Review : Counting Candles by Dustin Bradshaw

Counting Candles

Title: Counting Candles
Author: Dustin Bradshaw
Release date: June 10, 2014
Buy the book:  AmazonBarnes & NobleCedar Fort
I received an e-copy from the publisher for an honest review.

Photo from Cedar Fort Publishing.

About the book:

As accountant James Smith approaches his 40th birthday, he concludes that his life is tedious, ho-hum, dull, and, well . . . mediocre. He can’t image the vast ways that those around him are affected by his simple, caring acts. This tale of the extraordinary impact of ordinary lives is sure to touch your heart.

First off, I am two weeks late to this blog tour post! I am mortified. Anyway, here I am and what I thought of the book.

You must have heard the saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” Counting Candles gave us glimpses of these different lives, of different shoes, showing us important lessons on love, life, and having faith in yourself. The characters were all connected to our protagonist James Smith who has struggles of his own. Nearing 40 years old, he started to look at his life and thought it was drab and dull. Unknowingly, there were people whose lives he touched, and these people have struggles of their own, too. So in a way, this whole story reflects how we’re all connected, all in our successes and failures.

The author has a way of making ordinary things still seem engaging. And by ordinary I mean feelings you have had at one point in your life, or events we have all seen on TV, movies, with real-life family and friends. More importantly, after reading about the stories, you did not just get a slice of life of different people; you are left thinking about your own and how you, as circumstances allow, have it easier. Or that what you’re going through is something that other people also do go through, enough for a writer to pen them down and weave them into one story.

One indication that I like what I’m reading is that I don’t get lost in alternating chapters. This book has it and I completely connected to the characters as they were introduced that I did not once flip back and ask, “Who’s this again?” I guess it’s natural when you’re reading about normal people like you. The characters are easily relatable and you cheer them on with each turn of the page. James Smith is likable because he seems to be a genuinely good person despite life’s challenges. However, I have to admit I rooted for the character of Shamanda the most. I don’t know, maybe because her struggle is something I slightly went through in recent past, that what happened to her gave me more hope that it’s gonna get easier. Also, one character made me tear up because he made me think a bit of my late father. If you know me enough, you’d know how much a sucker I am for daddy-daughter/children relationships.  🙂

I recommend you read the book to know what I am talking about. And I challenge you to say neither you nor anyone you know was mirrored in any of the story, and I bet you can’t.  This book is the kind that will make you feel good when you reach the last page. I had a great time reading it.

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