The Redemption of Evalisa Trooge: A Christmas Carol Story by Lauren M. Flauding

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

The Redemption of Evalisa Trooge: A Christmas Carol Story by Lauren M. Flauding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Victorian Village thrives every year at Christmastime, even though its owner—tightfisted, bitter, friendless Evalisa—hates the holiday. In fact, she plans to sell the village to Past, Present, and Future Investments this Christmas and go off to live in seclusion, with cash as her companion. But she has no idea what the holiday has in store for her in The Redemption of Evalisa Trooge: A Christmas Carol Story by author Lauren M. Flauding.

Yes indeed, I read this story through the eyes of a Christmas enthusiast and a longtime fan of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. You do have to appreciate that classic to fully appreciate this modern take.

I’ll admit, I often steer clear of retellings of classic fiction because I’m disappointed if the adaptations don’t do justice to the originals. I figure, if you’re going to butcher or water down a story that’s already standing the test of time, why come out with a weaker version of it?

So I’m happy to say I found this book to be downright delightful. It’s a little old-fashioned in its style in places, aspects that would’ve felt overdone to me if I didn’t know the story is a reflection of an oldie-but-goodie.

Some of the events are a bit rushed, and, no, not everything that happens is the most realistic. But the account of Ebenezer Scrooge isn’t all about realism either, so, hey. This would have been an absolutely stellar read for me if not for the number of errors I ran into, especially where dialogue tags and some punctuation are concerned.

Nevertheless, I found the story itself to be an entertaining, humorous, touching twist on a timeless tale I’ve loved for years. Even with no previous knowledge of Flauding or recommendations from other readers, this is one of my top, surprising finds among holiday reads.

 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

“I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.”

Before he sings such a blessed, spirit-of-the-holiday tune, however, Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly grump living a lucrative but deplorable and loveless life. But a rather terrifying, painful, and enlightening adventure on Christmas Eve night will help him change his tune in A Christmas Carol, a tale by author Charles Dickens.

Hilarious, touching, altogether delightful–I see why this story is such a classic. Well, not that I haven’t seen it before: I saw a play adaptation at the theater as a child, and the 1951 film adaptation, Scrooge, with Alastair Sim, has become a holiday staple of mine. I’ve long lost count of how many times I’ve watched the film, of which I can now say with confidence that, even with its handful of cinematic departures from the book, Scrooge captures and conveys the spirit of A Christmas Carol quite wonderfully.

Ah, blessed Christmasness.

And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One! THE END

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Note: the text of classic works may sometimes be printed or edited differently in various editions. My copy of A Christmas Carol, the one I’ve quoted from, isn’t the one I have pictured on this blog post. I’ve not read the Puffin Classics edition here; I just used it for the artwork on its jolly cover. 🙂

 

Scrooge (1951)

Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Scrooge (1951) from Renown Pictures
(Released as A Christmas Carol in the United States)
Not Rated. Drama, Period Film, Comedy, Christmas

Five Gold Stars

Description (from the film case): Alastair Sim’s tour-de-force performance as the ultimate miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, has almost single-handedly made this beloved version of Charles Dickens’s story into one of the best-loved Christmas films of all time. Cranky and curmudgeonly Scrooge learns the error of his unkind ways and is taught the true meaning of the holidays when he is visited by the ghost of his late business partner and the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future.

My thoughts: I’ll never need another Scrooge on film after Alastair Sim.

Oh, this film used to scare me when I was little, but I watched it anyway, and I still watch it most every year now, without the fright. Of course, it’s not at all difficult to see why early critics said it’s too dark of a picture to show at Christmastime, but it has nevertheless become such a holiday staple that folks like me can watch it year after year to see more clearly all that keeps bringing audiences back to this classic picture: Dickens’s signature stark themes mixed with warmth, comedy, and a message of compassion and living life to its absolute fullest.

“A merry Christmas, Ebenezer! You old humbug!”

My corresponding reading: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

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From the film’s release in the UK, with the film’s real name. Scrooge. 😀