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.