Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol,
by Elizabeth Hand
Publisher: Open Road Media
144 pages, Kindle Edition
Published December 2013
(Original Publ: 2001)
A perfect little holiday season tale that blends a combination of inspirations including nostalgic memories of magical childhood entertainers, the frustrations and difficulties with raising autistic children, and of course Dickens’ classic Christmas tale.
This novella may be considered a fantasy, but only subtly so, in fact it is far more realistic than Dickens’, but just as powerful. The plot is simple and endearing, but builds slowly and purposefully throughout. What gives Hand’s a particular punch of soul to Hand’s story is the cast of strongly drawn characters, beautifully complete and human, good-hearted and resilient despite their flaws, both the ones they were born with or the ones that their environment has given them.
If you are looking for a nice quick read during the Christmas season in addition to, or in place of some classic tale, then consider picking this up.
Notably, proceeds of its sale go to the charity Autism Speaks in memory of a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.