A debut novella and sequel to A Christmas Carol explores the adult life of Tiny Tim.
In 1857 in London, it’s a week before Christmas and former curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge has died. In Charles Dickens’ 1843 classic, Scrooge didn’t renounce his skinflint ways until three ghosts visited him on Christmas Eve. One of the people who benefited by his transformation was a crippled boy named Tiny Tim. Tim grew up under Scrooge’s wing, healing in the process and becoming a clerk alongside his father, Bob Cratchit, at the firm Scrooge & Marley & Cratchit. The death of his mentor, however, sends Tim into a depression that robs him of faith in himself and God. Meanwhile, Becky, Tim’s childhood sweetheart, has been shunned by her own family after her marriage to a cruel man fell apart. She and her young son, James, struggle to make ends meet by selling holly on London’s chilly streets. They are barely able to eat or pay their rent, and yet Becky remains hopeful, realizing that it “was the habit of despair that ultimately condemned a soul.” When Christmas Eve arrives, Tim stays late at the offices only to be joined by a familiar, if ghostly, face. Whaler captures the essence of Dickens’ characters in brief strokes, as in the description of Scrooge, who has “white hair glistening on his head and brow above a timeworn face of cavernous folds.” The author depicts the starkness of Tim’s craving for both Scrooge and Becky with pointed metaphors, including when he “felt strangely detached as if his caring was being poured onto the ground like a pitcher of water.” The main difference between this sequel and Dickens’ classic is Whaler’s extended theme of the individual placing faith in God, who “allows difficulties in people’s lives to see their faith grow, to prepare us for a higher level of faith.” There are four original songs by the author—including lyrics and sheet music—after the story.
A religious sequel to Dickens’ holiday classic and an ideal stocking stuffer.