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The 13th Gift Audiobook

The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle

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Publisher's Summary

For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Greg Kincaid comes The 13th Gift, a heartwarming Christmas story about how a random act of kindness transformed one of the bleakest moments in a family's history into a time of strength and love.

After the unexpected death of her husband, Joanne Huist Smith had no idea how she would keep herself together and be strong for her three children - especially with the holiday season approaching. But 12 days before Christmas, presents begin appearing on her doorstep with notes from their "True Friends." As the Smiths came together to solve the mystery of who the gifts were from, they began to thaw out from their grief and come together again as a family. This true story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the heart, a beautiful reminder of the miracles of Christmas and the gift of family during the holiday season.

©2014 Joanne Huist Smith (P)2014 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"If there ever was a roller-coasterish page-turner of a Christmas book, this would be it. As a veteran devourer of Christmas stories short and long, fictional and true, I mistakenly assumed I'd encountered every conceivable plot variant in the genre. Turns out I was dead-wrong. Joanne Hurst Smith's wondrous story hit me from so many directions, playing on the strings of so many emotions, that it left me limp at the end Quite simply, it is a masterpiece." (Joe L. Wheeler, Ph.D., author of the bestselling Christmas in My Heart series)

"The 13th Gift has a touch of magic in it. It's a lovely story that proves we can recover from any loss, strengthened by the blessings of others. It's a classic for the Christmas season--and all seasons." (Glenn Plaskin, author of Katie Up And Down The Hall: The True Story Of How One Dog Turned Five Neighbors Into A Family)

"For readers of Richard Paul Evans and Greg Kincaid comes The 13th Gift, a heartwarming Christmas memoir about how a random act of kindness transformed one of the bleakest moments in a family's history into a time of strength and love." (Book Reporter.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (59 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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4.5 (53 )
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Story
3.9 (54 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (11)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Book Lover 12-11-14
    Book Lover 12-11-14

    yayalori

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Very good book. I enjoyed every minute of it."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How real it felt.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When things became happy.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The only thing I had a problem with, is the reader sounded just like Rosanne Barr's voice, when she is being nice. It took me a few chapters to get her out of my head because I can't stand her. Very nice story, and it made me want to start this tradition for someone in need.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Bartonville, TX 12-21-14
    Susan Bartonville, TX 12-21-14 Member Since 2012

    Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love and Loss"

    This was a very heart wrenching book based on a true story of love, loss and a journey of the heart.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Castelluccio Randolph, MA United States 12-13-14
    Sandra Castelluccio Randolph, MA United States 12-13-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "A beautiful story! Transforming grief to joy!"
    What made the experience of listening to The 13th Gift the most enjoyable?

    A beautiful story! Transforming grief to joy!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The gift of selfless love


    Have you listened to any of Joanne Huist Smith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made my heart feel filled with love


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorraine 02-28-16
    Lorraine 02-28-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Depressing"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The person reading it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The 13th Gift?

    When they found out who was leaving the gifts and why this was started. It made you feel so good and makes you want to be a part of it.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Stop the whining. It was sad but the annoying, constant whining was like nails on a chalkboard. It took me several months to finally finish it.


    Was The 13th Gift worth the listening time?

    The story was an incredible act of unselfish kindness.


    Any additional comments?

    the experience was sad but the family kept together and helped each other cope with their loss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil C. Jacksonville, FL 02-03-16
    Phil C. Jacksonville, FL 02-03-16 Member Since 2014

    Phil and Judy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story, hard time on the voice"
    If you could sum up The 13th Gift in three words, what would they be?

    Good story, enjoyed the story but did not enjoy the reading of the story.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    A different reader.


    Have you listened to any of Joanne Huist Smith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mrsgrz CA 12-21-15
    mrsgrz CA 12-21-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story of grieving family"

    Narrator is author. She is fine-easy to listen to and expressive. As a grieving mother I could relate to this family's feelings. Story is uplifting. Felt like it was a little simplistic. Not sure a few days of anonymous gifts can be that life changing, but it was a nice listen for the holiday season. Felt like author had to stretch small moments out to make a book. Only covers short time period. Could have been a short story.
    Easy to follow and nice ending.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fletpa2@msn.com Modesto, CA 12-03-15
    fletpa2@msn.com Modesto, CA 12-03-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "good story, wrong reader"
    Would you try another book from Joanne Huist Smith and/or Joanne Huist Smith?

    no


    What other book might you compare The 13th Gift to and why?

    pay it forward.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration by the Author was monotone, and uninteresting.


    Was The 13th Gift worth the listening time?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I think the Author should of hired a professional, instead of reading it herself. There was no differance in characters, therefore hard to follow, monotone and didnt keep your interest. The story line was sweet, pay it forward type story during the holiday season of a family dealing with grief. For me this was an average read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan Plymouth Meeting, PA, United States 04-11-15
    susan Plymouth Meeting, PA, United States 04-11-15 Member Since 2016

    I loved the book secret life of ceecee wilks is ther any other books like that one

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "13th gift"
    If you could sum up The 13th Gift in three words, what would they be?

    it could of been alot shorter .I think way to many details.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    when they found out who was putting gifts at their door step.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bingo-Karen Haney Texas 04-07-15
    Bingo-Karen Haney Texas 04-07-15 Member Since 2014

    Reader, Reviewer, and BOOKIN' WITH BINGO BLOG OWNER

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A True Holiday Story To Cherish"

    Joanne Huist Smith’s THE THIRTEENTH GIFT is based on the true story of when the author’s husband, Rick, died suddenly, and how their family came to terms with it. Joanne was faced with dealing with her loss at the same time she had to help her children get through it and deal with the upcoming Christmas holiday. Joanne doesn’t want to face it but with Megan, who is 10, Nick who is twelve, and seventeen-year-old Ben, she is forced to do something. Her family is falling apart as she writes about how each of them is handling the loss. It isn’t until the first mystery gift, a poinsettia plant, is left on their porch 12 days before Christmas, that things slowly start to change.

    With each day and each new surprise, one by one, the family gets on board with waiting for the surprises and trying to guess who is doing it all. Each gift has a handmade card with it and it evolves into solving the puzzle as a family, even though Joanne fights it with every piece of her heart. As the “true friends” help this family, the Smiths find that they themselves are also taken to helping others. The puzzling gifts truly act as a miracle. They bring each of the grieving family members out of their own horror and into working and living together again. With the help and love of true friends, the Smith family eventually learns to cope.

    The 13th Gift is a wonderful Christmas story especially in that it is true. If this doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will. It is a fast read (or in my case, listen) and you just might find yourself wanting to do something for others as well. Trust me, the giving spirit of this story can really make a difference in your life as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhina 03-31-15
    Rhina 03-31-15
    ratings
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    "Wonderful story"

    I enjoyed every minute Of this story. Very inspiring and touching. I highly recommend it. You will Love it very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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