I did not expect to enjoy A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, first published in 1843. Also, this was my first time reading anything by Charles Dickens. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know if I’ve ever had the desire to read any of his works. But I’m so glad I did. This story was incredible. I’ve never seen any of the movie adaptations either, but I picked this story as part of Victober 2020 because of the film The Man Who Invented Christmas. The film was based on this book, in case you’re interested. I listened to A Christmas Carol on Audible narrated by Tim Curry, who did a phenomenal job. If you want to listen to the story, I recommend the version narrated by Tim Curry.
It was fascinating to get to know Mr. Scrooge and seeing his transformation into a better human being. Even though many films and books copied Charles Dickens’ original idea of the ghosts from the past and the present, it was interesting to meet the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (which I found the most ominous). The plot is a pretty brilliant idea and the fact that lots of our Christmas traditions stem from it makes the story even more wonderful. Also, this is the perfect Christmas read to get into the holiday spirit, so I plan to re-read it in November.
I recently read (for the first time) Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It’s a gothic tale set in New York during 1790. It’s perfect for Halloween-themed reading because of the Hessian headless horseman. If you have a couple hours to spare and are in a Halloween state-of-mind, treat yourself to this tale. It’s more than just a gothic story. It features a love triangle between Ichabod Crane, Katrina Van Tassel and Abraham Van Brunt. To me, this makes it a love story. I won’t tell you who gets the girl, as it will spoil it for you. But if you want to read it, it’s short and free.
From the moment Ichabod laid his eyes upon these regions of delight, the peace of his mind was at an end, and his only study was how to gain the affections of the peerless daughter of Van Tassel.
Waiting by Jane Odiwe is a short story inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. The story is part of the anthology, Jane Austen Made Me Do It. It imagines the uncertainty Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot endure as they await Sir Walter’s approval for their marriage.
I first bought and read this anthology years ago. I decided to reread the stories since it’s been a while. I started with Waiting because Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel.
Reading this story was like eating a sweet treat, it made me happy. It’s a bite-sized epilogue to Persuasion. It was nice to meet up with my favorite characters again. Bath was its own character and the bustling streets were brought to life for me, more so than in Persuasion.
My favorite part was the “flashback” to their initial meeting and when they fell in love with each other. It was nice to have a snippet from their shared past that wasn’t a part of Persuasion. Also, the story is told from both of their POVs, which is nice because their inner monologues show their worries and their love for each other.
I thought the author stayed true to Jane Austen’s writing style and to the original story itself. There was no deviation and it was a charming read. A perfect little story for an afternoon of light reading.