27 Dec 2014


Books nine, ten and eleven read for this years Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge (Details on the right side-bar): Christmas Tree level ... Completed 

All three books (the synopsis of which can be found by clicking on the title) are short novellas sourced from the library thus completing the Christmas Mini Reading Challenge (Details on the right side-bar).


FIRST SENTENCE: 'There, are yer right, Mr Rathbone, sir?' the old man asked solicitously.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 55}: In the morning the thaw had set in and everything was dripping. Much of the snow had melted and there were long streaks of black over the hills where the slopes were bare. Trees that had been hung with icicles yesterday were naked today, branches unencumbered lace against the sky.

MY THOUGHTS: Hmm, set at Christmas but other than the book title and descriptions of wintry scenes aplenty I'm really not sure why this is described as a Christmas novella.

An murder story come what I thought of as a morality tale that lacked any sort of depth. The authors tendency towards the repetitive annoying. Still, on a positive note, a quick read of only 130 or so pages and I did quite enjoy the Lake District setting.


FIRST SENTENCE: Clarice Corde leaned back in her seat as the train pulled out of the station in a cloud of steam.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 65}: She smiled at Mrs Boscombe, deliberately avoiding looking around the kitchen, though she had noticed the good linen sheets that were over the airing rail had been carefully cut down the worn-out middle, and turned to be joined at the sides - to give them longer life.

MY THOUGHTS: Another less than Yuletide read, once again apart from the title and the fact the book is set at Christmas there is nothing festive about it. Still, it worked well as a 'Cosy' mystery.

Though I did quite like the characters, Clarice more so than her Reverend husband, like previous books in the authors Christmas Novella collection (as well as the above book I read her A Christmas Promise for a previous Christmas Spirit challenge) the strength of this this one lay in the beautiful descriptions. Though that said I was disappointed in that, set in the late eighteen hundreds, there was surprisingly little to actually place it at this time.


FIRST SENTENCE: For weeks, he'd pestered himself over the fact that he couldn't remember whether this anniversary was the fourteenth or fifteenth.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 73}: An empty bed. A single line of pairs of shoes. Drawers and drawers filled with no scarves and unmated socks and a shower rod without bras drying, like miniature banners, on rows of hangers.

MY THOUGHTS: Essentially a story of relationships, a reminder of just how precious life is. In parts a real tear-jerker of a read (I recommend you have a box of tissues at the ready) though once again its only real connection with Christmas was that it was set two days before. 

As short read (118 pages) for even a novella. Sadly as I find is so often the case this was simply too short, the ending rushed. But my main problem with the book was the reaction of some of the characters. OK, so the different ways grief hits people was arguably very well done but I inexplicably could not bear how remorselessly self absorbed the children were.


Kelly said...

It doesn't sound as if any of these really hit the mark as Christmas stories. At least they fulfilled the challenge for you.

Literary Feline said...

I've noticed that about Perry's Christmas labeled books too--they aren't all that Christmas-y. It's been ages since I last read one of her books.

Mictchard as a gift for writing tear jerkers, doesn't she?

Tracy Terry said...

The first of JMs books I've read but I don't think it will be the last.

Suko said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing your true thoughts about this trio of Christmas books. Congrats on completing the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge!!

Brian Joseph said...

Based on your comments I wonder if books are given a Christmas label for marketing reasons.

Too bad The Christmas Visitor was slightly disappointing. The writing of the passage that you quoted seems very good.

Melliane said...

Yay! More chrismas stories, that's fun! thanks for the reviews, I didn't know about these ones.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Sorry to hear about the repition.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Sorry most of these weren't really "Christmas" books besides being set during it.