My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
In a town called Christmas, a diner cook whips up a little magic. During a snowstorm, a pair of apartment dwellers forge an unexpected connection. Various New Year’s Eve festivities chronicle the highs and lows of two friends. Cheesy holiday festivities on a midwestern campus bring outsiders together. A girl on the run finds refuge on a farm at Christmastime.
My True Love Gave to Me collects twelve Young Adult stories about the holidays, about family and love and mystery and sentiment, and, you know what, the vast majority of these stories are immensely charming. They come off as real, and no matter how holiday-cutesy they might get, and they never descend into Hallmark Channel-esque schmaltz. There are people struggling here…struggling to make ends meet, struggling to find themselves, struggling to create better lives for themselves. And wrapping up all that very-real drama in a holiday bow works quite nicely.
When so many short story collections seem to unite around doom and gloom, substituting grittiness for substance, My True Love Gave to Me is a marvelous reminder that intelligent, thoughtful storytelling can go hand-in-hand with a little lightheartedness. Nicely done.
St. Martin's Griffin