ARC Review: THE MIRACLE ON EBENEZER STREET by Catherine Doyle (Middle Grade Monday)

I received this eARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinion.

Title in black on peach next to people riding a purple reindeer
Genre: fantasy
Age Range: MG
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone
CW: grief

Synopsis:

Book cover for THE MIRACLE ON EBENEZER STRRET: characters riding on a purpled reindeer in a snowglobe below the title

‘Old Marley’s magic was beginning to stir…’

George is about to spend his third Christmas without his mum. Since she died, George’s life has felt dull and grey; his dad has thrown himself into his work and has no time for family, and definitely no time for Christmas.

Then, George stumbles across Marley’s Curiosity Shop. There he finds a mysterious snow globe, which – though George can’t quite understand how – appears to show a scene from George’s past. A Christmas in which he and his family were together, and happy…

That night, George and his dad are swept on an adventure to three Christmases – past, present, and future. With help from new friends, and just a touch of magic, can they begin living life in full colour again?

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

A MIRACLE ON EBENEZER STREET is a fun modern-day retelling of A Christmas Carol. (It might also be a retelling of A Miracle on 34th Street, but I’ve never seen that movie.) A short book, this can be devoured in an afternoon, so perfect if you want something light and Christmassy to curl up with.

The story is crackers, a colourful, fast paced adventure. While the retelling is obvious, it’s also been well absorbed into Doyle’s own story and imagination. The most obvious hallmark of A Christmas Carol, the three ghosts, is present in the narrative, but they are far from ethereal beings bringing an eerie sense of time. Instead, we have larger than life characters who upend the life of the Bishops when George desperately wishes to help his grief-stricken father.

The story never explicitly says how George’s mother died, but it’s pretty easy to infer. It gives the book a serious undercurrent about grief and loss, and how we can wall ourselves up afterwards in an attempt to protect ourselves, but it just hurts others. It made the “ghost of Christmas Future” the most chilling and poignant, which naturally helps the father’s change of heart feel the most natural. I also liked what exactly helped him change, and how it wasn’t the overt “miracles” George had been attempting.

Despite this, it’s certainly a book that leans towards comedy, from the wild escapades the “ghosts” lead them on to some of the brilliant lines that I read aloud to my housemate.

MIRACLE ON EBENEZER STREET was a charming little festive story to bridge the gap until we get the next Storm Keeper book (please 2021).


Read my reviews of others books by Catherine Doyle:

Middle Grade:

The Storm Keeper:

Standalones:

Young Adult (With Katherine Webber):

Twin Crowns:

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