In this collection of Christmas stories set in late Victorian times, the first centers around a doctor, Olivia Endicott-Jones, who runs the Trinity Settlement House providing care to the poor of Boston in the 1890s – but sometimes care goes beyond everyone’s expectations. The story is full of vivid accounts of Irish-American society in the late 19th century, from the strength of cultural bonds to the plight of the immigrants to politics.
The second story is set in the West in 1889. Susannah Pruitt, heading home after several years in the East, is caught in a sandstorm. When a stranger rides up, Susannah must find out if he brings help or danger. This is a sweet and inspirational story that brings full, vibrant characters and small western towns to life.
In the third story, set in 1891, Josephine is back in Holly Lake to settle her Grandmother’s estate. Unfortunately, when her grandmother’s lawyer reads the will, it turns out she is not the sole heir. Her grandmother has left the farm to both her and Benjamin Akers – someone Josephine has never heard of. This tale includes rich details of a rural farming community. Josephine is the most human of the characters in all three stories and this is the most heartwarming of the three tales.
All of the stories make a nice addition to Christmas reading lists for anyone who needs a little uplifting and homecoming, even if it is only in the heart.