A Few Christmas Stories

 Christmas on the Island by Jenny Colgan

This one didn't appeal to me. It had all the ingredients for a good Christmas story but didn't manage to add up to one. I couldn't get interested in the characters at all, and found the inclusion of a very detailed sexual encounter a bit odd. It felt out of place in this book, as out of place as it would be in the middle of, say, an Agatha Christie novel. But, this author, and this book, are very popular so there are lots of positive reviews out there you should check out.  

Beasley's Christmas Party by Booth Tarkington

An unusual little story about a man who appears to his neighbours to be weird, if not flat out crazy, but in the end turns out to be the best, and the sanest, of them all. A Christmas tale about how things are not always what they seem. It's worth reading and is available free at Project Gutenburg.   

The Burglar and the Blizzard: A Christmas Story by Alice Duer Millar

Pleasant reading for the holidays, if not terribly realistic. I guess a lot of holiday stories aren't meant to be realistic and that is exactly why we read them. A break from reality is good now and then.

In this story an upper-class gentleman, Geoffrey, returns to his closed-up home only to find it being burglarized. The arrogant burglar tells him he has a sister waiting for him in a cabin in the woods who may not survive the blizzard if left there much longer, and therefore Geoffrey must let him go, or go himself, to bring her to the house. Geoffrey reluctantly locks the crook in a closet and sets out in the storm to find her, not knowing if he'll actually find a girl or if he's walking into a den of thieves waiting to attack him. Arriving at the cabin he is surprised to find a beautiful girl huddled under a pile of coats, alive, but not very happy about having to wait all night. 

From there you can probably anticipate how the story unfolds, but if not it's available to read or download free at Project Gutenberg.  

I'm quite excited about finding this author. She wrote a number of novels in the first half of the twentieth century that were made into movies, the last being released in 1952. She also wrote poetry, publishing two verse-novels, one of which is said to have had "some influence on political thought at the time of America's entrance into WWII". In the late 1800s she studied mathematics and astronomy at Barnard and was influential in the suffragette movement. I'd like to see if some of her other work might have a little more heft than this one.

Christmas Every Day by Beth Moran

In spite of some overblown dialogue, I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the community they inhabit. The book is peopled with wonderfully human, flawed individuals. I liked their basic goodness and they way they cared for each other even when they got on each other's nerves. This is a nice, cozy-but-not-terribly-Christmassy story, perfect for light holiday reading.  


Brenda said...

Thanks for the links to the Project Gutenberg stories. Always love finding new Christmas stories. Have you read ‘The Bird’s Christmas Carol’? I enjoyed it. Happy New Year!

Ordinary Reader said...

Hi Brenda. No I haven't read that one, but I will look for it. Thanks and Happy New Year to you!

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