Monday, November 20, 2006
Silver Bells by Luanne Rice
Every year on the first day of December, Christopher Byrne traveled from his farm in Nova Scotia to sell his Christmas trees on the streets of Manhattan. But this year there'd be no cheer for the widower and his twelve-year-old daughter, Bridget. For New York City had taken Christy's only son, headstrong sixteen-year-old Danny, who'd run off without a trace.
Librarian Catherine Tierney used to love the holidays: the lights, the carols, the nip in the air. But after her husband's death on Christmas Eve three years ago, the festivities seemed to start too early and last too long. Just before he died, Brian told his wife that he'd never leave her, that every Christmas he'd send Catherine a sign. On the quaint Chelsea street where she lives, Catherine will meet the tree seller from Nova Scotia. Both figured the world had forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. But they hadn't counted on finding each other, on fate, on second chances. . . and on a holiday gift of new love and new hope to last a lifetime.
I'll admit this time of year I'm all about the Christmas themed books. I love to read about life, the holidays and the love that's found during a season that can some times be very tough for me. This is the first Luanne Rice book I read, I picked up a few of her other books and they have sat on my TBR shelf for awhile now. Not that I don't want to read them, it's not that at all, I found out after purchasing a few of her books that some are loosely connected and I just can't bring myself to read books out of order. So till I get them all they will sit a bit longer. That's why I was excited to find this book of Luanne's. Finally a chance to read a book from an author that was recommended to me by one of my closest friends.
So I geared up to read this book, and I am happy to say it did not disappoint. I will however warn you that this book will bring you tears and often. I happen to be one of those people who love a good cry when they read so this is considered a plus for me.
The story seems to be a simple one but is yet complex in it's own right. I can see why they made a TV movie out of it. The flow of the story lends itself well to that format and for the reader it helps to walk you through the emotions of each and every character as they each deal with their separate losses.
Catherine is believable in her grief, the description of her paints and easily imaginable image. Strong yet sad, Living but not and most of all compassionate. The death of her husband definitely haunts her, but she has found a way to try and go on. Although it's clear throughout the beginning and even the middle of the story that she is still buried in her grief, Ms Rice does show that beneath lies a woman who just wants to love.
Christy is a man faced with difficult choices, ones that he makes with the hope that it is the right thing for him and his children. His courage is simple and his pain comes across as real as any I have suffered in life. The reader can feel his anguish over his son running away, his confusion as to why, and his need to find his child.
The season has brought these two together, the connection is strong from the get go and as we walk through each ones feelings and strife you can not help but feel connected. At one point I had shed tears so many times that I had to put the book down and walk away. Not just those tears that slip silently from your eyes, the ones that burn your throat and make it hard to swallow past the lump that's formed. It was for me a wonderful experience.
As we come closer and closer to the end the emotions slow some, but the impact is just as intense. All in all a touching read and keeper for sure.