PRESS RELEASE: For December 7, 2011 Release
TO: Marion Star & Mullins Enterprise
FROM: Marion County Library
CONTACT: P. Alan Smith, 423-8300
SUBJECT: Library News Column, By P. Alan Smith, Director
It started back in 1843 with A Christmas Carol and continues to this day. Each year, well-known authors take a break from their normal genres and write a Christmas novel. A Christmas novel can be funny, dramatic, heartwarming or a tearjerker, but it’s always a short book designed to be read in one sitting, preferably with some eggnog. Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, a well-written Christmas novel can be just the thing to help you relax and step outside of the hustle and bustle for a few hours. Here are a few of this year’s selections, including a mystery, a romance, and something one-of-a-kind:
A Christmas Homecoming, by Anne Perry
In A Christmas Homecoming, Caroline Fielding travels with her husband’s theatrical troupe to Whitby, the Yorkshire fishing village where Dracula the vampire first touched English soil in the sensational novel named after him. Joshua has arranged to produce a stage adaptation of Dracula by the daughter of Whitby millionaire Charles Netheridge during the Christmas holiday, but after the disastrous first readthrough of her amateurish script, only the fact that the company is depending on Netheridge’s financial backing for teir spring tour keeps them at work.
As tempers flare and wind and snow swirl around Netheridge’s lonely hilltop mansion, a black-cloaked stranger emerges from the storm—an eerily opportune arrival, for this enigmatic figure, one Anton Ballin, turns out to be a theatrical genius. At the same time, a brooding evil makes itself felt. Instead of the theatrical triumph that Netheridge desired for his daughter, there is murder—shocking and terrifying.
Anne Perry’s ninth Christmas novel keeps us poised on a razor’s edge of suspense, hypnotized by a story in which the heartwarming power of goodness is challenged by the seductive power of inner darkness. In the end, A Christmas Homecoming lifts the spirit and rejoices the heart.
The Christmas Wedding, by James Patterson
The tree is decorated, the cookies are baked, and the packages are wrapped, but the biggest celebration this Christmas is Gaby Summerhill's wedding. Since her husband died three years ago, Gaby's four children have drifted apart, each consumed by the turbulence of their own lives. They haven't celebrated Christmas together since their father's death, but when Gaby announces that she's getting married--and that the groom will remain a secret until the wedding day--she may finally be able to bring them home for the holidays.
But the wedding isn't Gaby's only surprise--she has one more gift for her children, and it could change all their lives forever. With deeply affecting characters and the emotional twists of a James Patterson thriller, The Christmas Wedding is a fresh look at family and the magic of the season.
And, although it’s not a new book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is a classic and a personal favorite. The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.
None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.