Mr. Dickens and His Carol
Bills are coming due, Martin Chuzzlewit is tanking, and Christmas is right around the corner. Most people familiar with English literature know what will happen next: Charles Dickens will birth A Christmas Carol, possibly the most famous Christmas story ever, full of sentiment and wit and ghosts. In her novel, Mr. Dickens and His Carol, Samantha Silva has given us an imaginative take on the creation of the famous novella, just as full of sentiment and wit, and with a handful of ghosts for those readers who keep their eyes open.
In her Author’s Note, Silva admits to taking generous liberties with history, though she does stick close enough to the truth that her novel never becomes an outright fantasy. While I found the middle of the book to be somewhat muddled and the real history of A Christmas Carol to be more interesting, the novel is crafted with such joy and love for its subject that I couldn’t help finding my heart softened by the spirit within. (It helped a great deal that the first third of the book was a sheer delight to read, and I often found myself laughing aloud.)
This is an ideal Christmas read, especially for a year when we could all use a little joy and good humor.
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