Tuesday, January 6

Our Simple Gifts: Civil War Christmas Tales

I received this book through my Christmas Book Swap and was delighted. Being a Civil War buff, I looked forward to reading this book, which is a compilation of four Christmas tales from the Civil War era.

No matter what your tastes, however, no one should miss the last story in the collection. It is not only the finest in the book, but a classic work which illustrates the human condition better than any other story written in the last 100 years. The protagonist is a newly freed slave who had been unspeakably abused by his "masters." Now the tide has turned, the men are dead in the war and the mistress of the house is on the verge of losing everything to the bank and about to be cast out with her retarded daughter. The simple act of Christian kindness which the slave shows toward the women brilliantly illustrates the evil of slavery and the importance of religion.

Author Owen Parry, a retired army officer, wo writes on national defense, has a pen of steel and it was heartwarming to read these gentle stories. Each story stands on its own and tells a tale of Christmas at a tumultous time in American history. These tales tell of old fashioned values, love and hope. Mr. Parry has found the voice of the emancipated slave, the Union soldiers, Confederate loyalists and an emmigrant, who is trying to find his place in his new homeland. Each of these are honorably represented in this beautiful book. The stories are poignant and powerful, as are the characters. I recommend this book to anyone who loves Christmas, history and the era of the Civil War.


  1. This sounds like a book I would enjoy. Thanks for telling us about it

  2. It certainly does sound like a very interesting book and it's not often you can find Christmas stories taking place during the Civil War! Thank you for the heads up about this book:-)

    I'll now go catch up on your last couple of posts...I'm always running late! lol xoxo

  3. Just stopped by to wish you a wonderful 2009! I haven't talked with you in a while and miss you! Hope you had a fantastic Christmas1

    God bless you!

  4. You are quite the history buff........ Sounds like something I would read..... Hope you are better, I am taking Mom to the Dr tomorrow..... Her headaches are much worse and I am at my wits end to help her....... soooooooo I talked to the Dr today and he wants to see her............. Pray for Mom..........


  5. If I get a chance I'll certainly read this book, Mary.

    Hope you're feeling much better, both you and your hubby.

    Love and hugs,


  6. That book sounds wonderful, Mary! I love history and historical fiction...

    I also loved reading about your childhood memories of ice skating at the pond...I've only known ice skating in rinks and love hearing stories like this!


  7. Sounds like a good read to me.

    Happy Tuesday Mary!!!!

  8. You always have such interesting information on your blog. I'm glad you had fun with your Book Swap. I hope everyone else did too.

  9. Glad you have something good to read and enjoy. Peace

  10. Sounds great; maybe I should put it on my Chapter wish list for next year.

  11. I would have to agree with all your comments before mine.

    Coffee is on

  12. That sounds like a wonderful book. I will definitely be looking for it at the library. They're so good about ordering any book I ask them to.

  13. I do think I need to read this book! It sounds like I would enjoy reading it as I love stories like this!

    ((( HUGS )))

  14. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book, Mary. It was a lucky find, browsing in a small bookstore, looking for something for you and it popped right out at me. Really glad it was all it promised to be!
    I read the Christmas Bus while we were in Wyoming and loved it as well. I left it with my sister to read next...