Mr. Dickens and His Carol

A Novel of Christmas Past
by Samantha Silva
Following the flop of his latest book, Charles Dickens is given a month’s time to come up with a Christmas story, or his publishers will deduct funds from his monthly stipend. Dickens is hardly in the Christmas spirit, dodging mounting debt, relatives seeking handouts, and readers who’ve turned against him. Bah, humbug, indeed! Even his family wants nothing to do with him. Fearing the poorhouse, and with a severe case of writer’s block, he takes to the streets of London at night. How does Mr. Dickens find his missing muse and rekindle the magic of Christmas? That’s the delightful journey Samantha Silva takes readers on in her debut novel, weaving the people and events of Dickens’ life into his creation of A Christmas Carol.

I read the book in October. By the end, I was chuckling, dabbing my eyes, and sniffling, my heart swelling with all that’s good about Christmas. If you’re feeling like a bit of a scrooge, or just want a feel-good experience, I highly recommend this charming novel.

–Reviewed by Diane Holcomb, East West Bookshop

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