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