This book has been sitting on our shelf for quite some time. I have no idea who gave it to us. But I'm sure it is a Christmas present from someone in our family. The problem with Christmas books is that there are so many of them. A few years ago we must have had a half dozen Christmas books littering the shelf. I think I took the lot of them to Half-Priced books. Most of them were short story books. Somehow this one escaped the selling and I'm glad it did.
I went looking for a book to read having just finished Where Eagles Dare. I spotted the word 'carol' and the green bookcover and I was hooked.
Charles Dickens is a little down on his luck. After experiencing great success, he struggles to write his next great story. Haunted by his own past and his future, while on a walk in the London fog, Charles Dickens became determined to not become like his father. In a great rush of enthusiasm, Charles writes A Christmas Carol and almost single-handedly sees to printing of his story. With the help of a local urchin boy and his close friend, Charles is able to overcome the greediness of his publishers and successfully sell his story to the entire public ... both rich and poor. As a result, he rekindles the spirit of Christmas that had been quashed 200 years earlier by Cromwell.
The author uses a lot of flowery words. I struggled the first several pages getting through her descriptions of things. Obviously she was trying to make it colorful, but sometimes I found myself re-reading a paragraph a few times to be sure I wasn't missing anything only to find out she was simply saying "the fog moved in." Although short, it is not a quick read. I think it is meant to be sipped and not slogged.
The book is fiction. The inside cover states it is fact-based, but I still wondered what was fact and what was reality. So I tried to do some googling, but I didn't really find anything. Mental Floss had a little blurb about Dickens saving Christmas, but that post didn't give too many details. I wish the author would have written an appendix stating what was fact and what was fiction in her novel.
The real question about this book is, "does it bring in the Spirit of Christmas?" and the answer is, "sure." The book gives you warm fuzzies and would give you even more warm fuzzies if it were snowing outside and you cuddled up with this book next to the fireplace. It has the same effect as watching one of those hundreds of Hallmark movies that fill the channels this time of year. It leaves you with a good feeling.
So if you're looking for a quick holiday read this week, and you find this book laying around, pick it up and give it a read.
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