Cover Image: Twelve Days

Twelve Days

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Member Reviews

Not my usual type of book, but thought it was time to try a festive read. So glad I did. This was refreshingly different and highly enjoyable. Great to have a modern take on the 'Scrooge' story. Main characters very well considered, loved the writing style.
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This is a tale much like Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' which in a way disappointed me as I would have liked it to be a bit more original.  It is is story of Christmas and good deeds and people who are driven by money and commercialism. 

There are plenty of religious references in this book which didn't bother me but I did find it a bit repetitive and as I do love Charles Dickens and his A Christmas Carol book this one fell a bit flat for me.

It was okay but not great in my view.
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Twelve Day is a holiday story about an awful woman who has a ghost take her on a Christmas Carol-type trip.  It's called the 12 gifts of Christmas and with each one she opens she is transported to a time or place to teach her a lesson.  The lead character was a horrible person so it was tough to feel any pity whatsoever for her before or after her lesson.  The story itself is what you would expect from a story called Twelve Days.
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The author says in his introductory note that this story is inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. And the minute the book begins, you can see the way it is going to proceed. It’s almost exactly like the Ebenezer Scrooge story, except that the magic number this time is not three but twelve.

Barbara DiSanto is the 57 year old owner of an ad agency. Coming from humble origins, she has achieved success by sheer grit and determination, and is now so focussed on greater profits and more business that she has forgotten what is truly essential in life. Her family and friends lie ignored in her quest for more business triumphs. Just before Christmas, a mysterious voice starts filling her ears with an ominous message: “before it’s too late.” Soon, she discovers what this message entails when a health scare ends with a visit from an angel who comes not with good tidings but with twelve lessons.

The title is relevant to the story in two ways. One, the twelve days refer to the traditional twelve-day celebration of Christmas that culminates with the feast of the Epiphany. (You might know this titbit through the carol “Twelve Days of Christmas”.) Two, it refers to the twelve glimpses of twelve days from the past that the angel shows Barbara as part of her life lesson. To be perfectly honest, while I appreciate why the number “twelve” was chosen, twelve lessons did seem too much, especially as the structure and flow becomes quite guessable after a few such lessons.  Each event connected to the twelve lessons was simple and straightforward, but the lessons connected to them weren’t really that guessable at times. The link between event and lesson seemed too farfetched. Also, unlike the Charles Dickens story where Scrooge learns from his own past mistakes, Barbara seems to be subject to events not just from her life but also from lives of random people in the past, and she’s supposed to guess her life lesson from them. A few of the past event narrations work really well, many don’t. I also wasn’t very happy with the writing style. There’s a fair bit of repetition and combined with the twelve repeated travels into the past, the book became a little too monotonous. 

The book is fairly religion-intensive. So if you don’t like much of biblical or Christian references in your Christmas stories, you might find the book fairly preachy. I’m not too happy about content that goes over the top in religious fervour, but I can see why it was relevant to the intent behind this book.

Barbara is a dominating, manipulative, rude and aggressive woman. A woman whom you would love to hate, she is so predictable in her nastiness that after a point, you begin to loathe her. Unfortunately, the feelings of disgust and anger created by her earlier actions are so great that even after her redemption towards the end, you don’t end up liking her or forgiving her as it seems very abrupt a behavioural change. As she’s the main character in the story and the others only pop in during their turn in the twelve lessons, you don’t get to see a deeper character development for any other person in the book.

I hate leaving a 2 star review for a book with a good heart, but because of all these reasons, I found the book an average possible-one-time read. It had its good moments but they were far and few between.

Overall, this is a story with a very good intention: “Keep Christmas well” (quoting the author’s words.) It reminded me of what my parish priests regularly say: let’s stop being driven by commercial motivations during the festive season and let’s put ‘Christ’ back into ‘Christmas’. The book might click if you are looking for a contemporary take on the classic story. (But remember, it’s not at all in the league of ‘A Christmas Carol’. And it’s not for children.)
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If you liked A Christmas Carol then you are sure to enjoy this modern day take on the classic story.  
Barbara Disanto is a ruthless business woman and has no trouble in sacking staff if they don't meet her exacting standards.  She begins to worry when shortly before Christmas she starts hearing the words "before it's too late".  She doesn't understand what this means until she wakes up with Rosie, an angel by her side.  She is taken to her home and beneath the Christmas tree are 12 boxes - each one contains a lesson for Barbara to learn if she is to mend her ways,
Thoroughly enjoyable book, easily consumed in 1 or 2 sittings.  Perfect fireside read.
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This book attempts to be a takeoff on “A Christmas Carol” by Charles dickens, but doesn’t quite make it. A bitter woman has an encounter with an angel on her deathbed who shows her vignettes of the past in an attempt to open her eyes and soften her heart If you are Catholic, you may enjoy the very heavy Catholic bent, but for me it was a distraction and totally unnecessary to the story being told. I would not recommend this book to anyone I know. Thank you to NetGalley for the advance read copy.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a free ARC of this book. I have chosen to write this honest review voluntarily.
This book is based on the idea of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, where someone without the spirit of Christmas is given an opportunity to redeem themselves following an experience enabling them to view the errors of their ways. It is the first book I have read by this author.
The differences in this novel - an angel rather than ghosts and 12 days rather than Christmases of the past, present and future - offered chances to introduce some unusual events, such as the Spanish Flu epidemic just after the first world war. There were some interesting ideas and I particularly enjoyed the visit to Bethlehem. However, I did not think the book was written very well; much of the language used and the narrative style was stilted and there were many instances of poor grammar, misspelt words and the visit to Germany in the second world war included numerous mistakes in the spelling of German words, including Bergen-Belsen which was repeatedly named Bergen-Belden. It seemed very unwise to describe removing a mask in an epidemic as 'courageous' and someone on dialysis would not be eating high-salt foods such as crisps.
This book didn't reach the classic heights of Dickens' novel, it is not a favourite for me.
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I really enjoyed this modern take on a christmas Carol and I read it in one sitting I couldn't put it down.  The story was great and although the reader has an idea of what will happen it had a great modern feel that made it feel new. I loved the characters, the setting, the story. I really enjoyed it.
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I received this book for free for an honest review from netgalley #netgalley

A wonderful Christmas book for the entire family I loved reading it once but I will definitely be reading it again especially to my boys around Christmas time.
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I thought this was going to be a play on 'A Christmas Carol,' and to a degree it was, but it was so much better than expected!  The updated version is more relatable to today's audiences, who may have difficulty understanding and relating to Scrooge's version of the story.  There is only one angel, who guides Barbara through her spiritual journey, and an ending that will fill you with hope!  One of my favorite parts of the story is something I'm going to incorporate into our Christmas party this year -- the 12 Days of Christmas sing-a-long.  :)
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REVIEW ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Twelve Days: A Tale of Christmas by D P Conway is a Christmas story  in the tradition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Barbara Disanto has reached the heights of the business world. She has money, power and team at the ready to carry out her every order. But just before Christmas she receives a mysterious message, “before it is too late.” Is it too late for Barbara to see the error of her ways and change her life for the better, or forever suffer the consequences of a life not well lived?⠀
This powerful and thought provoking Christmas story is destined to become a classic. Barbara Disanto is the Ebenezer Scrooge of the modern world. It is all too easy with the stress of daily life to fall into patterns just as Barbara did without ever being conscious of it. This book is the perfect reminder to stop and look at how our actions and words, or lack there of, are like ripples on a pond that spread and reach in so many directions. If you read no other book this holiday season, make it this one. This is definitely one I will revisit not just at Christmas time but throughout the year. ⠀
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Twelve Days: A Tale of Christmas (The Christmas Collection) by D.P. Conway. BooksGoSocial, 2021.

Two Christmas favourites, the Twelve Days of Christmas, and Dicken’s Christmas Carol provide frameworks for story about the heartless Barbara, a driven executive with both a career and a family.  Barbara’s guardian angel takes her back and forth through time to glimpse familiar and unfamiliar scenarios to help Barbara see the substance of Christmas instead of just the form, going through the motions. 

This fast, easy read is not completely predictable, as Barbara evidently has at least some redeeming qualities that escaped me. It is preachy, overtly Christian but reminded me a little of 1970s era "modern" Sunday School stories where characters were almost caricatures, to serve as better for teaching.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Twelve Days for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  #TwelveDays #NetGalley
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