Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Cheer

Christmas ornaments hanging from "Happy Holidays" text
This morning I finished reading Wishin' and Hopin' by Wally Lamb.  It was a very satisfying read with a bit of drama, a lot of humor, and the element of surprise.  And for anyone who attended a parochial school, there are lots of laughable scenarios to relate to.  (More about this book appeared in yesterday's blog post).

What is different about this particular Christmas story is the inclusion of an epilogue that bridges the gap between where the story ends in 1965 and the 21st century.  Readers discover what each young character grows up to be, and how the adult characters evolve with the changing times, embracing technology and other modern culture.  I enjoyed finding out what became of the class clown, the know-it-all, and the other students from St. Aloysius Gonzaga School, as well as the fates of the priests, nuns, and other adults.

Wally Lamb has written three other New York Times bestselling novels:  She's Come Undone (1992), I Know This Much Is True (1998), and The Hour I First Believed (2008).  As I learned from reading an interview with the author several years ago, each of his book titles has a musical connection.  Lamb's first novel bears the title of a hit song by The Guess Who; the second title is a lyric from a chart-topper by Spandau Ballet; and the third title is a lyric from the hymn, Amazing Grace.  The Christmas story bears the title of a song made popular by Dusty Springfield.  The author then incorporates the chosen song or lyric into the story through one or more of the characters.  For example, in Wishin' and Hopin', one of the characters sings along to the Dusty Springfield recording, and it is her favorite song.  It's yet another nice touch by a talented writer. 

Hope your day is filled with music and other delights.


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Christmas Cheer was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.blogspot.com. This post cannot be republished without express written consent.


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