Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
Published & Sold By: HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date: October 23, 2007
Genre: Contemporary Holiday Fiction, Contemporary Women's Fiction, Chick Lit
About The Author
Dorothea Benton Frank is the New York Times best selling author of eleven novels.
She has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Parker Ladd's Book Talk and many local network affiliated television stations. she is a frequent speaker on creative writing and the creative process for students of all ages and in private venues as the National Arts Club, the Junior League of New York, Friends of the Library organizations and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She has also been a guest speaker at the South Carolina Book Festival, Novello, North Carolina's festival of books and the Book and Author annual event in Charleston, SC, sponsored by the Post & Courier.
Before she began her writing career, Dorothea was involved extensively in the arts and education, and in raising awareness and funding for various non profits in New Jersey and New York.
Dorothea, who was born and raised on Sullivan's Island in South Carolina, along with her husband, currently divides their time between the Lowcountry of South Carolina and New Jersey.
GET THE BOOK: The Christmas Pearl
BARNES & NOBLE
Amazon.com Book Description:
Theodora is the spry ninety-three year old matriarch of a family that has grown into a bunch of truculent knuckleheads. While she's finally gotten the whole bickering brood together for the holidays at her home in South Carolina, the grand matriarch pines wistfully for those extravagant, homey Christmases of her childhood, this Christmas looks nothing like the 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 closest confidante?
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 loved-filled miracle it's meant to be.
My Book Review:
Do you cherish the Christmas traditions of your childhood? Have you kept those holiday traditions alive, or have they gone to the wayside because family values have disintegrated? What would you do to recreate the Christmases of your childhood? These are the questions and dilemma that ninety-three year old matriarch Theodora faced in The Christmas Pearl.
Ninety-three year old matriarch Theodora is pining for the Christmas traditions of her childhood. Back then, she believed anything was possible, Christmas was a charmed time, and the holiday preparations leading up to Christmas created so much excitement and joy. Unfortunately, the younger generation of her family, daughter Barbara's kids and their families, don't hold the same excitement and joy for Christmas. Their thoughtless and haphazard holiday decorations have allowed the whole spirit of the Christmas season to erode into blatant commercialism. The pitiful production of their family Christmas celebration leaves her feeling disheartened, she has tried to tell them plenty of ways to revive the beauty of Christmas past, but they have fallen on deaf ears, who wants to listen to an old woman's thoughts anyway? As she dreams of past Christmases, her long-dead housekeeper, Pearl, has been on her mind. With Pearl guiding the holiday preparations, the Christmas holidays were a revered time. Dreams of Pearl leaves Theodora wishing that Pearl was still alive and in charge, oh how that old house would rock with holiday cheer. Is she dreaming ... can it be ... oh my goodness ... Pearl's ghost comes back to assist Theodora in recreating her cherished Christmas traditions, and to teach the family what the true meaning of Christmas really is ... the importance to love and cherish one another.
As a longtime fan of Dorothea Benton Frank, I was not left disappointed by this heartfelt story. Told from the perspective of Theodora, the story reads as if you are sitting at your grandmother's knee listening to interesting stories of days gone by. The storyline was captivating, it made me think back to my own childhood memories of Christmases past, and yearn for those fun filled joyful times once again. In a time when long held generational family traditions and values are being swept aside for the hustle and bustle of rushing to prepare for the holiday season, the joy and excitement has given way to family drama, and the preparations have become a burden and bother, which is so sad. The author gives her readers a reason to take a good look at their own holiday traditions and values, in addition to encouraging their families to remember that the true meaning of the holiday is to be together, and to love and cherish one another. And if that isn't enough to make you want to read the book, the holiday food and goodies that Pearl makes is mouth watering ... the recipes are included in the book! This book is well worth being added to the annual list of Christmas books that you read ... you won't be disappointed!
RATING: 4 STARS ****