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Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 7.00 X 5.00 (inches)|
Series: Mt. Jefferson
Christmas, 1958: Elvis is on the radio, Ike is in the White House, the Lord is in his holy temple . but there is no peace in Mt. Jefferson.
In a small town where everybody seems to know everybody, there are still a few secrets. Three families find they are connected in ways they never suspected: an angry teen, a dying man, a lonely wife, a daughter in trouble . just ordinary people, muddling their way through ordinary challenges. Illness. Marriage. Bad decisions. Friendship. Faith. Forgiveness.
Spanning three generations, O Little Town is a tender tale of love and redemption . and a lonely gravesite where roses mysteriously appear every Christmas. It will touch your heart.
Don Reid, a member of the Statler Brothers, country music's premier singing group for nearly forty years, has established himself as a singer and professional writer in multiple fields.
As a songwriter of 240 published and recorded songs, many of them number one and top ten hits, Reid is the recipient of 18 BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) awards, 3 Grammy awards, 9 Country Music Association awards, 48 Music City News/TNN awards, 13 gold albums, and 8 platinum albums.
Reid also cowrote (with his brother Harold) the television series The Statler Brothers Show and numerous TV specials. He has published three nonfiction books (Heroes and Outlaws of the Bible, Sunday Morning Memories, and You Know It's Christmas When.). O Little Town is his first novel.
Don lives with his wife, Deborah, in Staunton, Virginia.
1.Whats your initial reaction to the main characters in the story? What did you like about them? What did you dislike?
2.What intrigued you most about the storyline that was based in 1904?
3.In what ways were the two different time periods similar? What were the most striking differences?
4.What did you learn about Walter from the way he reminisced? From the way he interacted with his family?
5.What surprised you most about Adrienne? About young Walter?
6.What were some of the main characters greatest areas of personal growth?
7.Which storyline was most compelling to you? Which one could you relate to most from your own experience?
8.Which character do you relate to most? Why?
9.What role did the Crown theater play in the story? MacAlbees? What are some of the buildings or locations that play important roles in your life?
10.Describe your first impression of Millie. How did those first impressions change over the course of the novel?
11.What role does forgiveness play in the two storylines?
12.What does the novel teach about the role of families?
13.What role does faith play in the lives of the main characters? In what ways do faith and family intersect?
14.What story element made you most uncomfortable? What made you want to stand up and cheer?
15.Describe acts of heroism from the story. Acts of cowardice.
16.What kind of sacrifices did the main characters have to make in this story? What does that tell you about their character?
17.In what ways did this story inspire you? Challenge you?
18.How did the imperfections of the characters play into the story? In what ways did they seem real to you?
Around the turn of the century, a member of a traveling circus troupe was murdered in Staunton, Virginia, the town upon which this story is based (and also my hometown). Her name was Eva Clark. Every year, mysterious flowers are placed on her grave. That was the inspiration. The rest is fiction.
What sort of research did you do as you wrote this novel?
I love research books. I have loads of them. I used them to check dates and become familiar with fashions and learn about common expressions from the early 1900s. I didnt have to do much research for the 1958 storylineI just referred to my own memories. I was only a kid then, but I was deep into that decade with my formative years.
Which character (or characters) do you relate to most in the story?
This may sound corny, but there's a little bit of me in each of the characters. In order to really know them and develop them, I think I had to become a part of their thinking process. I love Walterhis grumpiness and wisdom. His matter-of-fact look at life. And I found Dove attractive even though she was full of problems of the heart. I really liked all these people. Even Doris. (Every family has one.)
How did you approach the writing of this novel? Did you map out the story before you dug into the writing, did you follow an idea to see where it took you, some combination of the two?
I did my own strange outline. This wasnt anything like I learned in Creative Writing classes in school. I listed all my characters on a legal pad and drew lines from one name to the other and then wrote on the lines what their relationship was. Then I made notes about what I wanted to cover in each of the chaptersjust three or four lines to remind me where the story would go. I knew from day one how the last page would read.
As the book took shape, what surprised you most about the characters or storyline?
I don't think anything about the storyline surprised me, but the people did. They all were more complex than I first thoughtless black and white. There were no goodie-goodies and not a devil among them. They were the people next door and I was just looking in their windows.
How would you describe the role of faith in O Little Town? The role of family?
The whole punch to the book is forgiveness. EverEvery character whose family played a role came from a strong and good and faithful family. Some of the folks in the 1904 storyline didn't have strong family connections. They were just out there drifting. And without God we all would be.
What was the most rewarding aspect of writing O Little Town? The most challenging?
The most rewarding thing was seeing these people leap from my mind to the paper and take on life. That, and having people respond with a smile after reading it.
And the most challenging? Keeping the timelines in order. Making sure the ages checked out and worked within the time frame.
What do you hope readers will take away from the story?
I hope they're entertained, inspired, and moved. I hope they recognize in the characters people in their own lives, and perhaps even see themselves in there somewhere. And the most