“True Love: 12 Christmas Stories, My True Love Gave to Me” by Ben Bongers

True Love: 12 Christmas Stories, My True Love Gave To Me

Ben Bongers
En Route Books & Media (2022)
ISBN: 978-1956715859
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (09/2022)

All I can say about this book is…. I LOVE IT!!! Never have I read a book of short stories where tears streamed down my face almost the entire time and yet the whole experience made me happy. This book was written from a husband to his wife over a period of 12 years using the words of a beloved Christmas carol and, in my opinion, the author hit this one out of the park. The book is all about love and hope and inspiration and it is incredible.

Ben Bongers has taken some of our world’s saddest, most depressing topics; war, medical conditions, family, and the list goes on and he has turned those moments into some of the most beautiful and inspirational short stories this reader has ever seen. According to the song, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” each of the verses holds a special meaning that I never even knew about. I just thought it was a song. Each of the verses symbolizes something; for example, a partridge in a pear tree is trustworthy while ten lords a leaping are brave. He has taken each meaning and written a short story which describes that meaning, in the everyday lives of others, and he has done it in a hopeful, poignant, and inspiring manner that makes the reader, at least this reader, feel the love and the moral behind each storytelling.

As the author states in the beginning of his book, “life is messy and so are emotions.” This is so very true and these stories contain some of the unhappiest and messiest parts of life that one can imagine. In writing his stories, Ben has turned those parts of life into some of the most joyful, encouraging, and love-filled moments that you can imagine, and he is has done it with very skillful and descriptive writing that makes you feel like you are truly a part of the moment. The stories, although heartbreaking in many cases, actually bring the reader so much joy at how they turn out.

“True Love: 12 Christmas Stories, My True Love Gave To Me” by Ben Bongers is, without a doubt, the perfect example and presentation of how to find happiness in the most sorrowful moments and it truly shows us what the season of Christmas is really supposed to be about. I say 5 stars to this author and send my thanks to his wife, who was the catalyst for this book in the first place.

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