Times are hard in London... dare they hope for a miracle this Christmas? Perfect for the fans of Katie Flynn and Dilly Court.
Christmas should be for the children – but with the Depression biting deeper, it looks like many in the East End will wake up to nothing on Christmas morning.
Widower Robbie Graham is out of luck and work. Some weeks, he earns just enough to put food on the table for his children, Ben and Ruthie. A treat for their Christmas stockings is a distant dream for his little family.
Local cake shop owner Flo Hawkins can't bear the thought of any child having nothing for Christmas. Along with her beloved sister Honour, she hatches a plan to bring some festive cheer to the community.
But maybe this year, it will be Flo who receives the greatest gift of all...
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Hope filled Christmas novel
Christmas is for Children by Rosie Clarke carries readers back in time to November of 1932 in the East End of London. Robbie Graham is a widower with two young children. Dock work has slowly been drying up since the beginning of the Depression and, after Robbie defended a man, he has been blacklisted. The kids miss their mother, are hungry and their clothing is worn out and too small. Robbie needs to find a way to provide for his children and, with Christmas fast approaching, he would like to do something special for them.
Flo Hawkins owns and operates a cake shop with the assistance of her daughter, Honour. They also take care of their invalid and demanding father, Ernest. Since Ernest had his second stroke that confined him to bed, his attitude and language have taken a downturn. What no one knows is that Honour is Flo’s daughter. Flo fell in love with Honour’s father, but he did not stand by her when she told him about the pregnancy. Flo spends her Friday evenings helping at Reverend John Hansen’s mission. They provide a meal everyday to the poor and on Friday evenings they have games and raffles. The money they earn from the raffles helps provide something special for Christmas for those in the East End. Flo and Honour would like to do something extra this year for the kids in the area. Life is hard for those in the East End, but they have each other. Neighbors, friends and family come together to help each other out especially during the holiday season. What happens when someone attempts to thwart the special Christmas plans they have planned?
I found Christmas is for the Children to be a well-crafted novel. The author takes the time set up the story. We are given descriptions of the East End, the docks, the shops, the homes and the people. Many of the inhabitants live in dilapidated homes that need to be torn down. Some do not have running water or indoor toilets. Work is scarce making it hard to provide for families. Ms. Clarke paints a realistic picture along with well-developed characters. I only summarized a small portion of the story above. We get to see things from a working man’s point-of-view along with a shop owner, children, a vicar, a nurse and an elderly couple. I like that we get different perspectives. It is heartwarming to see how they help each other and share what little they have with others. There was so much hardship, suffering and hopelessness. It was nice to see the characters develop as the story progresses. The pace is gentle. It is not fast nor is it slow, but it does suit the story. We see the importance of having hope, a good heart, and knowing right from wrong. Rosie Clarke created a novel that draws in the reader and keeps their attention until the very last word. Christmas is for the Children will leave you with a positive impression, a smile on your face, and happiness in your heart.