I’m going to start this review with an observation: very few novels about Christmas hold any surprises. That doesn’t make them bad. Sometimes I like predictable.
The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Novel, by Scott Abbott and Amy Maude Swinton, has no surprises. Patrick lost his wife a year ago, and Braden suffers from the same heart anomaly that took his mother. He needs heart surgery. Enter Ted, aka Grandpa, who blames Patrick for his daughter’s death, and decides to get Child Protective Services to investigate. In the meantime, Patrick loses his job and needs enough money to keep the heat on. When he realizes that a day job won’t do it, he uses his acting skills to panhandle as the Ghost of Christmas Present, bringing cheer and Shakespeare to the 9 to fivers.
Again, this was a nice book. The characters aren’t particularly well-developed, but the story moves at a good pace, and it’s a feel good book. If you’re looking for something to spend a relaxing afternoon with, this book isn’t bad. If you want a book to make you think, pass on this one.