Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Wreath of Snow-Liz Curtis Higgs

A Wreath of Snow

Liz Curtis Higgs

WaterBrook, Oct 2 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9781400072170

In 1894, Meg Campbell took the train from Edinburg to spend Christmas with her family in Stirling, Scotland. Schoolteacher Meg, who had not visited in two years, hates coming home ever since her younger brother Alan became churlish following an accident that paralyzed him. He is worse than ever when he calls her selfish for not selling the home her late Aunt Jean gave her for being her companion for two years. Realizing her sibling adds avarice to his nastiness, Meg leaves intending to take the train back to Edinburgh though she knows she hurts her parents.

Glasgow Herald reporter Gordon Shaw returns to town on an assignment after a dozen years away. He remembers like it was today as a teen curling in Stirling when he lost control of his handle as a ten years old boy raced onto the ice. The stone hammered the child in his lower back leaving the kid paralyzed. Gordon became a pariah and slinked out of town just a short time after the accident. As he waits at the station for the train to depart while the snow heavily falls making travel unlikely, next to him is his victim’s older sister.

A Wreath of Snow is an entertaining Christmas tale as a freak accident twelve years ago impacts two families. The characters are fully developed with Meg sorrowful, Gordon guilty; Alan angry and the parents coddling. Even with a late twist, the enjoyable storyline flows down the expected path. Though neither Gordon nor Meg want to remain in town, on the contrary fans will appreciate spending the holidays in snowbound Stirling.

Harriet Klausner

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