The Christmas Pearl
By Dorothea Benton Frank
Avon Books; $7.99
When you think of Dorothea Benton Frank’s novels, images of the sweet Carolina Low Country drift to mind, a land where Southern traditions never die.
And no where on earth is Christmas done up bigger than in the South. In her holiday offering, “The Christmas Pearl,” Frank gifts her readers with a warm, delightful story of Christmas “like it ought to be.”
93 year old Theodora Bryson longs for the traditional holiday celebrations of her youth, a time when her mother, grandmother, and their Gullah housekeeper Pearl would deck every hall, nook and cranny of the stately family home. But now days, Theodora’s children and grandchildren aren’t interested in any of the old family traditions. They think their grandmother’s old-fashioned ways are…well, old-fashioned.
Theodora pleads for help and prays for guidance, and to her surprise, who should walk in the door on Christmas Eve but Pearl herself. She has come to save Christmas, never mind the fact that she’s been dead for many, many years.
“The Christmas Pearl” is a delightfully funny tale that is just perfect for holiday season. Filled with wonderful antique photos, and delicious Southern recipes, this slender book will be ideal for sharing with friends, or slipping in someone’s stocking.
By Debbie Macomber
Avon Books; $7.99
Nobody tells a Christmas story like Debbie Macomber. She is adored for her “Christmas Angels” books, featuring the irrepressible trio, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy. And in her holiday book, “Mrs. Miracle,” Macomber introduces her readers to a new guardian angel, Mrs. Merkle aka Mrs. Miracle.
Seth Webster is a frustrated father. A widower who has never gotten over the death of his wife, he has his hands full with two adorable, but wild 6-year old twin boys! Now, with Christmas approaching, a home in chaos, and the latest housekeeper quitting in disgust, Seth is desperate for any ideas on keeping his family together.
And then, like a miracle out of the blue, helps arrives on his doorstep in the form of a cute little grandmotherly lady named Mrs. Merkle. Mysterious about her arrival, the warm, but firm lady soon has Seth’s house running like clockwork, charming the boys with her good cooking and caring ways. The kids soon begin calling her “Mrs. Miracle.”
And not only does she cook and clean, but Mrs. Miracle is also pretty talented in the relationship department, and she soon has Seth hooked up with Reba, the beautiful travel agent he’s had his eye on. Through the magic of faith—and with a little help from a children's Christmas pageant and a lot of encouragement from Mrs. Miracle – this Christmas might be a holiday filled with love.
A special treat for readers, "Mrs. Miracle” is now a Hallmark Channel original movie. Join Doris Roberts and James Van Der Beek as they bring Debbie Macomber’s words to life.”Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle” will premiere December 5 at 8/7c only on Hallmark Channel.
Thank you to Pam Jaffe, Wendy Ho and Aurora Hughes at Harper Collins for the review copies of these two books.