Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Christmas Past: A Ghostly Winter Tale

Christmas Past: A Ghostly Winter Tale is a romantic holiday novella by John Adcox. Released 9th Nov 2021 by The Story Plant, it's 169 pages and is available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a sweetly romantic story featuring a cultural anthropologist trying to finish her doctoral dissertation whilst battling deep grief from a bereavement and the isolation which comes from living as an expat in another country. She begins following an unusually specific urban legend back to its source and her experiences unraveling the mystery has parallels to her own story.

Despite the heavy themes of grief, loss, and isolation, this is a surprisingly sweet and uplifting story. It's admittedly a bit sweet and sappy in places and there aren't a whole lot of surprise twists; but it's nevertheless satisfying and well written.

The book is capably and beautifully illustrated by Carol Bales (the wife of the author), and the collaboration between the art and text is lovely, with a synergy which lifts the whole to another level.

Four stars. Definitely one for romantics. Paranormal elements and magical realism are central plot points, so readers should bring the requisite suspension of disbelief.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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