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The Christmas Star Paperback – November 15, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Lines from the Tao Te Ching and black-and-white drawings by artist Cortney Skinner begin each chapter in this pleasant novella by Fahy (The Fly Must Die) that not so subtly encourages a more Zen way of life. --Library Journal

A NEW HOLIDAY CLASSIC



Does the world need another Christmas story to add to its store of feel-good tales? Since Dickens A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843, and Twas the Night Before Christmas in 1822, it could be argued that a heartwarming addition every century or so is warranted. A case in point: Chris Van Allsburg s The Polar Express, a 1986 Caldecott Medal winner that has reappeared on national best-seller lists every December since then. The Christmas Star, by Christopher Fahy, should be added to the list of favorite Christmas books. At 120 pages it s short enough to be read aloud over a few evenings to children who are old enough to appreciate chapter books and to grown-ups enjoying a quiet break from Christmas hysteria.

It s a simple tale: Russell Dodge, a real estate tycoon, buys an entire pristine Maine mountain, signing the papers on the day before Christmas. His plans for his new acquisition include a hotel, condo, an alpine village with shops and a golf course. He s been told that there may be a couple of families who d been caretaking the property for its previous owner, but Dodge isn t overly concerned with the fate of these squatters.



But fate, in the form of a major blizzard, intervenes and Dodge s car ends up in a ditch on his new mountain. He is rescued by the very caretakers he plans to displace and spends Christmas in their care, sharing a life very different from the one he lives in the city his rescuers live in a cabin lovingly built by had and totally off the grid...



The time spent with the family, which includes unspoiled and charming Ruby, the adopted Chinese granddaughter of his rescuers, gives Dodge some insight into the lives of people who, unlike him, are content with what they have.



Because this is a Christmas fable, Dodge, like Scrooge, must find redemption, and he does. He finally asks himself, as many of us should, Isn t your plate already full enough? Maybe a bit too full?



Fahy handles his story with a gentle touch, and the descriptions of the quiet and creative life of Dodge s rescuers are so detailed and accurate that readers can easily place themselves, like Dodge, in that place where nature and the land provide riches to its caretakers... - Georgeanne Davis --The Free Press (Maine)

Irish writer Robert Lynd (1879-1949) once wrote: Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive. And rich, self-absorbed New York real estate tycoon Russell Dodge is in for a big surprise.



With an obvious nod to Ebenezer Scrooge and A Christmas Carol, Maine author and poet Christopher Fahy tells the warm, charming story of a man whose sudden misfortune reveals an opportunity he never knew existed...



Dodge is a wealthy man who buys whatever he wants, a rapacious land developer who never considers the impact of his greed. He has just bought Sheffield Peak, a pristine mountain wilderness in northern Maine, intending to turn the area into a massive resort and amusement park. Two days before Christmas he closes the deal, but wrecks his car on a mountain road during a snowstorm. Injured, he is rescued by Lee and Doris Hansen and their granddaughter, Ruby. The Hansens are the peak s caretakers, living on land they do not own.



Snowbound with the Hansens in their sturdy cabin, Dodge becomes intrigued by their happy and self-sufficient lifestyle, their gracious care and the joyful innocence of 6-year-old Ruby. The Hansens don t know that Dodge intends to destroy all that.



However, three days spent with this family teaches Dodge that his own life is empty of satisfaction and purpose, that money means little if it is not used for good work, and that he has one chance to find his own peace and happiness... Bill Bushnell --The Kennebec Journal

About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christopher Fahy is the author of fifteen books. Overlook Connection Press has previously published his novel Fever 42 and a collection of his fantasy stories, Matinee at the Flame. He lives in Thomaston, Maine.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Cortney Skinner is a freelance artist, illustrator and conceptual designer working in both traditional and digital media. His work appears in books, magazines and films. He has previously worked with Overlook Connection Press on New York Times bestselling author David Morrell s full color novella The Hundred Year Christmas. He makes his home in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 102 pages
  • Publisher: OC Collectibles; First Illustrated edition (November 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623300002
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623300005
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,686,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher Fahy is the author of collections of short stories and poetry, and
eight novels. He won the 1987 Maine Arts Commission Fiction
Competition, judged by Mary McCarthy, with his chapbook of stories, One
Day in the Short Life of Anna Banana. In 1999 he won a Grand Prize in the
International Poetry Competition sponsored by Atlanta Review. Also in
1999 he published Limerock: Maine Stories. Fever 42, a novel, was
published in 2002, and the novel Breaking Point in 2004. Fahy lives with his
wife, children's book author Davene Fahy, on the coast of Maine.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Reader on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is one of the loveliest stories I've read in a long time. Gentle, touching, and perfect for those who celebrate Christmas and those who don't, as it is a tale of family, of love, and of stewardship of our beautiful world. Not only is the story moving, but the artwork by Cortney Skinner couldn't be more charming. Each picture evokes a sense of warmth, a nostalgia for something that - if we open our eyes and truly look - was never lost and is right before us even today. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading Christopher Fahy years ago, mainly due to a glowing Stephen King review, and I've read all of his books since. He really doesn't have a bad one.

This one is a bit short at 120 pages, but it's a worthwhile read.

If you like it, you should also look for W. A. Heisler's story collection An American Christmas, which has a similar tone (and an author I've met, so I'm biased), and basically ALL of Fahy's other books, particularly Matinée at the Flame, Nightflyer, and Red Tape.

I *do* have one minor complaint I can't talk about without giving away the ending... but my only MAJOR complaint is that Fahy doesn't get published often enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Reynolds on December 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished reading this warm and loving story... do yourself a favour and order this book NOW. It's a wonderful quick read... or share it with the family. Simple story, delightful illustrations and a tear or two of joy at the ending.
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By AnnH on January 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a new heart-warming story that will make you think about your own life, this is it. Charming illustrations add to the comfort this book provides. It makes a wonderful gift, but you'll want a copy for yourself too.
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