One of the things I am trying to do more to live better one day at a time is to make time to read more books. The latest I have read is The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank. Following is my review of her book. All opinions expressed are my own.

The Christmas Pearl  stars 93 year old Theodora, who lives in her ancestor's home in Charleston, South Carolina. She is not looking forward to the upcoming Christmas holiday as she will have her selfish, modernized, spoiled brats of a family all under one roof. She will have her children, their spouses, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren with her. She realizes that through some fault of her own, the family has grown to be selfish, self-centered, littered with problems (including infidelity, drug abuse, shopping problems, and kids being disrespectful of others).

Theodora misses the classic Christmases of the past, especially from her own childhood around the 1920's. She reminisces over the homemade gifts and garlands, the delicious handmade treats and meals, the simplicity but loveliness of the holiday. Most of these feelings she had because of time spent with the woman of her youth. Her own grandmother, her mother, but most especially her Grandmother's housekeeper Pearl. She wishes that these women were there to help her get through this year with her own family. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, she dreams often of Pearl who is yelling at her and furious at her for the outcome of her family's attitudes and egos. Theodora is in a bleak and depressed state in regards to this holiday season.

However, true to Dorothea Benton Frank's story telling magic, all is not lost. Using some help from Heaven, the magic of gullah and the lowcountry theatrics, Pearl appears  from the dead, on Christmas Eve to save the day complete with magic tricks up her sleeve. She offers help to Theodora and to Theodora's daughter Barbara, who is to take her place as matriarch of the family. Through the magic of the holidays, Pearl brings back the cherished memories and artifacts of Christmas' past, changes the attitudes of the entire family and brings back the magic of Christmas for Theodora and her family.  She shows how awful the family had gotten through an awful Christmas Eve family dinner which resulted in many tears and accusations. By Christmas afternoon, the family has gained respect and renewed sense of love and forgiveness with and for each other. All because of Pearl.

The Christmas Pearl was a very quick, feel good read for Christmas. It reminds all of us how we need to treat our families and what love and respect should look and feel like for Christmas. Frank reminds us of this in a funny, quirky, and sometimes outlandish tale of one family's journey to Christmas peace brought together by Pearl.  The one downside to the book is that I came away from reading it wanting to know more about the minor characters. Really the only two characters that you really get to know are Theodora and Pearl. I would have loved to go deeper into the character of Barbara and the other adults in the story. They seemed to be glossed over. But this was a minor detail.

This book was a great read to stay in the spirit of Christmas and to relax for a few hours! I would definitely recommend this!

Have you read any good Christmas books lately?


  1. Thanks so much for the follow. I am returning the favor. Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Thanks! Merry Christmas to you too! :)


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