Michael Slanders only wants a steady job and a family of his own, but instead he lives from hand to mouth with his sick mother. Fired a week before Christmas and down on his luck, Mike needs nothing short of a miracle. Sometimes, goodness prevails. Sometimes, magic is made.
|Publisher:||Melange Books, LLC|
|File size:||457 KB|
About the Author
Charmaine Pauls was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. She obtained a degree in Communication at the University of Potchestroom, and followed a diverse career path in journalism, public relations, advertising, communications, photography, graphic design, and brand marketing. Her writing has always been an integral part of her professions. After relocating to Chile with her French husband, she fulfilled her passion to write creatively full-time. Charmaine has published ten novels since 2011, as well as several short stories and articles. When she is not writing, she likes to travel, read, and rescue cats. Charmaine currently lives in Montpellier with her husband and children. Their household is a linguistic mélange of Afrikaans, English, French and Spanish.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A novella with a distinctly South African flavor, “A Miracle for Christmas” is an incredibly cheesy, but sweet, short story about a man who is down on his luck, but whose life is changed when he opens his heart and home to a lovable stray dog called, Scruffy. I loved the message in this inspiring, candyfloss Christmas tale about doing good things for others and being selfless, and how, at the end of the day, the rewards for good deeds come back ten-fold. Michael, the main character, doesn’t have life easy and I soon felt sympathetic towards this thirty-seven-year old man taking care of his dying mother, Agnes, and struggling to make ends meet. But then, almost overnight, Michael’s life changes in the most unexpected of ways; some might even think of it as a miracle as it happened the minute he needed it most. Michael is a generous and kind man who put others before himself. I liked that about him. I also liked his mom, although the reader doesn’t get to see much of her. Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect with Michael because he wasn’t properly fleshed out. But what the characters lacked in description was made up for by the world-building. South African readers, or those who have visited Johannesburg, will be delighted as the author lets us know where exactly in this city Michael finds himself at any given time. “A Miracle for Christmas” is a delightful quick read which I finished in little over an hour. Although Michael’s naivety was sometimes slightly annoying, I think I might’ve understood him better had the author shared more about his background (before his mother developed cancer) as to why he was STILL living with his mother at the age of thirty-seven. Did something tragic happen in his twenties? Did he have other jobs in his twenties which he couldn’t hold or from which he was dismissed? Has he had any previous relationships or a failed marriage? I definitely would’ve connected with him better and empathized with him more if I had additional information on his life up until the start of the story. Overall, this novella had a nice ending, though a rather predictable one. And of course I won’t let an opportunity pass to say I think the book cover is absolutely adorable! The writing is simplistic and the story very straightforward. I read this entire short story with a smile on my face, and it left me in a festive mood, looking forward to Christmas even more than I already do. It’s an uplifting, clean read, reminding us that no matter how bleak things can get, or when we’re at our lowest lows, life CAN take an unexpected turn for the better. Whether you believe in miracles or not, sometimes life can surprise us with that very rare phenomenon, and that is exactly the message this lovely short read endorses!