Friday, December 13, 2013

A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories by Katherine Paterson

Sometimes, perhaps during Christmas, you get so busy you can't read more than a little bit at one go. I find short stories to be very appropriate during times like these. I can finish one story at one time, and not feel the urge to continue reading (that strongly).

A Stubborn Sweetness is a collection of short stories about Christmas. It covers a diverse range of characters and people, which is why I really loved it. For example, one story was set in Communist China, in a reformative camp. Another was set in World War II Japan, where Christianty was seen as representative of the Americans and hence, an enemy. The inclusion of these two stories surprised me, and the diversity they added was very welcome.

The stories themselves are varied too. Some are light-hearted, some are poignant and some will bring you extremely close to tears. All of them end with hope, although a few of them aren't what you typically imagine as "Christmas Happy Endings" - where all the sick get well, family rifts are healed and well, Scrooge becomes generous.

Since Katherine Paterson is the author of Bridge to Terabithia, a story that brings me to tears every time I read it, I'm pretty sure that this book will tug at your heartstrings too. So perhaps you will need more time reading this book - after all, when you close the story, you may need some time to reset yourself back to the pace of your busy life.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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