Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Historical Fiction/Christmas
Three Delightful Christmas Tales from Beloved Storyteller Michelle Griep
Pour yourself a cuppa, get lost in the merriment of the season, and enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in three stories from fan favorite Michelle Griep:
12 Days at Bleakly Manor: Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters. What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.
A Tale of Two Hearts: Pleasure seeker William Barlow needs a wife immediately to gain his uncle’s inheritance, and Mina Scott is just the girl to make him look respectable—too bad she turns him down. Ought he give her a second chance?
The Old Lace Shop: Recently widowed Bella White is finally freed from the domination of the overbearing men in her life, but when she enters into a business partnership with the handsome Edmund Archer, she begins to wonder if marriage is worth a second chance.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
I have never read a book by Charles Dickens. Not even the famous A Christmas Carol. I am, however, familiar with some of his story titles, like Bleak House and a Tale of Two Cities. So the play on words in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas (12 Days at Bleakly Manor and A Tale of Two Hearts) appealed to me. I'm still not sure what Dickens story The Old Lace Shop was built around, but it doesn't matter because Michelle Griep created three delightful stories that swept me away and kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning.
While each story has its own unique characters, the central theme of having a second chance at life, love and redemption ran through them all - making the entire book seem like one big novel, with Charles Dickens (and one gold coin) making guest appearances (where needed), in each story. I loved it!
Best line in the book - "Either your faith will move mountains, or your doubt will create them." I will take this with me from now on as I found it encouraging and inspiring.
I cannot say which story was my favourite as they were all entertaining, with mystery, romance, and of course, a bit of Christmas cheer thrown in — making this book a "must have" for the Christmas season!
I received this book courtesy of Barbour Publishing through NetGalley.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Once Upon a Dickens Christmas is a compilation of three Christmas stories loosely based around tales by Charles Dickens, with cameo appearances by Dickens himself. They are also linked together by a gold second chance coin which can be used to grant the recipient a second chance. Michelle Griep is a master at creating historical fiction that engrosses me. Her characters are colorful, realistic, and true to the time period.
I had read the first two stories, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor and A Tale of Two Hearts, previously and enjoyed them. The Old Lace Shop is the most recent tale, and it is charming and well-crafted. I love the rich imagery that Griep paints and the inspiration and insight she infuses into her stories.
“November is a melancholy month, the gloomy space between summer past and Christmas future. Usually it drapes over me like a burial shroud. This year I laugh in its face.”
“Either your faith will move mountains, or your doubt will create them.”
Bella and Edmund are wonderful, fascinating characters and their courage and compassion make a compelling and uplifting story. The three tales included in the book are perfect for short Christmas reads.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the publisher/NetGalley. All opinions are my own.