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Posted February 2, 2006
The Basic Color of Bells
¿Silver Bells¿ is a story on a tree farmer, Christopher ¿Christy¿ Byrne, from Nova Scotia whose son Danny runs away from him in New York City, and falls in love with a librarian, Catherine Tierney, who secretly helps and cares for Christy¿s teenage son. The premise of the story lies on the idea that it is often up to a man to determine whether his plans in life are for the best or the worst even if they may seem unreasonable or irrational. In this case, it was up to Danny Byrne who determined that his plans in life were for the best even if his father thought it irrational. Christy and Catherine are both dynamic and can also be marked as antagonists in the beginning of the novel. Christy, a widower, began his hate for Christmas ever since his son ran away the year before. Catherine, also a widow, started detesting Christmas ever since her dearly loved husband died a quick death from a sickness three years prior. Although she played a minor role in the story, Catherine¿s best friend Lizzie, on the other hand, can be labeled the protagonist in the novel. She was able to bring Catherine out of her anger towards Christmas, who, once out of her anger, was able to see the beauty of it. One major conflict that took place in the novel was when Catherine quietly reveals that she has been taking care of Christy¿s son for the past year. Christy finds himself outraged at the idea that he trusted this woman he now loved. He could not believe that she did not even, at the least, tell him that his son was doing all right when Christy would daily go out every night to search for his missing son. As the novel progressed, the son eventually shows himself but gets into an accident. There were silver bells on the photograph his girlfriend was holding on the day he got hurt and this was shown throughout the news in New York City. The location of these bells was the irony in the novel. The bells became some sort of a legend and everyone wanted to know where these bells were located. I do not find any interest in this book for the story was a simple romantic Christmas tale. There wasn¿t anything about the novel that made it appealing or exceptional in comparison to the many other books listed on the New York Times¿ Bestseller Booklist. Why did I choose to read it? I wanted to give myself a chance to read a contemporary romantic novel.
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