A Town Divided by Christmas

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Orson Scott Card brings whimsy to the forefront of his latest novel, A Town Divided by Christmas, which explores the intersections between the social and the genetic developments in the tiny city of Christmas, North Carolina. Through the story, we follow an economist/sociologist named Spunk who, in desperate need of employment, takes up a research opportunity with a genetics professor to study the reasons why people choose to remain living in small towns. Soon Spunk falls in love with Christmas and all its eccentricities, and she begins to uncover some deep-seated truths about its history along the way.

One of Card’s strengths as a writer is his ability to take intelligent protagonists and make them not only relatable but also humorous through clever dialogue and introspection. From the first page, Spunk pulls readers into a world full of scientific questioning, but in a way that is interesting and compelling for readers of any background. Though the book is more like a novella – only about 90 pages – it moves swiftly through pages of genetic calculation and data collection through a plot that contains great character quips and quirks, making it feel like a fuller text than it is. It won’t be the most engrossing book you’ve ever read, but it’s a quick and fun read with substance that is certainly worth the while.

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Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 98 pages
Publisher Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date 2018-Nov-06
ISBN 9781538556856
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue November 2018
Category Popular Fiction


  1. Phyllis Wisely

    Interesting to get to know characters who are more complicated than first revealed-like most people are. I enjoyed the banter between Eggie & Spunky and Elyon. The secret was kept for almost a century, but now that several people know you wonder if it will get out & if it would bring the two churches together. The book I read was set in Good Shepherd NC and was 134 pages.

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