The Christmas Pearl
Dorothea Benton Frank
William Morrow, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, Audio, e-Book
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Reviewed by Joan Burton
inety-three year old Theodora still lives in her family home in Charleston, South Carolina, just like her mother and grandmother before her. She shares her home now with her daughter Barbara, and son-in-law Cleland. Each of their two children - George and Camille - has a child, making Theodora a great grandmother. Though her bones ache and she is getting forgetful, she wants to have a gala Christmas with her family just like the ones she enjoyed growing up as a child. The house was always decorated, and the rooms were filled with family and friends, as well as the delicious aromas of all the cooking and baking that was done.
his year there seems to be plenty of tension and fighting amongst family members - spouse versus spouse, children with parents, and the inevitable sibling rivalry. They do not seem to show respect for one another. Theodora is appalled at the manners of this era. Her house is being decorated with gaudy neon decorations and the kitchen cupboards are filled with pre-packaged foods. No one can find the time to share a meal as a family.
ith all this going on during the day, Theodora has noticed that her dreams at night are filled with the thoughts of her grandmother's maid/housekeeper Pearl, who kept the house and family in perfect running order. The dreams seem so real that she feels like she has had conversations with the long deceased maid.
hen Christmas Eve arrives, Theodora's housekeeper Eliza informs her that her daughter has gone into early labour and she must take a few days off to be with her. She convinces Theodora not to worry, assuring her that she knows someone who will fill in for her and help the family through the holidays. When the new maid arrives, Theodora is confused. Is her eyesight failing her now? Surely this cannot be - but Christmas is the time for miracles, and Pearl is here to give Theodora a wonderful Christmas. They catch up on memories of their shared past and soon Pearl is ready to whip the family into shape for the holiday.
he Christmas Pearl
is a beautiful, magical, southern Christmas story that will make you believe in miracles ... and have you laughing along the way.
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