I bought this as a Christmas present for my daughter's family when I came across it in a second-hand bookshop in Whitstable. It's a short tale, which could be easily read - or re-read - in the course of an evening, about an old woman's memories of her Christmas as a child in the early part of the last century in a small country village. The memories are beautifully evoked in a simple, yet touching style - for example:
"Last night, the snow fell. And I began to remember. Remember joy and sorrow, nights and days, summer and winter and fresh, sweet spring; remember the tall old house, and the swing on the apple tree bough. The years roll back to reveal my childhood, set in a magic circle, bright, bright before the dark."
Besides remembrance, the themes are family, death, birth, love and the magic of Christmas. It's a lovely little story which can be read again and again as a reminder of this special time.
This hardback edition has been assembled very handsomely, with allusive little woodcut illustrations that enhance the tale that's being told.