A Very Bookish Christmas is a collection of Christmas novellas which each have a tie-in to a classic book.
Gingerbread Treasures by Rebekah Jones is based on The Sign of Four, a Sherlock Holmes story by Arthur Conan Doyle. Emily Willis contacts her uncle’s friend to investigate a weird situation. Every December 12 of the last few years, she has received a gingerbread man with a key and instructions not to eat the cookie. On the fifth year, someone stole all four cookies plus her dog. Then she received an email “from a friend” requesting a meeting and saying she could bring two friends, but no police.
Molly and Anna by Sarah Holman is based on Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. Molly and Anna Garcia’s parents have both died, and they are being flown from their small mission to their aunt’s house. Molly tries to play the “glad game” like her favorite book heroine, Pollyanna. But it’s hard, especially when her aunt doesn’t want her to talk about her father or speak in Spanish, as she’s used to.
Sylvie of Amber Apartments by J. Grace Pennington is based on Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. Sylvie is so into Anne of Green Gables that she includes on her Christmas list a dress with puffed sleeves like Anne craved. Sylvie’s imagination is more active than her mom thinks is practical. But when she slights her longtime friend for a new girl that reminds her of Diana in the book, perhaps her book world has intruded too much on real life.
Sincerely, Jem by Kate Willis is based on Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster. Jessie is an introverted book-lover who feels uncomfortable at parties. She brings along her inspiration book to write down observations, character sketches, etc. When a friend suggests a pen pal, Jessie likes the idea. She uses the pen name Jem and enjoys getting to know her correspondent without having to make awkward small talk. And she learns that part of friendship is extending herself.
I’m quite familiar with Anne, but it had been a long time since I had read the Holmes books, and I had never read the other two (though I’d seen the movie version of Pollyanna ages ago). Perhaps because I wasn’t as familiar with these classics, I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as I did the Thanksgiving version. Plus the first story seemed to contain a lot of unnecessary repetition.The Thanksgiving book was also the second written, so I think perhaps the writers had garnered a bit more experience.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book—I did, very much, especially the last three stories. I don’t know if the authors have any more collaborations up their sleeves (A Very Bookish Valentine’s Day, perhaps? Lots of possibilities there!). But if they do, I’m sure I’ll read them.