The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A cute story about love and redemption. Theodora reflects on her childhood growing up in the south when the holidays were as much about the process of preparing for Christmas Day and following family traditions as it was about the actual day of gift giving. There was reverence in decorating the house, baking cookies, the process of filling out the beautiful crèche, and enjoying time with family. Pearl was the family housekeeper who acted as Theodora's surrogate mom, and who kept the house running well. Theodora's memories centered around Pearl who was simply a part of the family. Theodora is now a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Without Pearl, the home seems to have lost the sparkle and spirit it once had. Theodora's family is a hot mess. No one gets along, and there are strained relations among siblings and cousins. What the house needs is a Pearl of wisdom and a visit from an old friend from beyond to help get the family back on track.
This is a sweet holiday story that will help remind the reader what the season is all about. Life is too short to dwell on what divides us. Perhaps we all need a Christmas Pearl.
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