The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle is Joanne Huist Smith's recounting of how her family was deeply affected by the kindness of strangers. Getting in the holiday spirit was at the bottom of Joanne's priorities the first Christmas after her husband unexpectedly passed away. From Joanne's description, her husband was a huge force in her family, especially during the holidays. Without him, Joanne wanted to curl up on the couch and wait for Christmas to pass by. With a daughter desperate to come together as a family and celebrate and a son desperate to escape all things family related, Joanne's family seemed to be failing apart.
Twelve days before Christmas, a gift is left on their doorstep from their "True Friends". The Smiths, even Joanne, become intrigued with who could be leaving these presents. As the family tries to figure out clues and stage an occasional stake out, they slowly regain their footing.
I found this to be a charming story about the kindness of strangers and how even small gifts can have such a large impact on someone in pain. It was a quick read, largely in part because I found myself reading in bed saying "Just one more chapter then I'll go to bed" and then reading five more chapters. It is great story to read during the holidays, but it would have held my interest even outside of the holiday season.
I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.