The Noel Diary, a review by Tanya

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The Noel Diary (The Noel Collection #1)
Richard Paul Evans
Narrator Richard Paul Evans

5 hours
Published Nov 2017 by Simon and Schuster Audio

I’m not usually a fan of authors reading their own work. Often times I find their voices to be somewhat weak, their cadence either really slow or way too fast and their inflection really flat. That was true for me in the case of The Noel Diary. The author constantly sounded like he needed to drink water, so I wasn’t a fan of the audiobook and would recommend picking up the printed version instead.

The story begins with the MC remembering his mentally-ill, abusive mother and neglected childhood. After growing to adulthood and becoming a successful writer, his mother passes away leaving him her home and its contents, just days before Christmas. He returns to his childhood home to find a multitude of things. His mother had turned into a hoarder and since he has returned to face his childhood memories, he decides to take on the task of organizing and cleaning out the house. He finds a diary of someone named Noel, who he doesn’t recall from his childhood, and a young woman appears, asking questions that he has no answers for.

A bit of a mystery ensues in which he tries to help the young woman piece together her past, hoping it will help him with his.

I found it very interesting that in both this book and The Mistletoe Inn, by the same author (two books that I read back to back), the MC’s mother was completely devoid of any positive attributes, being either abusive, neglectful or both. Purely speculative, but is the author working through some personal baggage? Because that’s a pretty big coincidence that both stories would have mothers with such significant damaging affects on the MC. And especially for Christmas themed books. Although not all Holiday books need to be sweet and cozy either. Hmmm.

Beyond that, I found the story to be mostly dreary. I suppose some may find it uplifting to see how the MC works through reconciling with his past and how the diary put the story together for him. I just couldn’t get into the story itself and had very little interest in the characters and their journey.

Time for me to go find a Christmas Rom-Com and see if that hits the spot!

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