Dialogue accent really slowed me down. I know it’s authentic, but I got tired of it pretty quick. I was ready to quit about 15% into the book. Reviews of a good ending kept me going. The ending was very good. The beginning was good. The stuff in the middle, not so much.
8/12 - A simple, unsophisticated historical mystery. I had just finished A Christmas Hope and was expecting this to have some of the same characters, but A Christmas Promise was completely different. This may be considered part of the Christmas Stories series, but only because it's set around the time of Christmas, as far as I can tell it has no other association with other books from the series.
This one features Gracie Phipps and her newly made friend Minnie Maude. Gracie comes across Minnie Maude searching for her lost donkey after her uncle and favourite person has died. Everyone tells Minnie Maude, and eventually Gracie when she starts to help, to forget about Uncle Alf and the lost donkey but Minnie Maude can't ignore the strange events surrounding Alf's death - where have the donkey and Alf's cart gone, exactly how did he die, and why is everyone ignoring these important questions.
Perry's writing evoked the era A Christmas Promise was written in perfectly, I could even hear Minnie Maude and Gracie speaking in my ear, with their dreadful diction and strong accents. It took a little getting used to, reading all that dialogue with so many contractions - 'ow instead of how, 'e instead of he, wot instead of what, and many more - but once I got the flow of it, it became quite fun to listen to (in my head). I look forward to reading the third and final book from this series, which was part of my borrowing splurge.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a change from some of the other Christmas books she has written. I maybe wrong, but, aren't these the girls who appear later on as servants for the Monks? If so, then, this provides Perry's fans with some background on them. Also, it was never explained how Gracie knew Minnie Maude, & here it is.
No, it wasn't this nail-biting mystery with many ins & outs, but, here we see how 2 young girls become loyal friends with a beautiful Christmas ending.
This book is written for an 11 year old and ranks up there with literary giants like Carolyn Keen ( Nancy Drew). The cockney accents on the poor waifes are distracting ( with their 'F' intead of TH) and makes it even more difficult to sympathize with the plight of the simple girls. Perry keeps repeating the simple clues to the murder as though we can't remember from page to page what the girls have already discovered. What a waste of reading time.
Another in Anne Perry's Christmas series. I prefer the books in this series where there are pre-established characters from her other books. Here, two children from Victorian London try to solve the murder of a beloved uncle. Predictable plot.
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