Monday, October 26, 2009

A Victorian Christmas by Catherine Palmer

publisher: Tyndale

It's a little early, yes, but when Tyndale sent me this copy for review, I was eager to get started. You see, I am quite excited about Christmas: ALL YEAR ROUND! I love the music, the ambience and the glittery feeling you get. Pair my favourite holiday with my favourite period of history and you have a winning combination.

Here, noted Christian novelist and Christy-award winning Catherine Palmer has provided her readership with a glimpse into the lives of very different women who experience Christmas in decidedly different ways. Palmer delves into issues of social class and the restrictions placed upon women victim to a conservative structure, to spin a tale of determined women who find hope, love and often independence at Christmas time.

I most appreciated the first two stories. The first Angel in the Attic spotlights a winning and spunky heroine who is just as comfortable with her rifle as she is planning the annual Christmas tea for the local orphans. When a mysterious stranger shows up, Fara raises her guard but secrets will be revealed and her truest strength will get a chance to shine.

Fara is my kind of woman and certainly an oddity in the usual mix of Christian heroines who subscribe to the "angel of the hearth ideal" ( as befits the Victorian Era, ironically).

The second story is a love story not constricted by social bounds, Star is an endearingly vulnerable newcomer to the taut English Society of a high-brow manor. Promised to marry as a pawn to secure a symbiotic business deal in the best interest of her father and his English counterpart, Star doesn't count on falling in love with her intended's brother.

I read most of the stories during some train travel over the past few weeks and I was utterly delighted!

Consider these stories as the perfect stocking stuffer! Or treat yourself---coupled with a steaming cup of candy cane hot chocolate, you will relish the transport into a simpler time.

Kudos to Palmer for embroidering a perfectly Victorian atmosphere and peppering her snow-globe world with bright, resourceful heroines and dashing suitors at turn in top hats and cowboy boots.

Don't just take my word for it, here is another review

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