The Christmas Pearl

Narrated by: Celia Weston
Length: 3 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (289 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Theodora is the matriarch of a family that, in her opinion, has grown into a bunch of truculent knuckleheads. They've all come together to South Carolina to celebrate Christmas. But this Christmas looks nothing like the extravagant, homey Christmases Theodora grew up with. What happened to the days when the holiday spirit meant tables groaning with home cooked goodies, over-the-top decorations, and long chats in front of the fire with Pearl, her grandmother's housekeeper / manager / caterer / psychiatrist / best friend? Luckily, someone hears Theodora's plea for help and Merle (possibly Pearl?) arrives, pockets filled with Gullah magic and common sense to straighten everyone out.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2007 Dorothea Benton Frank (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Never too old to learn or to love

I do like Dorothea Benton Frank's books. One of the most enjoyable things about them is the sweet as syrup southern drawl, and it is done just right. This tale of generations of one family growing up in the same family home exposes each of the homes occupants, warts and all. And time has not been kind to the family, not due in small part to the 94 year old grandmother's lack of confidence in her own daughter as a child and young woman. Isn't that always the way, though? We all have unhealed wounds, a big ole hole in our hearts from what we needed and never got . . . this audio book, happily doesn't try to "fix" all that . . . but deals with it in the here and now . . . by sending them a Pearl at Christmas time.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Get's you into the spirit of Christmas

I have read ALL of Dorothea Benton Franks books. I have enjoyed all of her books, except, "Full of Grace". I have listened to one of her 2007 book's the title was something like, "Island of the Mango Sunset". The narrator for that story was not good. However,
Celia Weston must be from "the low country" because in "The Christmas Pearl" she gets the charming, low country speech perfect. I've listened to the story 3 times just to hear the narrator's beautiful ennuciation of low country drawl. "The Christmas Pearl" is a wonderful story, typical Dorothe Benton Frank. I believe this will become a classic Christmas Story, to be LISTENED to year after year. This is truly a must listen! Deborah.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely loved it

This book takes you on a journey! Christmas in the south with the old traditions. It reminded me of how my family prepared for Christmas leading up to the holiday. Lots of cooking, cleaning and pulling out all the special china, crystal, napkins, and silverware for all the delicious dishes that would be prepared.

Most of all it reminded me of the fun times spending with my mom and sisters decorating the house, cooking and talking way into the wee hours of the morning. Christmas is about family, memories and loving each other.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Magical

This was just the story I needed to generate a little Christmas spirit. It hits all the right notes: Nostalgia, Love, humor, imagination and the eternal hope that the Christmas season evokes without being too sappy. The narrator is delightful, I would swear she was just sitting next to me telling me her life story and the comeuppins her family gets. I think I will listen to this one every year from now on, I have a fondness for Christmas stories and this is my favorite so far.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

You'll Want To Bake Cookies During This One--

--And at about 3 1/2 hours, it seems like baking/cooking would be the perfect activity to engage in whilst listening to The Christmas Pearl.
Sure, it's a tad predictable, which is kinda what I love about holiday books: Chaos, smallness of soul, a lack of hope... all morphing into warmth, love, and a willingness to experience the joy of being with others.
Theodora has such a sweet Southern charm, is so simply childlike even while she's being baldly honest and scathing about her family's shortcomings that I enjoyed wallowing in the syrup of the story. And Celia Weston does a delightful job in bringing not only her but the whole family and the gifted visitor to life.
Truly, I wished I was pouring out flour, sugar for cookies, and cutting butter into tossed flour for biscuits while I was enjoying this little Christmas book. A warm kitchen often goes with a warm heart!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story for the holidays

This was a nice Christmas Story enjoyed it
And brought back my memories of Christmas when i was young

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Every Family needs a Pearl at sometime

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This book made my heart sing. It brought a warmth back to what family truely can be

What did you like best about this story?

The accomplishment of change when the mind wants it.. The warmth was there.

What about Celia Weston’s performance did you like?

The Character of Pearl you could just "see" her. I throughtly enjoyed her reading of all the characters.

Any additional comments?

This was a surprising book. It wasn't deep and it didn't follow with all the soppy Christmas stories . The spark of magic had an entirely different slant. I'd listen to another one.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L
  • 01-15-20

Wonderful!

The story itself was great. I loved every word of it. Being from the South I have to say It was the narrator that made it!! She was absolutely amazing!!! I am now looking for other books she has narrated.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A bit of faith and magic bring family together

A friend insisted I get this book as she said it was her favorite Christmas story. I obliged and thanked her! This begins as a story of Christmases long ago in the south with a family who have a black cook/housekeeper named Pearl. Pearl is no subservient woman though. She is the teller's grandmother's best friend. Pearl rules the roost.

Many years later, as the author is well past 80 she remembers the wonder of her childhood Christmases and wants to bring some of that magic to her fractured family. The beginning of their time together is frought with anger, boredom, and disunity. As they wait for a hired cook to help, named Jewel, the teller realizes that the woman who comes is none other than Pearl. She hopes to "get her wings" by this assignment. The rest of the story is by turns funny, painful and totally heartwarming as Pear uses a bit of magic and her wisdom to heal the wounds of a family grown bitter and jaded. The book is lovely. I found myself nodding as I see others around me who have gone sullen and jaded. I wish for all of them a Pearl to bring out the real issues and also reconciliation and a renewed sense of family and love. This will be a part of many Christmases to come for me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

magical

the Christmas Pearl was a magical read. it was trite. it was iconic. but I loved every minute of it. The dramatic reading of it brought it to life. I would love to see this as a Hallmark movie or even a stage play. I loved the ghost. I loved the magic. I loved the reminiscence of it all. if I could sum it up I would say that it reminds me of the need to create magic in our lives at Christmas and always.