Charles Dickens is having financial problems. His last book did not sell well. His publishers are threatening to deduct money from his royalties for their loss. They tell him he must write a Christmas story with less than two months before Christmas. He has lost his muse. At home, his wife is having baby number six. She is obsessed with their Christmas party. His children are obsessed with what they want for Christmas. Charles has lost his way and his good cheer for Christmas. He is fighting with everyone. He does not want to write a Christmas story but needs the money. Can he find his muse? Can he find the spirit of Christmas?
I loved this story. I felt like I was in Dickens' London. I love the nods to his other works, words, and characters. The characters of Dickens, his family, his friends, and his rivals were wonderful. I felt like I knew them and loved or hated them. I liked how he had to go back to the beginning to find his story. I enjoyed his interactions with Eleanor who points out what he feels, what he's missing, and what he needs. She is so spot on.
This book resonated with me. I will tell you to keep the tissue handy. You will need it. These people were so real to me. I hated leaving them. This is a keeper. Maybe not one I can read every Christmas season but one that needs a re-read and someone else to discuss it with each reading. There is so much there. So much wisdom, so much delight.