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THE CHRISTMAS BOX by Richard Paul Evans

THE CHRISTMAS BOX

By Richard Paul Evans

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-684-81499-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 This reverent little domestic tale, originally self-published, gets its second holiday chance to wring out tears and ring up sales. A Utah businessman named Richard (he's in formal wear rental), his wife Keri, and four-year-old daughter Jenna become a second family to Mary, an aging widow who lets them live rent-free in her big old Victorian mansion if they'll cook for her and help out around the house. Kind and sweet Mary, though, has secrets in her past, which workaholic Richard gradually becomes aware of in spite of his absorbingly busy pre-holiday schedule at the storewith the help of recurring angel-dreams and nighttime strains of music from the attic. When Mary is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and begins to die, things move more swiftly toward a Christmas Day conclusion that will offend some, amuse others, and doubtless, as it apparently did its first time around the block, move many to new tears of piety. Those who may wish, meanwhile, can find stylistic enjoyment as well, in such phrasings, say, as: `` `This should be interesting,' I decided''; ``Jenna smiled hungrily''; `` `There's bound to be a lot of history in a place like this,' he said thoughtfully''; or in these words of a kindly physician: ``I know that's not very reassuring, but it's reality.'' (First printing of 750,000; Book-of-the-Month/Quality paper alternate selection)