In these wonderfully poignant tales, Parry transports readers to a faraway world--a place fraught with despair and uncertainty, where only the holiday spirit could bring hope: the American Civil War. Told in the authentic voices of those who lived and fought during the conflict, here are four stories that embody the simple yet often forgotten ...
In these wonderfully poignant tales, Parry transports readers to a faraway world--a place fraught with despair and uncertainty, where only the holiday spirit could bring hope: the American Civil War. Told in the authentic voices of those who lived and fought during the conflict, here are four stories that embody the simple yet often forgotten pleasures that define the season. Illustrations.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-11-04 The traditional lessons of Christmas are revisited in this set of four inspirational stories from novelist Parry, creator of the Abel Jones series of Civil War-era suspense stories (Honor's Kingdom, etc.). Here, Parry offers other perspectives on the tragic conflict. In "Star of Wonder," the widow of an Irish coal miner takes an injured, sick officer into her modest home during a blizzard. The wealthy officer finds his notions of the Irish turned upside down, and takes pleasure in returning her kindness. "Tannenbaum" features a German immigrant reminding his battle-weary fellows of the mystical power of the Christmas tree. A Confederate soldier dreams of his grandmother, who persuades him to reconcile with his Union-supporting father in "Nothing but a Kindness." Only when he returns home does the soldier realize that he's been visited by a ghost. "Christmas Gift" explores the theme of forgiveness as a newly freed slave feels sorrow for his fallen masters. These deeply Christian stories display the solid writing and period detail Parry is famous for, and are studded with acute observations of the era's stratifications and politics ("Yankees weren't the whipping kind any more than they seemed the praying kind," a freed slave observes as his plantation is being overrun by Union soldiers). However, they may strike his fans as too saccharine. Though Parry's previous books also have a religious influence (Abel Jones is a staunch Methodist), they're told with a touch of irony that's missing from this collection, which is unabashedly full of holiday sentimentality. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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