Jordan and Charlotte Holiday have two children, 13-year old daughter Amber and 11-year old Artemus or Artie as he is called. Every year on December 20th they commemorate the birthday of their dead son Andrew, placing gardenias on the grave. Andrew was Artie's twin brother who died eight years prior on Christmas Day. Sadly Artie's birthday is often overlooked because of the tragic events of that date. Living in Salt Lake City, their lives are forever changed when Artie encounters Lawrence “Chess” Folsom, a runaway orphan who has been working in partnership with his uncle Boone, a criminal conman. Chess steals Artie's shoes, pants, and jacket from a store dressing room before fleeing the shopping mall. Artie chases down the thief and the two boys struggle in the parking garage. The intoxicated driver of a pickup truck does not see the boys until too late and strikes both knocking one over a two-story railing and the other to the ground. Each is unconscious and has sustained facial bruises and cuts.
The most curious fact is the remarkable resemblance the two bear to each other, so much so, Chess is mistaken for Artie and taken to the hospital with the Holiday family at his side. Outside the garage amongst the shrubbery Artie is picked up and carried away by Boone. When Artie awakens he is 400 miles away in Las Vegas. Shaken and distraught he quickly informs Boone of the mistake. The conman recognizes the error and means to solve the problem one way or another. He attempts to tie the boy's limbs with twine from the trunk of the car. Artie runs for his life and manages to find a police station on the Vegas strip. Chess is brought to the Holiday home and treated like the family son he is believed to be. He is given birthday gifts and doted on due to his countenance altering injuries. He goes along with the strange scenario being played out realizing he has been mistaken for the boy whose clothing he stole. Artie being held by the Vegas police is suspected as the accomplice of Boone, a wanted felon. As they attempt to restrain him he manages to flee the minimum-security juvenile facility and climb into the back of the covered bed of a truck with Utah plates.
Boone takes immediate action driving to Salt Lake City to the address Artie had given him. He wants Chess back and thinks he can somehow locate him. Boone does find his nephew but Chess wants nothing to do with the violent criminal from his past. Artie manages to barely survive frostbite and exhaustion arriving in Salt Lake City just before Christmas. The two boys come face to face with the dangerous Boone in the Holiday house he is burglarizing. By a strange quirk of fate the Holiday family will be whole again on Christmas through a one in a billion twist of fate.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher