Thank you so much to Flatiron Books for providing my free copy – all opinions are my own.
Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.
Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.
“On that unseasonably warm November day at One Devonshire Terrace, Christmas was not in his head at all.”
I’m not one to read Christmas books but I love historical fiction so I desperately wanted to read this. It’s a charming debut novel with beautiful prose and vivid descriptions. I could see the town and picture the people in it. The author did a fantastic job showing the complex and wonderful character of Charles Dickens – he’s flawed but very endearing.
I love how the author seamlessly tied this book to Dicken’s masterpiece, A Christmas Carol. And I absolutely adored the ending. This is a very fast, compelling read – at under 300 pages and with short chapters, it can easily be read in one sitting.
I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and/or who is a fan of Charles Dickens. But, you don’t need to be a Christmas junkie to enjoy it – it’s very well-written and anyone who appreciates a good story will love it!
I rate this book 4 / 5 stars!