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The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
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The Christmas Pearl (edition 2008)

by Dorothea Benton Frank (Author)

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3212252,100 (3.41)20
Member:CYGeeker
Title:The Christmas Pearl
Authors:Dorothea Benton Frank (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2008), Edition: First Edition, 176 pages
Collections:Goodreads
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The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank

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» See also 20 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
This is a quaint story revolving around Theodora, a 93 year old matriarch, whose family have come home (a home where she grew up in and now lives in with her daughter and son-in-law) to spend Christmas in Charleston South Carolina. This family has become quite dysfuntional, selfish and self-centered over time, and Theodora is quite concerned about what will become of the family. She reminisces about her youth with "Pearl" her grandmother's friend, confident and family help. When Elise, her cook and in-home help has to leave unexpectantly due to her grandchild's birth, she assures Theodora that her friend Jewel will fill in. After a fitful sleep, Theodora wakes up to the arrival of the emergency help who just happens to be the ghost of Pearl, there to help the family to earn her wings. Pearl is armed with a few magical tricks, along with to common-sense and know-how, and she whips everyone into gear. A sweet story very common at Christmas time and a quick read. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
This is a lighthearted novel where the ghost of their deceased housekeeper, Pearl, makes a surprise visitation to the family to spread a little cheer, bring back long-forgotten family rituals, and teach the family the true meaning of Christmas.

Unfortunately, the family was SO obnoxious it took away from my enjoyment of the book. I want my Christmas stories to be a little more cheery :-) ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Every Christmas, I must read at least one new Christmas story. The Christmas Pearl flew into my hands as that book. Unfortunately, The Christmas Pearl, does not stand as one of the better Christmas books I have read. The story rests on the magic of Christmas, but steps a little too far into unbelievable. The antics of ghostly Pearl bring laughter, and too much gibberish to the story. The small collection of Christmas pictures creates a better atmosphere than the story. I felt like I was back in college and reading early writers of Southern fiction. Frank has too many story book endings for this tale of family squabbling and dissention. ( )
  delphimo | Dec 12, 2016 |
This was another feel-good Christmas book. Family squabbles, infidelities, insolent children, and a holiday run by commercialism sets the scene. Enter a Christmas "angel" in the form of a resurrected Gullah housekeeper to set things straight and you have a recipe for good reading. This is a very short one, high on Christmas magic with a dab of why Christ is the root of Christmas. You will smile as you read it.

Recommended Holiday Reading. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Theodora is the elderly matriarch of an old Southern family. She is nostalgic for the Christmas celebrations of her childhood. She fondly remembers the weeks of preparation to decorate, cook, and fashion gifts, all of which just heightened the anticipation. Now her 60-something daughter and son-in-law (Barbara & Cleland) are living with her in the family's Charleston mansion. And their two grown children – Camille and George – have arrived with their families: children Andrew and Teddie, and George's third wife, Lynnette. Despite the season all they do is snipe at one another, complain and generally misbehave.

Don't they realize this may be Theodora's last Christmas? Can't they put aside their mean-spiritedness and truculent behavior for a few days? Theodora doesn't know how to get the kind of Christmas she wants – the kind that she had with her own grandmother, and her grandmother's housekeeper, Pearl.

I did like the messages Dorothea Benton Frank was trying to impart here: a focus on the true meaning of Christmas, the value of family, the meaning behind traditions; but I didn't think she did a good job of imparting those lessons.

Even so, I was with the story up until the magic started happening. Theodora just irritated me. By her own account she did little but wring her hands for 60 years over her descendants's bad behavior. She confesses to having failed to help her daughter grow up to be a woman, a mother, a wife, a matriarch. So suddenly, because a ghost of her grandmother's housekeeper arrives, all is going to be perfect? I disliked the family. I didn't relate to the excesses of their lifestyle or way of celebrating, and I didn't believe in their transformation.

It was a quick read, and it did make me think of my own family traditions and celebrations, so I give it 2 stars.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
With her truculent family gathered at her stately Charleston mansion for Christmas, 93-year-old matriarch Theodora is having a hard time tolerating the lot of them. Theodora hankers for her 1920s childhood, when Pearl, the family's stern black maid, enforced strict houshold discipline and took no guff while working hard at Christmas, all the while singing gospel favorites such as “Come en Go wid Me.” When Theodora's usual maid is called away, Pearl herself (as a ghost) blows in, ready to set the house in order, She unearths the antique crèche and other Christmas heirlooms long buried, and altering the family's general bad temper. Frank (The Land of Mango Sunsets ) includes homegrown recipes that further sweeten this Lowcountry holiday confection.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061438448, Hardcover)

Theodora is the matriarch of a family that has grown into a bunch of truculent knuckleheads. While she's finally gotten them all together in South Carolina to celebrate, this Christmas looks nothing like the extravagant, homey holidays of her childhood.

What happened to the days when Christmas meant tables groaning with home-cooked goodies, over-the-top decorations, and long chats in front of the fire with Pearl, her grandmother's beloved housekeeper and closest confidante?

Luckily for Theodora, a special someone who heard her plea for help arrives, with pockets full of enough Gullah magic and common sense to make Theodora's Christmas the love-filled miracle it's meant to be.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Theodora is the matriarch of a family that has grown into a bunch of truculent knuckleheads. While she's finally gotten them all together in South Carolina to celebrate, this Christmas looks nothing like the extravagant homey holidays of her childhood. Luckily someone shows up to help Theodora with pockets full of common sense and Gullah magic to make Theodora's Christmas the miracle it's meant to be.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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