Name: The Christmas Pearl.
Author: Dorothea Benton Frank.
Oh man! Was this ever such a great book to read! I tore
through it in absolutely no time at all! I mean, I really just burned right
through the sucker. I read it so fast that I am surprised that I didn't end
up with a scratched up finger in the process. It's a really light and quick
read. I would guess that I finished reading it in about a day or two. Of
course, that was only because I didn't want to end up with a scratched
fingertip. Trying to read Braille with one of those is really a major royal
pain in the behind. Let me assure you that I put it rather mildly when I say
that. Of course, all that is really neither here nor there, now isn't it?
Why do I enjoy the book so much? That's probably what is
uppermost in your minds right about now. That's a good question. Let me give
you the book jacket information. Hopefully, it might give you a bit of a
glimpse into the answer for your query. Here goes:
Theodora is the matriarch of a family that has grown into a
bunch of truculent knuckleheads. While she's finally gotten them all
together in South Carolina to celebrate, this Christmas looks nothing like
the extravagant, homey holidays of her childhood.
What happened to the days when Christmas meant tables
groaning with home-cooked goodies, over-the-top decorations, and long chats
in front of the fire with Pearl, her grandmother's beloved housekeeper and
Luckily for Theodora, a special someone who heard her plea
for help arrives, with pockets full of enough Gullah magic and common sense
to make Theodora's Christmas the love-filled miracle it's meant to be.
If the book jacket information doesn't help answer your
question, perhaps this might. It's a light read that I thoroughly enjoyed
reading! The plot is magical and fantastical. I will grant you that right
from the very get-go. However, it does hold just a tad of a kernel of truth
to it. That "kernel" is that there definitely are people out there who don't
truly understand what it means to be happy and safe with your loved ones
around you during the holidays. This fictional tale takes that kernel and
inflates it a bit by specifically saying that those who are wealthy and can
thus afford anything and everything they want so wind up being snotty
spoiled brats are the ones who truly have no idea what the real meaning of
holidays are. By saying all of this, am I trying to get all preachy and
moral? No, that's not it at all. Am I trying to borrow a page from Dennis
Miller who says he doesn't want to rant but then goes off on a rant
nonetheless? Nope, that's not my intent either. What is my point? Do I even
have a point? Quoting from The Red Panda, "Maybe I do and maybe I don't." If
I have a point, I'll leave it alone for you to figure it out on your own.
I see that it's time to cut to the chase, so to speak. What
exactly is "the chase" here anyway, you are doubtless asking. Well, the
answer to that enigma is simplicity itself. It is time for me to wind this
review up by answering a few questions. Question 1. Did I enjoy reading this
book? I believe that I have already covered that question. However, just to
make things absolutely crystal clear, I will answer it again. Yes, I did
enjoy reading this book. I really, truly so very definitely enjoyed reading
this book! Question 2. Did I like how the book was written? Yes, I truly
did. You see, the book wasn't written in any typical style. To be more
precise, it wasn't written in chapter form. It was broken into three
sections. What it most reminded me of was a book containing three short
stories that just happened to be linked by having the same characters and
place. Well, either that or a play. Perhaps, on second thought, it's better
to say that it was more like a play in three acts. Question 3. What did I
think of the overall writing style? That's really a very good question. My
answer is that I was really engrossed by it. I mean, I thought the way the
story was written was unique. I haven't come across too many stories
structured and written like this particular one was. Question 4. Would I
read this book again? That one is such a softball kind of question. The
answer to it is just so obvious, don't you think? Despite that, I will
answer anyway. Would I read this book again? I so most definitely would do
just that!!!! Question 5. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, I
truly would do just that without any shadow of a doubt or reservations of
any kind! Question 6. Would I recommend this author to others? Yes, I truly
so would do so! Question 7. Having read this one book, would I read others
from this same author? The answer to that one is a resounding YES!!!!!
YES!!!!! YES!!!!! A THOUSAND AND MILLION TIMES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Later.
Ninety-three-year-old Theodora is the proud matriarch of a
wealthy family. Despite wanting to think well of her family, she knows that
her children and grandchildren are, to put it bluntly, spoiled brats who are
rotten to the core. Theodora's family just doesn't seem to have the
Christmas spirit. This is a far cry from how Theodora grew up. When she was
a child, Christmas was a truly festive occasion. Her family spent a full
month preparing the house for the holiday. Part of this atmosphere was due
to Pearl, Theodora's grandmother's housekeeper. There was just something
about Pearl that helped to make Christmas so very truly festive. Going to
bed on Christmas Eve, Theodora wishes that Pearl were around today. After
all, she feels that, if Pearl were alive, she would show the houseful of
spoiled rotten brats what the true meaning of Christmas really was. As
Theodora will come to realize, sometimes wishes have more power than the one
making the wish can ever realize. Before long, Theodora may get way more
than even she bargained for.
Why are Theodora's children and grandchildren so stuck up?
Is there anything that Theodora can do about it? Why is Theodora's wish so
powerful? Will her wish come true? If it does, will her family learn what
the true spirit and meaning of Christmas are?
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