Thursday 23 November 2017

Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva @samanthaswriter @AllisonandBusby

Charles Dickens should be looking forward to Christmas. But when his latest book, Martin Chuzzlewit, is a flop, his publishers give him an ultimatum. 
Either he writes a Christmas book in a month or they will call in his debts and he could lose everything. 
Dickens has no choice but to grudgingly accept...

Mr Dickens And His Carol by Samantha Silva was published by Allison and Busby on 31 October 2017. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

Another Christmas book! I rarely read seasonal books but this year there have been a few that have taken my fancy and Mr Dickens and his Carol was one of them.
Who can resist Dickens's A Christmas Carol? I'm really not a huge Dickens fan, I remember struggling through Bleak House when I was at school, desperately wanting to get back to the Judith Krantz, Danielle Steel and Shirley Conran novels that were my true loves.

I've stayed away from classics ever since, but I do have a beautiful copy of A Christmas Carol, and I do take it from the shelf every year and have a read. I'm also a fan of novels that feature real characters in fictionalised situations. I think it's quite a brave thing for an author to do; to take a well known person and create a story around them, especially a story about one of their most famous achievements.

So, back to the book. It's Christmas and Charles Dickens has a flop on his hands. His latest novel has not done well and he has a family to feed, a house to keep and appearances to keep up. When his publisher suggest that he write a Christmas novel, and write it pretty quickly, he's horrified. However, if he doesn't, he will be bankrupt, with no home, so he has no choice but to get to work.

Samantha Silva has created an atmospheric and hugely entertaining story. She cleverly incorporates events and sayings from A Christmas Carol into her story, as Dickens fights a bad case of writer's block, treading the streets of London to get inspiration.

This an evocative and at times, quite funny story that sweeps the reader right into the heart of Dickens'  London. Brilliantly described, the streets come alive on every page and Dickens himself is a multi-layered character; expertly brought to life.

The perfect seasonal read, wonderfully imagined and carefully told.

Samantha Silva is a writer and screenwriter based in Idaho.
Mr Dickens and His Carol is her debut novel.

For more information visit
Follow her on Twitter @samanthaswriter 

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