Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Beautifully written story based on the classic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Chiaverini intertwines two stories, one set in the 1860s and the Civil War that follows Longfellow and his family and the events that inspired the poem, and the other a modern day story of parishioners of St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Boston whose lives are facing issues of struggle and concern. Chiaverini switches settings in each chapter, generally leaving a bit of a cliffhanger to each story. The final chapters tie everything together, leaving the reader with a message of hope and redemption. Despite what might be wrong in the world, ..."The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men." (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
I enjoyed the story, especially the background of Longfellow and his family. The modern story was sweet and pretty much ended as expected, i.e. predictable. This is not a riveting tale but a nice story that's especially poignant today with all that is going on in the world and makes for a great holiday read. I had one minor complaint in that there were a few grammatical/spelling errors. I read the Kindle version and suspect (hope) the issues were a result of the translation to that format. Chiaverini is an established author and I would expect her editor would not allow for so many mistakes.
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