Thursday, October 10, 2019

ONCE UPON A DICKENS CHRISTMAS by Michelle Griep, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise and Winnie Thomas

If you want to get in the mood for Christmas, try these three novellas by Michelle Griep. These short tales evoke the bygone days and characters reminiscent of Charles Dickens with their quirky names and actions that illustrate great spiritual truths. The fresh stories are quite enjoyable.

The thing that ties the three stories together is a second chance coin that is passed to those deemed to benefit from it. Ms. Griep’s prose shines as she brings out the point that we all get a second chance through saving faith in Christ.

The Dickens- like characters jump off the page and wend their way into your heart. They make me want to watch a whole bunch of Dickensian adaptations!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

Once Upon a Dickens Christmas is a compilation of three Christmas stories loosely based around tales by Charles Dickens, with cameo appearances by Dickens himself. They are also linked together by a gold second chance coin which can be used to grant the recipient a second chance. Michelle Griep is a master at creating historical fiction that engrosses me. Her characters are colorful, realistic, and true to the time period.

I had read the first two stories, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor and A Tale of Two Hearts, previously and enjoyed them. (We'll revisit them during Christmas Fiction Review Week in November!)

The Old Lace Shop is the most recent tale, and it is charming and well-crafted. I love the rich imagery that Griep paints and the inspiration and insight she infuses into her stories.

“November is a melancholy month, the gloomy space between summer past and Christmas future. Usually it drapes over me like a burial shroud. This year I laugh in its face.”

“Either your faith will move mountains, or your doubt will create them.”

Bella and Edmund are wonderful, fascinating characters and their courage and compassion make a compelling and uplifting story. The three tales included in the book are perfect for short Christmas reads.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher/NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Back Cover Blurb:
Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep

Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:

12 Days a Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?

The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.


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