I enjoyed each of these books individually and as a group. They are all separate from one another but work well as a collection of Christmas novellas. Each story is different, the characters unique, and the settings perfect for Victorian Christmas.
The trials endured through each story were both heartfelt, and at times, heartbreaking. While the women face arranged marriages, loss, and poverty, they never lose sight of God and His ability to bring them through the Christmas season. The men are strong, capable and I think they swept the women off their feet at least once in each novella ( I love that part! I’m a hopeless romantic and not afraid to admit it. )
Since these are Dickens Christmas novellas, the history of Dickens brings a nice surprise to each story and I enjoyed the fact that each woman either had a copy of a Dickens novel or had something that represented Dickens in the storyline. It made me want to go read every Dickens book I could get my hands on.
For there to be nine novellas in this collection, no two stories were the same. Each set of characters faced different circumstances, different troubles, and the conflict was solved with the satisfaction of God’s grace. It was nice to read a set of stories that did not focus singularly on the richness of high society. There was a nice balance of poverty, whether the women were helping children at the ragged school as Beatrix Kent did in Father Christmas or they made their way from poverty to working class like Melisande in The Perfect Christmas. This collection of stories has a deeper meaning than rich women looking for husbands to care for them. These are all independent women, who in fact, are not looking for husbands at all. I think that is one of the most fun aspects of this collection. No one is seeking love, but love finds them anyway. Through God and prayer, problems are solved and love is granted.
I love Christmas stories and this collection definitely set me up for the season. I’m sure I will be back to read it again and again through the years. Each story is in itself a quick read, but the entire collection of nine novellas will keep you busy for quite some time. Rest assured that you will not mind in the least. Each author brings their own voice to their story and a fresh perspective to the Christmas season. You will encounter everything from snowball fights to paper boats. The spirit of God and Christmas is dominant but not overpowering. A highly recommended collection for your Christmas reading.
Blurb courtesy of Amazon.
Experience a Dickens of a Christmas
Faced with the daily extremes of gluttony and want in the Victorian Era, nine women seek to create the perfect Christmas celebrations. But will expectations and pride cause them to overlook imperfect men who offer true love?
Paper Snowflake Christmas by Vanessa Riley
1837 Framlingham, England
How can widow Ophelia Hanover give her son a perfect Christmas when his guardian, the Earl of Litton, arrives early to take permeant custody of the boy?
One Golden Ring by C.J. Chase
1855 Devonshire, England
Wounded soldier Tristram Nowell returns home to indulge his mother’s wish for a family Christmas—and encounters Marianna Granville. Can he forgive the former heiress who jilted him years before?
Love Brick by Brick by Kathleen L. Maher
1857 Elmira, New York
SarahAnn Winnifred overcomes orphanhood apprenticing with pioneering doctors. Rufus Sedgwick, relocating his English estate, seeks help for his ailing Mum. Christmas reveals the secret wish of both hearts—for love.
The Sugarplum Ladies by Carrie Fancett Pagels
1867 Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Detroit, Michigan
When Canadian barrister Percy Gladstone finds his aristocratic British family unexpectedly descending upon him for Christmas, he turns to American social reformer Eugenie Mott and her fledgling catering crew for help.
Star of Wonder by Susanne Dietze
1875 County Durham, England
This Yuletide, Bennet Hett, Viscount Harwood, offers Lady Celeste Sidwell matrimony and the Star of Wonder diamond necklace, as their fathers arranged. When the diamond disappears, will they find a greater treasure?
Father Christmas by Lorna Seilstad
Chicago, Christmas 1880
Widowed harpist Beatrix Kent believes love can only come once in a lifetime, but this Christmas, carpenter Hugo Sherman hopes to pull on the musician’s heartstrings and prove her wrong.
The Perfect Christmas by Erica Vetsch
Melisande Verity might be in over her head trying to create the perfect Christmas window display, but if she succeeds, will she finally attract the attention of her boss, Gray Garamond?
A Christmas Vow by Gabrielle Meyer
London, England, Christmas 1899
Lady Ashleigh Pendleton is hosting a houseful of guests for Christmas when railroad executive Christopher Campbell unexpectedly arrives from America with a mysterious agreement signed by their fathers before their birth.
The Holly and the Ivy by Rita Gerlach
1900. Small town along the Potomac near Washington DC
A glass ornament. Love letters tied in red Christmas ribbon. Lily Morningstar and British antiquities expert Andrew Stapleton are drawn into a family secret that binds their hearts together.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley but I was not required to leave a review. All thoughts expressed are my own.