In this heartwarming novel, Greg Kincaid, the best-selling author of A Dog Named Christmas, revisits the early life of one of that book’s protagonists and brings us a holiday tale of redemption, hope, and forgiveness.
It’s 1962, and as Christmas approaches, so does one of the worst snow and ice storms in Kansas history. Without utilities and emergency services, it is a dangerous time for the residents of Cherokee County. For the McCray family, it is even worse. Big Bo McCray is the county road maintainer, and it is his duty to keep the roads clear—but all tasks seem more difficult to Bo and his wife, Cora, due to the recent death of their only son, John.
Losses begin to pile up for the family like the snow on their rural roads. John’s wife and two daughters move off the McCray family farm and return to Minnesota, leaving the youngest member of the family, 13-year-old George, behind with his grandparents. Young George has been hit hard by his father’s death and hangs on to the farm, the only thing left to connect him to his father. As George retreats into his grief, Bo and Cora’s focus shifts to their struggling grandson.
Then, when an alcoholic neighbor does a stint in the county jail, someone must care for his dog, Tucker, an Irish Setter. Tucker comes to the McCrays with his own pain, yet learns to trust George as boy and dog form a bond that helps George begin to deal with his grief and helps him take the first steps into manhood.
©2010 Greg Kincaid (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"This simple but strong story celebrates the beauty of everyday things, the power of love and humility, the singular grace that is a good dog, and the mysterious ability of that grace to transform the human heart. A perfect Christmas read." (Dean Koontz)
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
What an absolutely wonderful story in every way . . . 1962 in Kansas with the worst snow storm imaginable . . . Young George McCray is living on the farm with his grandparents, Bo and Cora, after his dad was killed earlier that year in a tractor accident . . . his mother and sisters moved to Minnesota, where her parents live, leaving George to have more time at the family dairy farm where they had all built their lives for many years . . . Bo and Cora, having lost their only child, John, George's father, in the accident, are comforted by having George with them. When an alcoholic neighbor goes to jail, he asks them to watch his dog (Tucker) while he is gone, and Tucker becomes a quick friend to George. The harsh winter is full of grown up lessons for George, who has to learn to get up at 4:30 am to do the milking BEFORE school. This is one of the best family books I've ever come across . . . not just a dog story . . . not just a Christmas story . . . a fabulous story . . . period.
The narrator's way of giving characters distinct voices and making them come alive made this listening experience most enjoyable.
The most memorable part of the book is when George and Tucker meet for the first time. George, a thirteen-year-old kid, is skeptical of Tucker, an Irish setter who has been tied up in his neighbor's yard, because he thinks the dog is vicious, but when his grandfather brings the dog home after the neighbor is arrested for some alcohol-related offense, Tucker proves George wrong.
As I said before, this narrator gives each character his/her own voice and makes him/her come alive.
I had no extreme reactions to this book, but it was definitely a worthwhile read.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes a heartwarming coming of age story about a boy and his dog.
I don't usually rush out for all the "best sellers", but give each intriguing book/author a look. I have found many diamonds in the rough.
This series of Christmas books are excellent. Not your regular super sappy stories that usually come along with the season. The characters are living in the real world with real situations good and bad.
Mark Bramhall's narrative is beautifully smooth and the inflection of his voice match's the tone of the book perfectly. Highly recommend.
In Christmas with Tucker we go back to George McCray’s childhood it’s the year George’s father dies and his mother couldn’t bear to stay in Kansas so she moves to Minnesota but George stays on the farm with his grandparents when the biggest storms in history hits their small town, this is a true coming of age book as George helps out his grandfather and the whole town.
After reading Greg Kincaid’s other books to see George as a young boy was nice, George had a tough time of it after his father dies and when an old friend of his father’s ends up in jail George takes in his dog Tucker the two bond like crazy and the last thing George wants to do is give Tucker back.
This one is about so much more than Tucker though; it is about community, grief, healing and hard work. You see flashes of the man that George becomes, as George grows throughout the book into a man who needs to help out even if other people think he is too young but when conditions go from bad to worse George really steps up and I think this was the beginning of him being a pillar in the community since we know he grew up and inherited the farm from his grandparents.
The storm was almost a character in the book and it made me think of the blizzard of ’66 (I personally don’t remember this storm) but if you bring it up during coffee hour at any café in ND you will hear story after story about it, also being from ND I was able to truly envision the obstacles a road maintainer and farmer goes through when this kind of a storm hits.
Again we have Mark Bramhall narrating and as with the other books I can’t image anyone else being as perfect a narrator for these as he is!
Greg Kincaid just writes the truth I have enjoyed these down to earth true to life books and I look forward to more books from this author.
This prequel to A DOG NAMED CHRISTMAS is a must read for all dog lovers, and dog rescuers. In this story we learn about George and a life affirming season that he spent with his grandparents and an 'borrowed' dog named, Tucker.
This coming of age story takes place in 1962, when George was 13, and his father had just recently been killed in a farming accident. It was also a winter of one of the largest snow storms, followed by an ice storm in Kansas' history. George took on many adult rolls to keep the milk cows going when electricity and phone service went down---hand milking and watering the cows became a huge deal.
Not only that, George's grandfather was the sole person responsible for clearing the county's roads of snow and ice. George became a truly necessary worker, with some creative ideas of his own. Through all these events, Tucker played an important roll for George in his learning trials and encouraging successes.
This book is a terrific read for dog lovers,family lovers, and everyone who has learned that it is the trials of our lives that teach us the most in life, and our faithful animal friends are often amongst are greatest treasures!!
This is a little gem. I first heard it on CD and then gave that away to someone who I knew would enjoy it. But I wanted to hear it again, so got the audio, and have listened to it at least 4 times so far! Definitely a must for dog-lovers; but even if you are indifferent to that species, the human story is good for laughs, tears, and just plain good fun. The storyteller (reader) is cast perfectly.
This is a very good, heartwarming story about a dog and those folks whose lives he touches. I would have given this book 4-1/2 stars if possible because there is a four-letter word in there twice. Very disappointing as this was described as a family story. It certainly did not add to the story. I don't appreciate this language and certainly do not want my grandchildren to hear it. Other than that, I enjoyed it very much. I'm taking a chance and listening to the next book ~ A Dog Named Christmas. Hope it turns about to be a true family book.
I was so touched by this story of a young boy dealing with heartache and decisions that are hard for anyone to make which make it even more heartwarming for someone of such a tender age to have to deal with.
The love he feels for his family, the farm and this wonderful dog, Tucker made me cry, laugh, cheer. This is a very special book for me that I will read over and over. I have also downloaded and read the other books offered here by Greg Kincaid and they equally special. I am excited for more.
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