A Town Divided by Christmas by Orson Scott Card

A Town Divided by Christmas

It began with a quarrel over which newborn should be the baby Jesus in the town's Christmas pageant. Decades later, two scientists arrive to study small-town genetic patterns, only to run up against the invisible walls that split the leading citizens into two congregations that can only be joined by love and forgiveness. And maybe a little deception, because there might be some things that people just don't need to know.

Details A Town Divided by Christmas

TitleA Town Divided by Christmas
Release DateNov 6th, 2018
PublisherBlackstone Publishing
GenreHoliday, Christmas, Fiction, Romance, Audiobook, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Novella, Adult

Reviews A Town Divided by Christmas

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    The scientific method collides with southern small town culture and a local mystery in this charming and insightful novella. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:Two post-doc academics Dr. Delilah (Spunky) Spunk, an economist, and Dr. Elyon Dewey, a geneticist are sent to Good Shepherd, North Carolina to do a genetic and sociological study. The hope is that by studying a relatively genetically isolated population, they can prove or disprov...
  • Whispering Stories
    Book Reviewed by Stacey on www.whisperingstories.comDoctor Delilah Spunk, known as Spunky, an economist, and Doctor Elyon Dewey, a geneticist are sent by their professor to a small town in North Carolina called Good Shepherd to do some testing on the folk who live there. They are sent there because people grown up, work and die in Good Shepherd, rarely anyone moves away. They are to get the DNA of all 10,000 residents and for them to answer a few...
  • Douglas Summers-Stay
    My wife got this book as a Christmas gift from the Cards. It's a romantic comedy, of sorts, about a sociologist who goes to study why people stay in a small town. She ends up falling in love with the small town and one of its inhabitants. The dialogue was fun. A point of irritation was the characterization of modern science as hopelessly biased, full of internal politics, and basically worthless. There may be subfields like that (and sociology pr...
  • Steve
    Cute Christmas read, and not at all what I expected from Orson Scott Card.
  • Shalini
    This was quite a different read, which tried to amalgamate science with religion. Dr Delilah Spunk (Spunky) and geneticist Dr Elyon Dewey were sent to the town of Good Shepherd for a study to find out if certain people carry the 'homebody' gene, where they live in one place all their lives from birth to death. Spunky being friendlier moved well with the townsmen and Elyon with local girl Jozette.My first book by author Orson Scott Card, the story...
  • David Read
    A very clever, very enjoyable Christmas storyUtterly likeable quirky characters. A clever story with a bit of a surprise twist at the end. Even a romance that's real romance, not body parts and heavy breathing. A little peek into Southern culture without condescension or sneering. Oh, and comedy. Card does comedy so seldom it's always a bit of a surprise, but there a few chuckles in this tale.If I had a carp it'd be that the characters' repartee ...
  • Jen
    I have read better by this author. It's not bad, just kind of average. The whole "Hallmark Christmas movie" joke would have been better if it didn't end up going that way I think. Or if it went that way without that joke being made. It was a little too obvious for my tastes. Not bad, but not absolutely smashing either. 3, slightly disappointed, stars.
  • DeeAnn
    Strange little book. Not at all what I gathered it would be about after reading the flyleaf. We read it out loud as a family and had some laughs.
  • BJ Haun
    I'll admit that my curiosity got the better of me on this one, but really how could I resist what was being called "a Hallmark Christmas movie written by the author of Ender's Game?"Card does Hallmark?A...dare I say it...Hallmark Card story?Okay, okay, I'll stop.Turns out, that is exactly what this books...except a bit better. I will admit that I probably haven't sat through an entire Hallmark movie, but I managed to burn through this little book...
  • Debbie Burke
    I read the ARC of this novella after meeting Mr. Card at Book Expo. The story is charming without being sentimental. The characters are quirky, witty folks who are fun to spend time with. In today's divisive and contentious world, this book gives hope that people of good will can overcome differences. A Town Divided by Christmas is the perfect holiday gift.
  • Tori
    Reading challenge included a Christmas book, so in an effort to avoid sappy holiday books, I chose one by a famed Sci-Fi author. UGH. I feel like Card wrote this hoping it would get picked up by the Hallmark Channel. So cheesy.
  • Jerrod Carter
    Pretty corny.
  • Angieleigh
    I've heard great things about Card, and I love Christmas books, so I thought I would give this a try. Especially as the synopsis caught my attention with it being about a town that was divided because no one could decide who would play the baby Jesus during a nativity play one Christmas. That led to the congregation being split and a secondary church being created. Both churches had the same name almost, just with slight differences. Elian is one...
  • Cesar Leon
    Something very diferent from the Enderverse but i see here more a contemporary novel with something sciences that the opposite is i think went see OSC in the front cover of any book. But is very funny to have for christmas Interesante leer algo fuera del enderverse por OSC perono tiene ese nivel de asombro que me dejo el resto de sus obras e suna historia contemporanea linda para leer cerca de navidad.
  • Jean
    I fell in love with this quiet little story. Card really captures the feeling of a small town and its inhabitants. I knew the types of people who lived there. I even understood how the division in the town could stay so firm so long. From this passage near the opening of the book on, Card had me hooked. "Only then did Spunky notice the churches. She realized that to Elyon, it was bound to look like a large number, but Spunky grew up in a church-g...
  • Elyza
    Actual rating for me is 3.5. It was a sweet story, but a little typical. Definitely not what I was expecting from Orson Scott Card.
  • Curt Evoy
    I have not read many OSC books. I know he is considered a great science fiction writer. To get in the Christmas spirit, a Christmas story written by OSC sounded interesting. The story of two post-doc researchers collecting genomic data in a small NC town during the holiday season did not interest me. OSC is a good writer. I found myself looking up a few new words.
  • Cathy
    This is a Christmas movie in book form. I was fun to read at Christmas but could be read at any time. It has a strong woman and other cute characters, a little mystery, and a little romance. What more can you ask for?
  • Nolan
    Why does the fictional town of Good Shepherd, North Carolina have two churches whose names are remarkably similar. One includes a bell tower, the other a clock. In the early years of the 20th century, episcopalians in the community worshipped at the same church. But sometime after 1930, another building was constructed across the street. There was a division in the church that was so lasting in its divisiveness that nearly a century later, no one...
  • Rosemarie Hamilton
    This is just a very delightful and funny novella by Orson Scott Card. I found the banter back and forth with the characters quite refreshing in its genuineness. Finding out what truly divided this small town of Good Shepherd, North Carolina; will absolutely have you saying, "wait, whatt? No way! So we definitely have some mystery going on here.Right at the beginning, we meet Spunky (really?😅) Dr. Delilah Spunk, and Dr. Elyon Dewey, both post-d...
  • Craig Childs
    Two post-doc university researchers arrive in Good Shepherd, North Carolina just before Thanksgiving to take DNA samples. The town is a statistical anomaly. Over the span of a hundred years, it has had an unusually high number of residents who either never left or who returned after short absences when they were young adults. The scientists want to find out if they can identify a homebody gene that is overrepresented in the population due to lack...
  • Nancy
    I found this little novella to be sweet and fun. I loved the characters. It isn't a traditional Christmas story although Christmas does occur at the end.I loved the Thanksgiving dinner section where Spunky notices how Eggie genuinely comforts people. It is a lesson for me to learn.I'm going to write out a lot of it here for myself: (This isn't really a spoiler, but could be seen as such, fair warning.)"...he not only knew everybody seated anywher...
  • David Dunlap
    Two post-doctoral candidate -- Delilah ("Spunky") Spunk (PhD in economics) and Elyon Dewey (PhD in genetics) -- are sent to the small town of Good Shepherd, NC, to research the possibility of a scientific basis for the fact that many townsfolk who move away from Good Shepherd eventually move back. The two PhDs could not be more dissimilar: Spunky is a down-to-earth 'people person,' with great interpersonal skills, while Elyon is a curmudgeonly nu...
  • Liz
    A sweet tale well told. For a decade or more, Orson Scott Card has focused his writing on characters who coldly and strategically out-think everyone around them and/or giant nation-states jockeying for power, both of which have left me stone cold. Here, Card returns to the gentle spirit that characterized some of his early fiction (like Folk of the Fringe and the first few Seventh Son books), focusing on a few characters who are certainly intelli...
  • Lisa Brown
    On a special assignment to conduct research in the small town of Good Shepherd, North Carolina, Dr. Delilah (Spunky) Spunk, an economist, and Dr. Elyon Dewey, a geneticist find themselves in a very unique place. A place that has been divided by Christmas for over fifty years, when a feud began over the Christmas Nativity for the Episcopalian church, and created a rift in the congregation that led to a new church being built and no-one crossing ov...
  • Roxann
    From the cover: It began with a quarrel over which newborn should be the baby Jesus in the towns Christmas pageant. Decades later, two scientists arrive to study small-town genetic patterns, only to run up against the invisible walls that split the leading citizens into two congregations that can only be joined by love and forgiveness. And maybe a little deception, because there might be some things that people just dont need to know.I received t...
  • Brenda Rezk
    I love most of Card's books, so I had to get this Christmas novella when I saw it. There aren't any aliens or people with special powers in this one, but it is well-written and explores human nature and the human heart. The characters are interesting. The main character is a female post-doc trying to navigate the complex power-structures of academia. She and a male grad student, who is rather like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, get assigned th...
  • Linda
    Two scientists arrive in an Appalachian town to research genetic patterns of small towns. As they begin their research they find that the town is divided by two churches that were once one. The churches are across the street from each other and they each have a Nativity play at Christmas trying to outdo each other in the process. The feud apparently started when in choosing a local baby for the Nativity two women had babies very close together an...
  • Kari
    I am always on the lookout for a new holiday read, and this one fit the bill just perfectly this year. I would have read through it in one sitting if I hadn't been so tired that night...Two post-doc students are assigned a project to interview an entire town and collect DNA samples to determine if there is a specific gene that encourages / compels people to return to the same small town where they were born. Elyon and Spunky arrive in the small m...
  • Carol
    This is another b00k set at Christmas. 2 post doc scientists are sent to a small town in North Carolina to collect DNA and stats on why so many of the children that leave the small town come back. Is it in the DNA or something else that brings so many back to their roots.That's why Dr. Spunk and Dr. Dewey end up in Good Shepherd, North Caroline - who's claim to fame is that they have 2 dueling Episcopalian churches, whose war began in 1930. Every...