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Publisher's Summary

Max, Leon and Matthew - together at last for Christmas at St Mary's, a time of conspicuous consumption, riotous misbehaviour and the traditional illegal Christmas jump. And this time it's intergenerational.

Donning her unfamiliar mother hat, Max takes Matthew back to 19th-century London, where they plan to deliver a parcel of Christmas cheer to his former friends but find themselves confronting the terrifying Old Ma Scrope in the process.

'Tis the season to be jolly. It's also the season of goodwill towards all mankind.

Pity no-one told Max.

©2017 Jodi Taylor (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D
  • Connecticut
  • 12-26-17

I wish I could give more stars than 5

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. It’s 10pm Christmas Day and the relatives have gone home, the house is clean again, and no one found my stash of cookies. I started this story and fell in love with Max all over again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Touching

Max takes Matthew back to early Victorian England to help the two little boys who were chimney sweeps alongside him. This is a sweet novella-not funny like the rest of the St. Mary's series-but VERY enjoyable!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 05-21-18

Go Max!

Sweet sweet Christmas Past story for Mathew and Max and my heart. Why didn’t I know this was published!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Total cracker of a tale!

Jodi and Zara are in fine form for this wonderful St Mary's Christmas Tale. this story exemplifies why Jodi and Zara remain my favorite author and narrator.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great short story<br />

these stories never grow old or get boring., even when the world goes white.
Zara Rahm is an excellent narrator, whatever century they put her in.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Motherhood Suits Max

I love the Christmas special editions. Spoiler alert! Max gets the thing she most wants this Christmas.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Always a fun read!

Granted it's a month past Christmas but this was my first chance to listen to Jodi Taylor's latest. I started it on my way to the office and couldn't wait to jump back in my car to finish on the ride home. Not exactly spoilers, but... yay Mathew!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Max And Matthew Go On An Outing

At Christmas Max agrees to take Matthew back to see his fellow "Climbing Boys" in the early 1800's London. They plan on a simple stop back in time to provide a nice meal and a couple blankets. Nothing dangerous, nothing that could get them in too much trouble.

But come on, it's Max. She runs into Matthew's old guardian/employer Old Ma Scrope. Non-interference kind of drops by the wayside as mother meets her son's evil ex-guardian.

The story gives some closure to Matthew's time in the past in a nice way when all is said and done. A nice entry in the series.

Probably not quite right for stand-alone reading, unless you are at least familiar with the Chronicles of St. Mary's series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Will Jodi Taylor run out of ideas? I hope not!

What did you love best about Christmas Past?

It brilliantly continues the story of St. Mary's. I wouldn't recommend that anyone unfamiliar start with this story, but anyone who knows the series won't be disappointed. One of the particularly wonderful things is that while the story gives a solid nod to the "formula" for both the series and these Christmas novellas, this one breaks with the formula (if there really is such a thing for St. Marys!) without feeling at all out of place. One of the characters even lays out the formula, only to be told, essentially, "Not this time."

Who was your favorite character and why?

If I had to pick a favorite character, it would be Max, of course. But in all these stories, the real "main character" is the whole wonderfully insane population of St. Mary's. By now, Taylor can just drop one of the ongoing characters in for a short scene and since we know and love them, every one is a little gem in a larger setting.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending. No spoilers.
The whole thing is as much of a ride as these stories always are, and it leads to the ending that doesn't disappoint.

Any additional comments?

The joy of the St. Mary's stories is that Taylor manages to balance incredible detail and joyously fun short vignettes while still keeping the broader storyline going. Strap in, because it's the ride that's all the fun, not just the destination!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mummy's Awesome.

When baby Matthew first appeared, I couldn't help but feel that Max's development as a mother was hard to believe, it just didn't ring true. I wondered if the author had any experience of her own to draw on, or was trying too hard to prevent Max's character from changing after becoming a mum. I found her hard to believe as a mum, but certainly found the child's fate heartbreaking.

So I am so glad that the relationship between these characters has become so charming and interesting, now that we have two fleshed-out characters playing off each other, rather than the rather strained interior monologue of one character defining the entire relationship.

The last few lines of the story mad my eyes water a little. This is a delightful little yarn, Matthew is a charming character and Max has finally grown into her new role.