Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ruth's First Christmas Tree by Elly Griffiths

First Sentence:  “The Spirits are strong in this one,” says the man in the white robe and gumboots.
For a woman who didn’t do Christmas, forensic anthropologist Ruth Galloway is challenged by making her 1-year-old daughter’s first Christmas special.  Nothing is quite going to plan, including learning from her druid friend, Cathbad, informing her that a Bronze Age wooden peg is missing.
Griffith’s Ruth Galloway is a delight, particularly for those of us who have been known to eschew the accepted sentiments and traditions of the holidays, yet find ourselves attracted to them.  Some may even relate to the “Doctor Who” reference.
The story contains delightful humor.  There is the inclusion of the character’s back story, references to previous books and fascinating factual information which is interesting and doesn’t detract from the pace of the story.  Griffith’s provides a very strong sense of place, often using weather to increase suspense. 

Her description of faith is perfectly attuned to the character and can be appreciated by many of us…”It’s enough that someone, somewhere genuinely believes that the magic will work.”  I suspect those of us in our middle years can particularly relate to Ruth and the story.   
Ruth’s First ChristmasTree” is not overly sweet, but still provides a warm ending.  It’s a small treat, particularly for those who love this character.

RUTH’S FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE (Short Story-Ruth Galloway-England-Contemp) - G+
Griffiths, Elly – Christmas Short Story
Amazon Kindle Services – Dec 21014

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