“A charming, comic, and ultimately poignant story about the creation of the most famous Christmas tale ever written. It’s as foggy and haunted and redemptive as the original; it’s all heart, and I read it in a couple of ebullient, Christmassy gulps.” —Anthony Doerr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot See
Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, and clever winks to his work, Samantha Silva's Mr. Dickens and His Carol is an irresistible new take on a cherished classic.
Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.
Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.
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Dickens lives his own version of a Christmas
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
A November warm day, Charles Dickens is lost in writing his next adventure for Chuzzlewit. However, his publishers show up. Chuzzlewit is not selling and they have an idea. They "suggest" Charles writes a short Christmas book. With a ghost. And it's scheduled to be read on Christmas Eve. Charles doesn't like the idea, but finds his family has become use to a style of living and he likes to make donations so in order to continue with life as they know it he'll have to write the Christmas book he doesn't want to write. His feeling of the book idea seeps through into his life and he'll have an eye opening season.
I've never listened to Euan Morton until now. I found I enjoyed his proper sound and accent from the beginning. It fit for the time setting and people present in the book. I felt as though I was sitting, drawn to his voice, listening to him tell me a Christmas story. Euan also gets to voice parts of Christmas Carol at the end as well. So well done with all the voices. Euan has the tone that fits a Christmas story, perfectly.
I adore Charles's interaction with his kids and wife. There is so much love there, and they have fun. But Charles always wants to give them everything, which helps drive home that his chapters for his current adventure isn't doing as well. This is what starts to drive a wedge between him and his family.
As Charles lives his life, after learning he will lose money if he doesn't do the Christmas book, you see sparks of what influences A Christmas Carol. He tries to teach his children there is more to Christmas than toys, in a means to try to "cut back". It doesn't go well, but there is truth in his words and a hint of what will come in his book he'll ultimately end up writing. I understand Charles's worries over income. He's seeing how his family lives and his attempts to "cut back" are squashed at every try. Though, in his families defense, they didn't know what he was trying to do or why. So, he decides to write the Christmas book.
Charles seems to struggle to find his own way through Christmas. He grows frustrated by the threat of losing income, and that his family has grown to love spending so much (they don't realize it). He tries to point out others and needs at this time of year, but it goes unnoticed or acknowledged. He wants his kids to see more in the holiday than what they get. Charles starts to lose his way and the feel of the holiday while frustrated with events around him. Charles goes looking for his muse to get through. This book is Charles living his own Christmas Carol, while crossing flashes of the story to come.
Samantha has taken an old tale and sprinkled it into the life of the original creator, creating a new story of her own with links to the original story. There is also history drizzled in for our enjoyment. Samantha touched on emotions in me. There were a few places that I smiled, but she did have me tear up as well. It was toward the end and with Timothy, of course. But it was the moment that felt right, like Charles was starting to make that last turn to himself again and even feeling better about himself. Then, in the end, I did cry. Such a great moment to be brought to.
This book felt true to the characters present and was a wonderful Christmas Carol rendition to highlight Charles Dickens. Wonderful story.
Dickens and His Carol
Fascinating reading for the Christmas Season ... loved it!