because I wanted to avoid reading anything until I had my post out there, and now I see that we had some similar yet different views on this book. So interesting how our own life experiences give the book a new vantage point. This was a good choice for our club – thanks again, Becca!

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