Book Review - For The Love of St. Nick by Garasamo Maccagnone

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I recently received a copy of For the Love of St. Nick by Garasamo Maccagnone to review as part of Mr. Maccagnone's virtual book tour.
The first thing that struck me about this book even before I opened it up was the beautiful cover illustration, St. Nick carrying his sack looking out at me through the tree branches. This book appeals to me because of the way it reaches back to the beginnings of Christmas and the heart of what the season is truly about.

When his wife dies giving birth to his second son, 'The Commander' moves his family out of California to Michigan and a little hunting cabin on the edge of Lake Huron. Though the younger boy is in a seemingly constant battle with fevers due to his traumatic birth, the boys grow up pleasantly enough playing hockey and riding on snowmobiles while their Father works on his secret mission at the nearby military base. When the time finally comes for their Father to preform his mission, the boys are left with their nanny for the weeks leading up to Christmas. And when a fast fever sends the youngest brother into convulsions a visit from a Saint on Christmas Eve just before their Father's return home makes it a Holiday to remember.
For The Love of St. Nick is deep and does not take children for granted, I love that. The worst possible thing for a childrens' book to do is underestimate it's audience. Garasamo Massagnone grabs you from the beginning with the untimely death of the boys' Mother and holds you with honest, touching story telling to the very end. The only negative comment (if it can be called that) I have is that there isn't enough of this book. At 61 pages long with illustrations, I wanted more, though looking at it from a child's point-of-view it might be just right. My son is still a little young for this book but I look forward to sharing it with him in the future. It is refreshing to find a young person's book about the holidays that doesn't center around Santa Claus and presents. This book takes tough life events and intertwines them wonderfully with the Holiday season, incorporating just enough family, faith and tradition to remind us what the Holiday season is truly about.

About the Author: Garasamo Maccagnone is also the author of the novel, "St. John of the Midfield, as well as the childrens book, "The Suburban Dragon,"and a collection of short stories entitled, "The Affliciton of Dreams." Born in the wake of the Korean War, Maccagnone's stories derive from his life and his experiences from the last half of the 20th century. Today Maccagnone lives in Shelby Township with his wife and three children. You can read more about him and his other books on his website

For The Love of St. Nick can be purchased on and Barnes and Noble.

2 your two cents:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cover too, it's so rich. It sounds like a very interesting take on Christmas, good for young people. I also wanted to say hi; I'm finally getting back to my book blog after a hiatus that went longer than it should have.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the great review of Gary's book. I loved it too. I recently posted a video trailer on YouTube for this book. You and your readers can find it at if you're interested.


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