Monday, October 26, 2020

A Christmas Resolution: a Novel -- Anne Perry

Perfect 10

Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 059312958X
ISBN-13: 978-0593129586
November 3, 2020
Historical Christmas Fiction

England, 1872, Victorian Era

Celia Hooper, who is just over forty, married only a year ago. Her husband is John Hooper, a detective with the Thames River Police. They live a modest lifestyle, but they married for love.

Celia goes to church regularly and likes the Reverend Arthur Roberson, who preaches forgiveness. She does not like church member Seth Marlowe, who is Roberson’s brother-in-law. Roberson’s wife, who was Marlowe’s sister, died of a serious illness several years ago. Marlowe is very judgmental and unforgiving. He singles Celia out to tell her he is marrying her best friend, Clementine Appleby. Clementine is just over thirty and much younger than her intended husband. Marlowe disapproves of Celia and demands she stop seeing or talking to Clementine. If she doesn’t, he will tell not only Clementine of Celia’s lies in court but also all the church members, which will sully her reputation. She did lie in court, yet the judge forgave her because of the reason behind the lie.

Celia is very disturbed by this marriage announcement. She doesn’t trust Marlow as he defames his previous wife, who committed suicide, and his wayward daughter, who disappeared. Clementine, her charitable and affectionate friend, seems deliriously happy with the engagement. Then Seth accuses Celia of sending him an anonymous, hateful letter. Celia doesn’t know what the letter says, but she guesses it may contain a truth Seth doesn’t want anyone to known. He promises her and John trouble. They will lose everything. He doesn’t understand John Hooper is a detective dedicated to discovering the truth.

Christmas is quickly approaching. Will Celia let Seth ruin her friend Clementine’s future as she suspects he might do? Can Celia convince Reverend Roberson that sometimes a person must become aware of their sins and repent before earning forgiveness? This is a short novel, only 200 pages, so it is a fast read. The story contains some very galvanizing issues still plaguing society, which will rivet the reader’s attention. The characters are fascinating and create an entertaining reading. A CHRISTMAS RESOLUTION is not a Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas story, but more about what Christmas really means. An appealing and heartfelt Christmas story.

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