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Christmas Bells: A Novel af Jennifer…
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Christmas Bells: A Novel (original 2015; udgave 2015)

af Jennifer Chiaverini (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2741797,622 (4.01)8
"New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem "Christmas Bells," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I heard the bells on Christmas Day/ Their old familiar carols play/ And wild and sweet/ The words repeat/Of peace on earth, good-will to men! In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow's classic Revolutionary War poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," was less than a month hence, and the country's grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed. In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia's music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children's choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss. Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow's family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow's patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. "Christmas Bells," the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn. Jennifer Chiaverini's resonant and heartfelt novel for the season reminds us why we must continue to hear glad tidings, even as we are tested by strife. Reading Christmas Bells evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song"--… (mere)
Medlem:LuLibro
Titel:Christmas Bells: A Novel
Forfattere:Jennifer Chiaverini (Forfatter)
Info:Dutton (2015), 336 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Christmas Bells af Jennifer Chiaverini (2015)

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» Se også 8 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 17 (næste | vis alle)
"Christmas Bells" is my first "date", so to speak, with author Jennifer Chiaverini. I was familiar with her name as the author of [b:Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker|15808287|Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker|Jennifer Chiaverini|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1350586527s/15808287.jpg|21532921], and had heard good things about her reputation as a historical novelist with that book, so I was looking forward to this one.

This book intertwines the historical tale of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's family, and the story behind his poem titled "Christmas Bells", with several current-day story lines which take place in the Boston area. I found myself intrigued by the Longfellow storline, while the plot of the current day stories seemed predictable and treacly. As I thought about about it, I think it's due to a difference in genre. The Longfellow story is historical fiction, and by its nature, that genre is more authentic (at least to me) -- encompassing aspects of real life. The current day story would be considered "women's fiction" (I guess) and I find that unless it's well done, that genre is less appealing to me (unless the author is good the book just goes into "Lifetime" or "Hallmark Channel" territory).

Above all, I couldn't help but be struck at how Longfellow's "Christmas Bells" poem still resonates today. He wrote the poem at a time of personal and national sorrow (during the Civil War). One only has to read a newspaper to long for "Peace on earth; goodwill toward men."

3 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Dutton for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  jj24 | May 27, 2024 |
I really enjoyed the book, Christmas Bells. I didn’t realize before starting the book that it would be a parallel timeline between the 1800s, Civil War era, and the present day. It was interesting to learn more about the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
A delightful story with interesting characters, well written, storyline, and great insight into the past. ( )
  LuLibro | Jan 22, 2024 |
A pretty good book spanning two time periods but told with various narrators. Each person's perspective of an event that all comes together at the end. ( )
  Sassyjd32 | Dec 22, 2023 |
This book combines historical fiction about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his family with a number of present-day storylines, tying them together with the Christmas carol "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." I had no idea the lyrics from this song were from Longfellow's poem "Christmas Bells," which was written on Christmas Day in 1863 and inspired by personal tragedy.

The present-day storylines involve a Catholic church children's choir in Longfellow's town of Cambridge, Massachusetts, that's going to perform the song. The choir director is also a public school music teacher, about to lose the latter job to budget cuts. Her volunteer accompanist, a civil engineer, is secretly in love with her. Other narrators include two children in the choir, their mom, and the parish priest who is a friend of their soldier dad who is missing in Afghanistan; the widow of a wealthy Senator who's been a benefactor of the parish; and an elderly nun at the parish.

I've found Jennifer Chiaverini's strictly historical fiction books about real people (as opposed than those about fictional characters in a particular era) to be rather dry. She does much better with contemporary realistic fiction, and blending the two, as she's done in this book, works well. I also liked the way Chiaverini incorporated O. Henry's classic "The Gift of the Magi" into this story. It's a book written for the holiday season, so the ending is positive and hopeful, as it should be. ( )
1 stem riofriotex | Jan 22, 2020 |
I chose this title for bookclub based on what I read on the back cover. Sounded quite good. Unfortunately, I felt the novel fell short. It was a bit preachy in spot, it seemed like the author tried to hard to make things turn out right for EVERYONE. That is not life and I don't enjoy reading books like that. The book did not really prompt much discussion for our group. Quite a disappointment. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Dec 13, 2018 |
Viser 1-5 af 17 (næste | vis alle)
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Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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To Marty, Nicholas, and Michael, who make every Christmas merrier.
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Only the most jaded of critics would deny that the Winter Holiday Concert had been an artistic triumph,...
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"New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini celebrates Christmas, past and present, with a wondrous novel inspired by the classic poem "Christmas Bells," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I heard the bells on Christmas Day/ Their old familiar carols play/ And wild and sweet/ The words repeat/Of peace on earth, good-will to men! In 1860, the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family celebrated Christmas at Craigie House, their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The publication of Longfellow's classic Revolutionary War poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," was less than a month hence, and the country's grave political unrest weighed heavily on his mind. Yet with his beloved wife, Fanny, and their five adored children at his side, the delights of the season prevailed. In present-day Boston, a dedicated teacher in the Watertown public school system is stunned by somber holiday tidings. Sophia's music program has been sacrificed to budget cuts, and she worries not only about her impending unemployment but also about the consequences to her underprivileged students. At the church where she volunteers as music director, Sophia tries to forget her cares as she leads the children's choir in rehearsal for a Christmas Eve concert. Inspired to honor a local artist, Sophia has chosen a carol set to a poem by Longfellow, moved by the glorious words he penned one Christmas Day long ago, even as he suffered great loss. Christmas Bells chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Longfellow's family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow's patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. "Christmas Bells," the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn. Jennifer Chiaverini's resonant and heartfelt novel for the season reminds us why we must continue to hear glad tidings, even as we are tested by strife. Reading Christmas Bells evokes the resplendent joy of a chorus of voices raised in reverent song"--

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