New York Times best-selling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas past and present with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem "Christmas Bells" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I heard the bells on Christmas Day / Their old familiar carols play / And wild and sweet / The words repeat / Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
In 1860 the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow's classic Revolutionary War poem, "Paul Revere's Ride", was less than a month hence, and the country's grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed.
In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia's music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children's choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss.
Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow's family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow's patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. "Christmas Bells", the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn.
©2015 Jennifer Chiaverini (P)2015 Recorded Books
No. I've enjoyed most of the other books by this author but not this one.
Only if they are already familiar with the author.
Her narration brought the story to life.
While the story was interesting, I did not like the way the story was presented. I was disappointed and may not get any more by the author.
I hope the author goes back to her older format for writing.
Enjoyed the parallel stories of modern day and Civil War families. Characters and dialogue were not as well developed as I had hoped
What a beautiful story to compare current life situations with a bit of History. It brought forward dilemmas and challenges in the Civil War era which seems so relevant in today's political challenges and intense dialogue of recent elections. This story offers hope and a sense of peace that "God is not dead nor does He sleep. The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on Earth goodwill toward men."
It took me awhile to warm up to this book. I was looking for 3 sections one after another, not intertwined. All in all it was a good story.
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