Read Our Simple Gifts: Civil War Christmas Tales by Owen Parry Online


A true holiday classic from acclaimed author Owen Parry, Our Simple Gifts is a heartwarming collection of four Christmas stories set during the Civil War. A writer whose work has been called, “gripping” (Washington Post), “top-notch” (Chicago Tribune), and “marvelous historical fiction” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Parry brings us a moving quartet of unforgettable tales thatA true holiday classic from acclaimed author Owen Parry, Our Simple Gifts is a heartwarming collection of four Christmas stories set during the Civil War. A writer whose work has been called, “gripping” (Washington Post), “top-notch” (Chicago Tribune), and “marvelous historical fiction” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Parry brings us a moving quartet of unforgettable tales that celebrate the simple and often forgotten pleasures of generosity, friends, kindness, and family. Our Simple Gifts is a wonderful gift of hope and joy from an unparalleled storyteller....

Title : Our Simple Gifts: Civil War Christmas Tales
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060013783
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Our Simple Gifts: Civil War Christmas Tales Reviews

  • Jessaka
    2018-08-19 11:04

    I have never read anything by Owen Parry before, but this book was recommended to me by one of the Goodread's reviewers. I found Parry's prose to be lyrical, very beautiful. And the stories are well thought out, historical, and heartwarming.This book reminds me of a book that I read back in the 1960s that was about a family who kept a light in the window for the return of their son. At least that is how I remember it. It could have been a Christmas war story, but all I remember is the lights, which were either candles or lanterns. I wish I knew the name of that book, but this book by Parry will also remain in my memory. In the first story, a man who had fought in the war, who had lost his arm in battle and had learned that his betrothed has died, heads home for Christmas. He gets a ride part of the way, but due to a snow storm he can't find anyone who will take him the rest of the way, so be begins trudging through the snow storm, risking his life."He was thinking as a man with two arms and two hands though. And it was hard to nudge a drooping scarf back over the ears or to catch a hat about to blow away, to brush off a weight of snow from chest and shoulders and close a collar again with a lone hand burdened bag. And it was the queerest thing. His missing arm felt colder than the arm of flesh."When he thinks he can go no further, he sees a light in a window and knocks on the cabin door. A woman answers the door and allows him to spent the night, saving his life.This was my favorite story in the book, but the others are just as heart warming, and show a wonderful side of humanity, the gift of love. One story is about a Jewish immigrant, another a solder who comes home and has a long talk with his grandmother whom he loves dearly, and last story is about the freeing of the slaves. All stories show how each person, during this time of war, spends Christmas.I loved this book as much as I loved some others that I have read, well almost. Beginning with my favorites: "A Christmas Memory," "One Christmas Day," "A Christmas Cup of Tea," "Christmas in the Plains," "The House without a Christmas Tree," "A Child's Christmas in Wales," and "A Christmas Card." But all of those books can be read to children, while I would not suggest reading this book to the young.

  • Linda
    2018-07-24 10:49

    Written in 2002, Owen Parry's Our Simple Gifts: Civil War Christmas Tales contains four stories from a war fought 150 years ago. A Union soldier, haunted by loss, struggles to return home through a Christmas Eve snowstorm; a Confederate soldier released from a brutal prison camp has a Christmas night reunion with his grandmother, the person he loves most; an immigrant soldier plans a Christmas surprise for his comrades; a freed slave struggles between feelings of revenge or compassion toward his former owner.Owen Parry sets the scene well for each story - amidst the hardships of war is a moment of 'the simple gift', the spirit of love found within the season of Christmas. In my own family my father came to Montana from the Blue Ridge mountains of northwestern Georgia 85 years ago; my mother's parents traveled from Kansas and Nebraska to meet and begin their lives together in Montana over 100 years ago. It is difficult to think that a few short years earlier their families might have taken up arms against each other; but that's what the Civil War was, Americans fighting against Americans, sometimes families divided in their sentiments toward the conflict. Perhaps that is why within Parry's telling, all the stories are simply recollections that could be anyone's brother or son or husband.

  • Graceann
    2018-08-02 10:46

    What a beautiful little book; four short stories set during Civil War Christmases. In the first and longest story, a Union officer is struggling just to get home to his family. In the second, a Union private has a secret. The penultimate story features a young Confederate getting advice from his grandmother on the subject of family harmony. And finally, a freed slave ponders the nature of forgiveness at Christmastime. These are unapologetically spiritual stories, meant to uplift. Cynics and those prone to saying "humbug" will do better to look elsewhere for reading material. For those who want to cuddle up with a cup of hot chocolate and a short, beautifully written book that makes no bones about telling us to love one another, it's just the ticket.

  • Jack
    2018-07-29 09:11

    The word wonderful springs to mind when trying to describe the stories in this little book.Ralph Peters, writing as Owen Parry, takes us back in time - 150 years - Christmas during the American Civil War. For me its as if I was standing to one side and actually watching the events unfold.The sounds, the smells, the colors - Peters seems to have this knack of capturing it all for the reader.

  • Daniel
    2018-07-23 09:04

    I am always on the look-out for short Christmas-related stories, and I liked the idea of these being set in the Civil War time, but only the first story struck a chord with me, and even at that, it was quite predictable.Not a collection to recommend.

  • Roberta
    2018-08-16 05:48

    Four very different short stories, all set in the Civil War era, make the reader think about the true meaning of Christmas. I liked "Tannenbaum" best, followed by "Christmas Gift." I remember thinking "Lo, How a Rose 'Ere Blooming" was a dumb song when I was in my high school glee club. It seemed amelodic to me. After reading "Tannenbaum" and finding a video of The King's Singers performing "Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen", I have a much greater appreciation of that song.I would definitely recommend this book if you want truly inspirational Christmas reading, not the "Christian inspirational" genre that is so prevalent at this time of year.

  • Rick
    2018-08-14 06:49

    I am a Parry fan and this certainly deepened my appreciation for his craftsmanship. The final story is the weaker of the four, perhaps only in relative terms, but the strength of the prior three more than carries this short book and hence earns from me 5 stars. Inspired writing and inspirational stories of the Civil War that emphasize the humanity. Parry creates a setting that I can picture and with people who seem real enough to care about. A perfectly timed read right before Christmas helped put me into the spirit of the season.

  • Cheryl
    2018-07-31 06:55

    So this was my lucky year - - -two great Christmas stories in a row (the other was The Christmas Train)! "Our Simple Gifts" is a series of small vignettes - - much like O. Henry stories - - that recount fictional tales of Christmas during the Civil War years. The stories cover a variety of characters, from a wealthy Yankee officer returning home in despair to an ex-slave who extends a kindness even though he knows it will be rebuffed. The stories are poignant, sweet, and full of the Christmas Spirit. Highly recommended - - I loved this book so much that I purchased a copy for myself!

  • Jacquelynn Fritz
    2018-07-29 09:11

    This book is four short stories about four men during the Civil War. They each in their own way bring the true meaning of Christmas to those around them. The stories are good, but I was left wanting a whole book about each man and what happened to him after Christmas.

  • Boyd
    2018-08-08 05:45

    A fitting read for the holidays. These stories teach us about charity, fellowship, the love of family, and forgiveness; during a time in the history of the United States, which is still felt to this day.

  • Sherri
    2018-07-25 08:13

    Short stories that pack a punch. Four different character stories in which you could tell how the Civil War affected them and humanity as they return to their homes or trying to celebrate Christmas, all while being reminded or remembering the real Reason for the Season.

  • Christi
    2018-08-10 09:00

    just didn't hold my attention

  • Veronica
    2018-08-08 07:08

    I found the book simplistic,inspiring as a children's story, but not thought-provoking.

  • P.W. Singer
    2018-08-09 06:12

    Enojyed it much. Room even "got a bit dusty" during one of the sadder stories.

  • Doug
    2018-08-10 09:01

    Lovely little short stories about Christmas, but taking place during the Civil War.

  • Greg
    2018-07-25 07:53

    Set of Christmas stories set in the American Civil War. I prefer the Abel Jones stories.

  • Hal
    2018-07-20 02:51

    too bad the series dried up

  • Hapzydeco
    2018-07-25 05:06

    A storyteller collection of tales celebrating the enduring spirit of Christmas.

  • Valli
    2018-08-01 08:09

    I enjoyed reading these moving Christmas stories from the Civil War time period.