Ever since her sister died Pearl has a tradition of making a sister out of snow. But this year, Christmas is looking different. There is a mysterious letter for her father with a chance of great riches – but then she is caught stealing when trying to provide a nice meal for her family. Will she ever stop missing Agnes? And can Christmas possibly be saved?
I picked this book to read after having read and really enjoyed Carroll’s In Darkling Wood and fancying something sweet and easy to read. And it satisfied that perfectly! Reading Carroll’s books is like going back in time to a more innocent age. This story does so perfectly, and because it is Christmas focussed even gets away with being, really, a bit too sweet.
The story focuses on Pearl and her family, all of whom are still mourning for Agnes, Pearl’s dead sister. Against this backdrop comes the possibility of great wealth, which sends Pearl’s mind reeling – but also makes her question whether it would truly make her happy. Newsflash: it won’t.
So there’s a pretty obvious moral going on here, which is illustrated quite simply, but for a nice, pretty short Christmas stocking book for a child this would be perfect. And the world it summons is lovely, the action exciting enough to keep you hooked and Pearl as our main character well put together. Definitely recommended for your 8-10 year old niece. If you have one.