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|Miracle and Other Christmas Stories|
by Connie Willis
Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1999
Recommended by: Cathe Hoerth
Despite a certain amount of confusion over Joseph's age & the presence of the wise men at the stable (though, mind you, those are matters of opinion up to a point anyway), it makes a very good read. Some of the stories are funny, some are poignant, and some just give you things to think about, whether you ultimately agree with her or not. Myself, I'm just chiefly grateful for having my sneaking dislike of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" vindicated, in the same way that she also vindicated & explained my dislike of Gene Kelly in another book. Sometimes it's nice to have someone else put your opinions into words.
Anyway, there's Willis' usual command of the language and of interweaving allusions, as well as two lists at the back, one of her 12 favourite Christmas books and one of her 12 favorite Christmas movies. Huh. Now that I think about it, why didn't we get a list of her favorite Christmas music? That would have been nice too.
Anyway, pick up a copy when you have the chance.
One of the things which I love about Willis' work is that she has this ability to make observations about the absurdity of modern life. She doesn't make fun of human foibles, but she does hold up certain bahaviours for the reader to notice just how absurd they are. This ability is particularly at play in "Miracle" and "Newsletter", two of the better stories in this collection.
Willis is, by report, not an orthodox Christian, so her stories are not always sympathetic to all Christian readers. In fact, in "Epiphany", she lays into radio preachers. Nevertheless, she does love Christmas, and this collection reflects that love. Greg Slade
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