Christopher Fielding has no choice but to spend Christmas with his family in York, away from William MacPherson, the biology professor with whom he has fallen in love. Finding his sister Nan in some distress over her pregnancy, Christopher makes a wish that all will be well with her and the baby, and another that William, traveling by train to his family in Scotland will be safe from the blizzard raging over the countryside.
As Christmas Eve approaches, William’s train is stranded in snow drifts and Nan’s baby is about to arrive prematurely. Cut off by the weather from a doctor’s help, the family is in despair, and Christopher feels that his wishes may not be enough. Perhaps what they now need is nothing short of a miracle.
(60 pages, ebook only, MLR Press)
Review by Erastes
This is a winter’s tale, a Christmas themed book (obviously) and as so is warm as mulled wine and full of Christmas cheer with a guaranteed schmoopy ending.
The plot is relatively simple, hard to be otherwise in sixty pages, but it does manage to pack a lot into those pages, some conflict, two red-hot sex scenes at least, a dedicated love affair and a lot of individual characters.
My problem was that it clearly states that it’s set in 1922 but the prose and dialogue smacks all too heavily of an earlier era. It wouldn’t be out of place in a Victorian setting. This more antiquated feel could be explained by Christopher being a college man, but everyone talks like it, and considering this is the Jazz Age (even in England) and the time of the Bright Young Things it seems odd.
This illustrates it well, I think.
“What would you like to hear, Mama?”
“Something sacred perhaps, Silent Night?”
“Oh, something more cheerful,” Horace exclaimed. “Deck the Halls or something.”
“I shall play them both–and Horace I expect to hear lots of fa-la-la-la-las from you in particular. Charlotte can assist you.”
“Splendid!” Charles Fielding, their father, rose to his feet. “Let’s all gather around the pianoforte and have a sing-along. It’s almost Christmas after all.”
There’s no mention of World War One either, which is disconcerting. Christopher is 27, so he should have served, and his elder brother is 30. Yes, it’s only sixty pages, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that the country had been ravaged by the loss of a generation, together with the ravaging of influenza so these things needs to have some nod given to them, even if it’s only to mention how lucky they all were to have made it with no casualties. I don’t expect there to be shellshocked ex-soldiers on every page, but some mention would have been more realistic and stopped it sounding like an Alternative Universe.
The love story was nicely told, and as I said, the erotica is hot. All in all it’s a decent little story and I think many people would enjoy it. You may not fancy reading about the snow and cold in June (unless you are from the antipodes) but I recommend you buy it anyway, tuck it away and pull it out of your stocking next Christmas.