A Town Divided by Christmas by Orson Scott Card – Book Review

A Town Divided by Christmas by Orson Scott Card – Book Review

A Town Divided by Christmas by Orson Scott Card

A Town Divided by Christmas

Author – Orson Scott Card
Publisher – Blackstone Pub
Pages – 144
Released – 6th November 2018
ISBN-13 – 978-1538556856
Format – ebook, hardcover, audio
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 3 Stars
I received a free copy of this book


It began with a quarrel over which newborn should be the baby Jesus in the town’s Christmas pageant. Decades later, two scientists arrive to study small-town genetic patterns, only to run up against the invisible walls that split the leading citizens into two congregations that can only be joined by love and forgiveness.

And maybe a little deception, because there might be some things that people just don’t need to know.

Review 2017

Doctor Delilah Spunk, known as Spunky, an economist, and Doctor Elyon Dewey, a geneticist are sent by their professor to a small town in North Carolina called Good Shepherd to do some testing on the folk who live there. They are sent there because people grown up, work and die in Good Shepherd, rarely anyone moves away. They are to get the DNA of all 10,000 residents and for them to answer a few questions about their lifestyle to see if a ‘homebody marker’ is present in their DNA.

The town is a strange place split into two after a falling out about which child should play the baby Jesus in the Christmas Nativity eight decades ago. It was always the child born closest to Christmas that got to play the part but two boys were born days apart and the youngest was ill, so the older child go was chosen. This split the congregation and now there are two churches with the same name and half the folk go to one and half to the other.

The book is very strange and I had mixed feelings about it. There was a lot going on, for me, too much for a 144-page book. The two doctors despised one another, well Spunky despised Dr. Dewey, whilst he thought he was God’s gift to all women and wasn’t impressed that Spunky didn’t like him. Spunky had her eye on another person – One of the residents.

The story was interesting but not being particularly into science, nor religious, I think it was a little lost on me. The characters worked well and the plot was intriguing I just don’t think it was a book that I full managed to get my teeth into and enjoy.

Reviewed by Stacey

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About the Author

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender’s Game, Ender’s Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools. His most recent series, the young adult Pathfinder series (Pathfinder, Ruins, Visitors) and the fantasy Mithermages series (Lost Gate, Gate Thief, Gatefather) are taking readers in new directions.

Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series The Tales of Alvin Maker (beginning with Seventh Son), poetry (An Open Book), and many plays and scripts, including his “freshened” Shakespeare scripts for Romeo & Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and The Merchant of Venice.

Card was born in Washington and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he teaches occasional classes and workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.

Card currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, where his primary activities are writing a review column for the local Rhinoceros Times and feeding birds, squirrels, chipmunks, possums, and raccoons on the patio.

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16 Responses

  1. Emma Mane says:

    The synopsis does sound a little weird for a book. I know of the author but not familiar with his work before.

  2. Yeah, the synopsis sounds very odd. Definitely not a book I would pick. I completely agree with you.

  3. DJ Sakata says:

    The premise is interesting

  4. Shana says:

    Looks interesting but likely not for me:)

  5. Gemma says:

    I’ve heard of the author but not sure if this one is for me after reading your review.
    Gemma @ http://www.gemmasbooknook.blogspot.com

  6. Nicole Pyles says:

    I think this book sounds pretty good actually! I’ll have to check it out!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Ahh, i do love science but religion is hard for me.

  8. The premise sounded a little weird for me. I think it wouldn’t have worked for me also.