Christmas Eve morning wasn't the best time for a telling-off, yet Pearl Granger was about to get one. She had been outside in the snow for all of two minutes, when above her head a window opened and her mother's voice rang out.
Published by Faber and Faber in October 2015
Pages - 100
Illustrations by Julian de Narvaez
Ever since her sister, Agnes, died, Pearl has a tradition every time it snows. She makes a person out of snow. A snow sister. It makes Christmas feel a little less lonely.
On Christmas Eve, her father receives a letter about a long-lost relative's will. Is their luck about to change? In anticipation of a better Christmas, Pearl goes to beg credit at Mr Noble's grocery to get ingredients for a Christmas pudding. But she is refused, and chased down the street where she is hit by a hansom cab. The snow is falling so hard that they can't take her home. She'll have to stay at Flintfield Manor overnight, in a haunted room... Will Pearl make it home for Christmas?
Reviewed by Vivienne Dacosta
I've been excited about reading this book, since I saw the cover reveal a few months ago. Not only is it by Emma Carroll, who is fast becoming one of my favourite UKMG authors, but it's also set during the Christmas period, one of my favorite times of the year. It's also set during the Victorian period, which always wins the best Christmas stories era with me.
It's beautifully written from start to finish and you quickly find yourself transported to Victorian times. Carroll's descriptive passages actually make you shiver as you feel the coldness of the season. Pearl is a delightful character who really only wants to see her family happy again and able to put food on the table. Her family have suffered enough since her sister's death and she feels its time for a change.
Carroll shows us that without the love of our families, we have nothing. Money won't buy you happiness, but love will.
You can't talk about this book without discussing the illustrations, which have a real Victorian feel to them. They reminded me of the tales of my childhood, like The Little Match Girl.
My only niggle with this book, it that it wasn't long enough for me. This is a novella, which is gorgeous, but perhaps because of my love of Emma's writing, I would have loved for the book to be longer. I felt it had the potential to be a full novel, rather than just a novella.
I'm not sure I can even call that a niggle as it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book at all. I really enjoyed reading it. A beautiful tale which will make a gorgeous stocking filler for any child that loves Christmas and still believes in the magic of Christmas.