Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Riding on a Christmas Wish by Anita Mae Draper
Anita Mae Draper's "Riding on a Christmas Wish" is set in December of 1911 in York County, Ontario, Canada, and it is clearly a time of transition. At Christmastime, the roads suffer from the winter weather, and Thomas Coventry can't imagine why anyone would want to ride a bicycle on them. But, much to his dismay, his daughter, Sadie, has her heart set on getting a two-wheeler for Christmas. His wife, Eliza, thinks it's a fine idea for their growing-up girl to have some independence, but Thomas absolutely will not allow it. A bicycle on winter roads with those irresponsible motor car drivers everywhere? Haven't he and Eliza lost enough already?
I really enjoyed this story from the two-volume A Cup of Christmas Cheer collection from Guideposts. Things were different in 1911. Cars were still more the exception than the rule. Bicycles had been around for nearly a hundred years by then, but the horse was still a much more usual mode of transportation, especially in the country. I loved the old-fashioned feel of this story with it's sleighs and telephones with party lines. I especially enjoyed the Canadian setting with its differences from and similarities to the American midwest.
Thomas is very much a traditionalist, at times stubbornly resistant to change and overprotective due to past losses, but he's a tender husband and father. He and Eliza are a loving couple who are comfortable with each other yet still have that spark of romance to remind them of their courting days, a couple you can't help liking and caring about. Eliza herself is a woman with a realistic mix of wanting to be a good and supportive wife while at the same time wanting her daughter to have the freedom she desires and wanting her husband to see things in a different way than he usually has. Their story is a charming glimpse into turn-of-the-century life along with a timeless tale about letting go and trusting God with what we love most.
Well done, Anita! Looking forward to more from you.
Have you read any stories set in Canada? The one that comes to mind for me is Mrs. Mike. I really enjoyed that one, though it's been decades since I've read it.
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I've read Anita's story and it is wonderfully sweet. Perfect to curl up with on a cold day and guaranteed to make you feel cozy.ReplyDelete
Well, I'm not sure if it's couth to respond to comments on a review, but it's my party and I can't keep silent any longer...Delete
Thank you, Lisa!
I agree with everything Lisa said! I loved Anita'story, and I know everyone else will, too! Congratulations again, Anita.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Suzie. I appreciate you saying it. :)Delete
Lovelly review of a great story. I'm interested in reading them all but at least I've ready Anita's. I don't know a lot about the readership of this series but it will definitely be a super gift for someone. Don't forget to comment if you'd like to be in the drawing!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Deb. And that reminds me that there is a free sample over at the Shop Guideposts site. And no, clicking on the link in the post, is not confining you to buy the book, it merely takes you to read more info including the free story which for some reason, Guideposts calls the first chapter. :DDelete
Great review, DeAnna. Anita's story is a cozy holiday treat. I'm sure the collection will be a keeper for many readers!ReplyDelete
I love Mrs. Mike, DeAnna. LOVE. I read it as a teen, forgot the title, and then searched for it for twenty years before I learned the title again and bought it on Amazon. You and I will have to compare notes!
Thank you, Susie.Delete
Is Mrs. Mike the Debbie Macomber book they made into a move a couple years ago?
No, Anita, this is the 1947 classic (set in the 1900s) by the Freedmans. About a Mountie and his very young, sheltered wife facing the hardships of the Great White North. I loved it.Delete
DeAnna, you honor me with your post. Thank you so much. Can I quote it? Heh.ReplyDelete
You're more than welcome, Anita. I so enjoyed the story.ReplyDelete
Quote away! :D
Hmm. Stories set in Canada. Nope, I can't think of ANY! Anita, I sense a whole new niche market for you! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, Niki. I have to admit that this blessing has inspired me to write more stories set in the East. From what I gather, people can relate more to Ontario than Saskatchewan (it's bigger, easier to say, etc) so we'll see. :)ReplyDelete
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