THE HAND-CARVED CRECHE by James Kilgo

THE HAND-CARVED CRECHE

and Other Christmas Stories

KIRKUS REVIEW

This lean-limbed, superbly written southern memoir, set in the author’s hometown of Darlington, South Carolina, collects four stories about the Christmas season. Nature writer and novelist Kilgo (Daughter of My People, 1998, etc.) delineates real-life characters as memorable as his fictional ones. “The Promise,” the most strongly focused tale, recounts how the author’s father, sent to Officers Candidate School in 1944, promises his son he—ll return to see him. When Dad gets a 48-hour Christmas furlough, Mom borrows a car and a driver, then sets off on the 14-hour drive to the base, overcoming a wreck and other setbacks. In “The Lionel,” young James’s obsessive desire for a Lionel train set is granted only with great difficulty, but the boy’s joy shrinks once his buddies have trains too. The title piece tells of Kilgo and his wife collecting figures for a fabulous wooden cräche carved by European craftsmen. A fellow named Peter, hauling a cross by foot from Miami to Maine, has Christmas dinner with them and proves to be unforgettably pure of heart. Kilgo has stored up plenty of dimes, and we get to draw on their interest. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1999
ISBN: 1-892514-23-0
Publisher: Hill Street
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1999




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