Monday, December 13, 2010

The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank



The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank is another of the several Christmas novels I’ve decided to give a try this year and lo and behold, I rather liked this one.  Liked, not loved.  The first person narrative voice is solid and the story itself takes place of a span of three days.  I could easily see this being a charming little made-for-television holiday movie, full of family reconciliation, holiday magic, and just a touch of sentimentality.  Most of the characters are two dimensional and, although they undergo a change, it is more extrinsic rather than intrinsic so the characters never evolve into realistic.

I will point out that I was halfway through the novel before I realized that the family wasn't Caucasian.  Not sure what that suggests, except that the descriptions of the family were either vague enough or universal enough to be unnoticed.  What I did notice is a personal discomfort with the stereotype of the titular character, from her speech to her personality.  Oh well.  I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that Christmas would come full of clichés, even if I continue to hope for more.

This one also has a few favorite family recipes, very traditional ones at that.  Rum balls and pecan sandies (called sands) and even a fruitcake that the author promises will please rather than appall.  Hey!  My daughter likes fruitcake so no doubt she would LOVE this recipe!

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