Book Review – The Christmas Gift
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Author: John McDonnell
As Constance sat at the beautifully appointed holiday table, she once again found herself the center of the neighborhood girls’ attention. Of course, being the most attractive and coveted doll in the house, this was a familiar position. Enjoying her perch, a sudden commotion in the kitchen pulled her mistress away. Moments later her mistress returned with a filthy street urchin in tow. Suddenly, Constance found herself handed over to the young girl who mercilessly pawed at her with her grubby hands. Just when Constance thought it could not get any worse, her life changed forever.
John McDonnell’s detailed and wonderfully textured descriptions of early twentieth century life, rich characterizations, and juxtaposition of the wealthy versus the destitute vagabonds engrosses the reader into a portrait of depression era America. Hopping the rails, working for food, and finding happiness in life’s simple pleasures transport one to a harder but in some ways simpler time.
“The Christmas Gift” tugged at my heartstrings evoking a number of emotions. Its simple yet touching messages lingered with me long after finishing the final pages. This and a wonderful feeling of nostalgia it induced are what prompted me to give this five stars. I really enjoyed this short story. “The Christmas Gift” is $4.99 on Kindle.
Note: A complementary copy of this work was provided in return for a review.