Book Review-A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry

Title: A Christmas Journey
Author: Anne Perry
Format: Electronic
Written: 2003
Published: 2003

I’m a sucker for Holiday Reading.  Not just for Christmas–any holiday.   I have books set aside for Easter, my birthday, 4th of July, Halloween and, of course, the entire December Festival Season.   I’ve got Christmas books, Yule books,  Channukah books galore.    Since I read a lot, reading holiday books is how I decorate my mind.   There is a group of people like me out there, and every year around Thanksgiving we all start recommending the titles we enjoyed last year while simultaneously pumping our fellow holiday yarn lovers for their favourites.

For years the Christmas Book Afficiandos have been insisting that I try Anne Perry’s Christmas stories because “they’re so great!”.  Other adjectives include perfect; dreamy; excellent and–of course–“so Christmassy”.   Yet until now I hadn’t ever tried one.

A Christmas Journey is really a novella, I discovered, and it took me a tiny bit more than an hour to read.   Thanks to my new Kindle’s handy “time your reading” feature, I know that I spent 67 minutes on this story.     It wasn’t until minute 61 that we got to anything remotely “Christmas” about the story.  Up to that point it was a weirdly intriguing tale about how a sharp-tongued woman at one of those Victorian houseparties-that-last-for-five-days drove another guest to commit suicide.    The barbed remark that starts the whole thing didn’t seem that catty to me, a member of the Snarkiest Generation.  But to the Victorians in the story it was shocking and cruel and worth ostracising the woman over.

The judgmental nabobs at the party decide that the catty woman responsible for the cruel remark needs to undertake a journey to tell the dead woman’s mother about her–the dead woman’s–suicide.   And so, along with a caring friend who is also our POV character, the journey takes place.

It’s a weird story.   What was even weirder for me was the complete preachiness  of it.    Anne Perry has written a story all about how people are too judgmental and not caring enough and about how gossip can destroy a person.   All of which is interesting when you consider the fact that Anne Perry is herself a convicted murderess.    And that’s where the story and I parted ways.   I’m all for the warmth of the holiday season and the message of Grace and Forgiveness.  But I hate authors being preachy, and this felt like the preachiest thing I ever read.

So while other Christmas book fans rave about Perry’s work,  I’m stuck giving this one 3 bookworms.   3bookworms

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