- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1530 KB
- Print Length: 161 pages
- Publisher: Cobblestone Walk Publishing (16 Sept. 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B075PSXFWW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #341,006 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Silent Night: A Christmas Story Collection Kindle Edition
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If there is a unifying theme to each of these stories, I think it’s not the stereotypical Christmas, of stockings hung by the chimney, or traditional good cheer. Instead each story asks the same question: what is the perfect present?
Often, that’s a gift that you need to give yourself. In the first story, Project Christmas, grieving widower Andrew struggles to honor his deceased wife’s love of Christmas while finding a new way to celebrate with his small children. In On My Own, Bella has spent her life sacrificing her own dreams to meet the expectations of her family and partner. Her Christmas gift to herself is a week’s refuge in an isolated cottage.
In other stories, the perfect present is permission to step away from the things you expect of yourself, such as the party everyone looks forward to except the hosts themselves in Cancelling Christmas, the traditions that no longer fit the four friends in Together for Christmas, the things your family expects of you—or never thinks to ask in Christmas Strike.
Sometimes, finding that right gift takes figuring out who you’re really getting it for and why. In The Greatest Gift, David searches for the perfect present only to realize he’s had it all along, while Mr. Bhadu in The Memory Purse knows when it’s time to pass a beloved gift along.
In several stories, looking for the right present for someone else forces people to look at themselves. Selfish, immature Dan examines what it means to be a father when he’s forced to look after his little daughter in A Christmas Present Called Abbie. In A Song for Christmas, musician Cal has the perfect gift, but doesn’t know how to give it to Hattie or her sick child. In All I Want for Christmas, new stepfather Keith knows what he’s supposed to get, but doesn’t know why—or how to handle his failure. A mother trying to cope with the breakup of her marriage and loss of their family holiday traditions is stuck with her two daughters in an airport on Christmas Eve in Finding Santa.
And then there’s my favorite, Silent Night, where two men who should never have been able to meet are given a gift out of time and place that shows them more about what they share than about what they will have to return to in the morning.
These little stories are small, human-sized glimpses into what Christmas is really about. And like any good short story, they have to be crafted more like poetry than novels, where every word has to work hard to condense a world of meaning into the tiny space available. Luckily for her readers, Wendy Clarke has just the right touch to introduce us to characters, convey their story, and most importantly, answer that question about each one’s perfect gift.
Whether you read them with milk and cookies while you’re listening for sleigh bells and reindeer hooves, or while waiting in endless lines surrounded by tired, stressed shoppers, they will help you remember what Christmas can be. And that’s a pretty perfect gift in itself!
**I received this book from the publisher or author to facilitate an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Project Christmas - The book story in the collection, about a father trying to make Christmas special for his children, despite them all still grieving. Its touching, and I loved the images I was getting as I read it, of this poor family. A great start to the collection.
On My Own - Bella manages to do what I imagine many people in couples wish they could do at Christmas and escape for some time on her own. I loved the descriptions of where she was staying, and really felt hopeful by the end of it.
Silent Night - Rather surprising conversation between two men who don't really know each other.
A Christmas Present Called Abbie - Up to this point its my favourite story in the compilation, I love Christmas stories when they involve young children that still believe in the magic of the season, no matter the circumstance surrounding them.
Do You Believe In Angels - A story within a story, wasn't too keen on this one at all.
A Song For Christmas - This one had my heart racing one moment and then going aww sweet and laughing the next. That being said I thought the focus between the two characters swapped so quickly at times I was confused which one I was reading.
The Memory Purse - Has a good sentiment within this story.
All I Want For Christmas - Short but sweet and brought a smile to my face really liked this story, involving a man's last minute hunt for the must have toy of the year!
Cancelling Christmas - Another enjoyable story in this collection, reminded me of Christmas With The Kranks, but on a slightly smaller scale!
The Greatest Gift - Just what is the perfect gift at Christmas,that is what David is trying to find on Christmas Eve, and I love the sentiment and what he comes up with.
Christmas Strike - Sweet little snippet of family life, showing what happens when a mother goes on strike one day!
Finding Santa - Oh I loved this one involving a family trying to fly to Tenerife for Christmas, only it doesn't quite go according to plan. There are some really sweet moments in it.
Together For Christmas - I was laughing while reading this, in recognition at how familiar a situation this must be for some people. A great last story in this collection.
So overall I really enjoyed most of the stories in Silent Night, they are a good mix and all rather festive. I think they are a great showcase to Wendy Clarke's writing talents, and I'd be interested in reading something longer from her.
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