Thursday, December 19, 2013

The True Story of Christmas by Anne Fine

Cover image for The true story of ChristmasIf you are looking for a sweet, warm-hearted story of a family finding the true meaning of Christmas, this is not the book for you.  The Montfield family go through the motions.  There are gifts and a dinner, and uncles, aunts, and cousins gathering together.  But there is very little good cheer.  One uncle is fiendishly sarcastic, while the grandma is as crotchety as Mr. Scrooge. The two cousins are a disaster waiting to happen. The poor mother tries to smooth things over, but has to deal with a broken oven, and a helpful relative who tries to fix it.  The main character, Ralph, just sits back and watches the sparks fly until it all comes to a head.  This is a moderately funny book.  Those who have trouble dealing with family gatherings will have much to recognize and chuckle about.  I am afraid, though, I am not quite jaded enough to enjoy it all the way.  I wanted some ounce of warmth or kindness, but the story stays stubbornly cynical to the very end. (133 p)

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