A Halifax Christmas Carol by Steven LaffoleyA Halifax Christmas Carol by Steven Laffoley

A Halifax Christmas Carol

bySteven Laffoley

Paperback | July 10, 2017

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about

It is December 1918. The old world--shaped by the values of Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens-- is gone and the new world now wallows in post-war chaos and darkness.

A veteran of the gas attacks and trenches, Michael Bell has returned home to a city traumatized by war and devastated by an explosion, where he finds work at The Halifax Herald writing about what he sees as the truth, about an age defined only by lawlessness, disease, and disorder.

Then, four days before Christmas, Michael finds his truth-telling efforts challenged by a small, one-legged boy who arrives at the newspaper office with a single, silver twenty-five-cent piece for "the kids." When the boy strangely disappears, the paper's editor, Walter Stone, sees a potential Dickensian story for a city in desperate need of hope. He assigns Michael and new reporter Tess Archer the job of finding the boy and telling his story--all before the Christmas Eve edition.

At first, Michael objects, believing such stories to be dangerous lies in the face of the dark truths. However, after a mysterious dream of his mother leads to difficult questions, he accepts the assignment, if only to prove small acts of generosity are meaningless in the face of a growing darkness. Yet, as Michael follows his leads through an array of the city's desperate people, he is increasingly haunted by the hidden meaning of his dream and soon realizes understanding will only come if he finds the boy. But for Michael and the city, time is fast running out.

Filled with a cast of compelling characters and vivid images, A Halifax Christmas Carol tells the story of a true age of darkness and the transformative power of hope.

Title:A Halifax Christmas CarolFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:204 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inShipping dimensions:8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:July 10, 2017Publisher:Pottersfield PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1988286123

ISBN - 13:9781988286129

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Yuletide Feast If you are a fan of Dickens you will surely love this tale set post World War I and post Halifax explosion and fire. The story germinates from a real incident and portrays war in all its devastation and catastrophic loss of human life. One calls to mind the end of a Wilfred Owen poem that speaks of the old lie "dulce et decorum est pro patria mori." The parallels to Dickens' original and well loved tale are plentiful and easily grasped, and yet the story remains decidedly Canadian. The conversion is equally effective and the reader as pleased with the story and its outcome. The message of Christmas is well stated by a rookie reporter who reminds her Scrooge-like partner, who is most Thomas 'Gradgrind-ish' in his world view, that "It's Christmastime - if nothing else, Christmas remains a steadfast reminder of hope, a reminder of a promise made 2,000 years ago that tomorrow will be better if we take the time to love each other." A thoroughly enjoyable read, and a feast for any time of the year.
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark times... and yet there is hope Inspired by a true story, A Halifax Christmas Carol offers a look into a dark time in history, and yet may leave you with a warm hope reminiscent of Dickens’ tale. The narration itself has a poetic feel at times, with both poetry and prose philosophy quoted. Michael and the beggar are both well-read. Not surprisingly, given the title, Dickens is referenced, usually through Michael’s denial of his continuing influence in this darkened world. This isn’t a retelling of A Christmas Carol, but those who know that story will find many nods to it. For example, Michael goes home to his dark, lonely, and cold lodgings where he broods by the fire, and he’s disturbed by significant dreams. And the ending, in A Christmas Carol fashion, gives a narrative summary of how certain things turn out happily ever after. While that’s ordinarily annoying, it works here as a final Dickensian touch. For all the grim setting, and the stories of loss and trauma that Michael uncovers in his search for the boy, this isn’t a hard book to read. The omniscient narrative is well-handled to keep us at enough of a distance that we can observe and learn without being overwhelmed. The author reveals insights, details, and even smells that could only come from extensive research, yet it all flows as part of the story.
Date published: 2017-12-15