Sunday, December 12, 2010

Zanna's Gift by Orson Scott Card writing as Scott Richards

When the Pullman family lost their eldest son Ernie to an unexpected illness just before Christmas, 1938, it was devastating to all of them, but especially to young Suzanna, their four-year-old daughter who shared a special bond with her big brother. A strangely gifted child, Zanna loved to draw, but Ernie was the only one who was able to see the pictures in the curious patterns she made. And he did not live to see her last gift, a Christmas painting she had made just for him.This is the story of that gift, and how it inspired her and her whole family, generation to generation, to keep alive the spirit of imagination, hope, and love, for Christmases to come.

Zanna grew up to be a famous artist, but in the hearts of her children and grandchildren, her nieces and nephews, that first painting, the Gift, was truly her most important work. Christmas after Christmas, as the long decades pass up to the present day, Scott Richards allows us to share in the warmth of a family bound together by the transcendent miracle of love.

Zanna's life, told in Christmases, will inspire you to keep alive your own family traditions, to share those loving moments with your children and grandchildren for years to come.
I liked this book, but it was deceiving. It says it's "A Life in Christmases" but I really think it just started with a one and ended with one, and had a whole bunch of talk in the middle. Nevertheless, it was a good book. I love how it ended, which, for me, is the key in whether I recommend it or not. If I read a REALLY slow or boring book but it ends in a really good way, that's what I go away remembering-- how fantastic the end was. Sometimes it sucks getting there, but it's totally worth it. This was that kind of book for me. It really wasn't anything special, I just liked that Zanna's gift (Ernie's gift, and thus Ernie himself) lived on in the lives and hearts of all of his family members, even ones who had never met him.
This book is just shy of 150 pages and well worth an hour or two of your time this holiday season. Happy Reading!  

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