The Martin farm, Oklahoma, 1961
Franny's mother always said that if humans ever landed on the moon, the first thing they'd need was music. It was the one essential that made a place inhabitable - you know, to get through all those dark and lonely - not to mention unmarried and dateless - nights.
Franny sighed and turned up the dial on her transistor radio. Frank Sinatra's version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" wooed its way over the airwaves like a slow kiss under the mistletoe. She swayed and sange along as she dumped the last of the slop into the troughs of her forty rambunctious hogs. Then she climbed up on the fence for a little swine soiree.
"You know, I can't wait to see who Dick Clark features next on American Bandstand, but now that I'm thirty-three, I guess I should be watching The Lawrence Welk Show. Right?" The hogs grunted their replies, but it wasn't anything worth repeating. "Honestly, you guys can be such boars." She chuckled to herself at her bad pun.
As the last musical ribbons of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" tied up like a bow, Franny hopped down on the other side of the pig fence, picked up her radio and slop bucket, and heaved a sigh. Christmas was coming, and it looked like she was going to spend the holidays alone. Again.
With that piteous little thought bobby-pinned to her mind, she turned around and came face-to-face with a man. A stranger! She let out a yelp loud enough to startle the man and arouse the poor hogs into a frothing frenzy. The bucket and radio went flying as Franny went slip-sliding onto the muddy ground." (pg 9-10).
In the latest Christmas novel from Anita Higman, A Merry Little Christmas takes us back to the 1960's, on Franny's farm where she runs into quite literally a man who wishes to purchase the family farm she has had up for sale for the last 12 years. Funny how things like that just fall into place. Now that Charlie Landau and her have meet quite informally, she can finally find time to pursue the life long dream of a career in music in the big city. All she needed was a way out and Charlie fell right on in. It seems as if Charlie has been looking for a way to prove himself worthy to take part in his father's business, but after many unsuccessful attempts thus far, Charlie is hoping that taking over a farm and making a profit might be just the thing his father needs to see he is more than capable.
Set in the midst of the civil unrest with racial tensions running high, the book overlaps between a transition of ownership and jobs between Fanny and Charlie and thrusts them both into dealing with the unfair treatment of Noma Jefferson, an eldery women with the face as richly hued coffee who had shown Franny the kindness worthy of the Good Samaritan, when she finds herself having one of the worst days ever. Will Franny and Charlie be able to see past their own difference of money and be able to see the simpler side of life that money can never buy, perhaps Noma Jefferson really is an angel in disguise set upon the world to restore the hearts of the good people in Charlie and Franny, but of course, you'll never know unless you read this Christmas novel yourself.
I received A Merry Little Christmas by Anita Higman compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Summerside Press for my honest review and love a great story like this one. It brings to light so many different emotions and how each of the characters interacts with one another makes this one memorable long after you finish reading it. It's almost like you witnessed these events yourself. Anita does an exceptional job at transporting the reader right back into the heart of Oklahoma in the 1960's through the music and references to items like record players, transistor radios, and even the old time diner experience is rich and vividly described. It's things like these that truly enhance the experience for the reader and make them all the more real. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and think it's a must read for your Christmas season.
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- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Summerside (October 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1609366883
- ISBN-13: 978-1609366889
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches