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Aunt Dimity's Christmas (2000)

Aunt Dimity's Christmas (2000)
3.97 of 5 Votes: 1
0140296301 (ISBN13: 9780140296303)
penguin books
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Aunt Dimity's Christmas (2000)
Aunt Dimity's Christmas (2000)

About book: We are blessed to have an author who achieves storyline disparity and characters as familiar as friends. “Aunt Dimity’s Christmas” is volume V but on this occasion, it’s worth reiterating the original premise. Chicago native, Lori Shepard ceased to be destitute when her Mom’s lifelong friend bestowed a staggering estate to her, in rural England. She marries the lawyer’s son and they choose to live in Finch. Offices are established for Bill and Willis Senior in England too.We reunite with Lori, eager to splash out for Christmas in the grand way her Dad celebrated when she was a baby. However Aunt Dimity’s warmth knew no bounds in her life and an unknown acquaintance collapses in the snow. Willis Senior arranges hospital care and they wonder what his visit to their home was about. He was clearly unaware Dimity had died, so he had to be a friend at some distance in the past. With the help of a visiting priest, Lori accomplishes sleuthing vis-à-vis the hospital and hard-won clues. Many people in hard luck places, like soup kitchens, are familiar with the dazzling man but they must look further to know his name and to comprehend why someone descended from wealth, is nearly starving himself among the poor. Nancy chose the Christmas backdrop wisely. The care of this traveller, the way he draws wary people to him, beautifully reflect a present day Jesus. It’s rare to find a story about him that isn’t contained in Christianity-proselytizing literature! I happily absorbed the Jesus-like insight and compassion, independent of religion. It is light enough to keep me roaring; like Nancy’s commentary on Finch’s Christmas play, featuring their local Wiccan! The inspiration is engrained. The focus is a well-developed mystery as Lori processes how close she came to falling in the cold.

Darum geht es:Lori Shepard freut sich schon sehr auf Weihnachten in ihrem gemütlichen Cottage, das sie von Tante Dimity geerbt hat. Darum plant sie auch ein großes Fest an Heiligabend. Doch ein heruntergekommener Fremder, der halb erfroren vor dem Haus liegt, durchkreuzt ihre Pläne. Lori will nämlich unbedingt wissen, wer der Fremde ist und was er von Tante Dimity wollte. Leider liegt der Mann im Koma, so dass Lori ihn nicht selber fragen kann. Unterstützt von Tante Dimity, die über ihr Tagebuch mit ihr kommuniziert, macht sie sich auf die Suche nach dem Geheimnis des Fremden im Schnee...Ich sage dazu:Während Lori in diesem 5. Teil der Reihe dem Geheimnis, das den heruntergekommenen Fremden umgibt, Stück für Stück näher kommt, lernt sie nicht nur ihn besser kennen, sondern auch sich selbst. Wie immer steht ihr dabei Tante Dimity hilfreich zur Seite. Aber auch viele alte Bekannte und neue Freunde unterstützen sie bei ihrer Suche.Wie ein heißes Bad an einem kalten Wintertag oder eine wohlverdiente Pause nach einem stressigen Tag kommen die Geschichten von Lori und Tante Dimity daher. So warmherzig und nett, dass es schon fast kitschig ist. Der Wohlfühlfaktor ist dabei jedoch so hoch anzusiedeln, dass man darüber hinweg sehen kann. Neben der eigentlichen Geschichte findet sich als kleiner Bonus am Ende des Buches wieder ein Rezept. Diesmal von Weihnachtsplätzchen, sogenannten „Angel Cookies“.© Marion Schauder
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I liked the "message" of this book. (Yes, I do think the author was trying to convey a message, in addition to spinning a good yarn.) At the end of the book, Lori Shepherd communicates with Aunt Dimity about the homeless man, Kit Smith, who was found in Lori's front yard just before Christmas. Lori tells Dimity that she owes Kit an awful lot and that he helped her--"He forced me to look at things I didn't want to see...and to remember things I wanted to forget."I'd gotten too fat and sassy, Dimity. I'd paid my dues, so I thought I was entitled to my blessings. Kit reminded me that blessings aren't a right--they're a gift." (pgs. 202-203)She goes on to say that she was no more entitled to her blessings than the men at Saint Benedict's (a homeless shelter).I think we often forget that "our blessings aren't a right--they're a gift." And we do need to be concerned about those less fortunate than us.
Sometimes you need a series that you can go to that is predictably comforting. Such is the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton. Having just finished some rather heavy reading material, my mind and soul needed something that would soothe me and let me relax into a safe world of hope and light. Aunt Dimity's Christmas was just the ticket. Not that the book is devoid of sadness. It's just that the sadness overwhelmed by by joy and positive self-discovery. I usually race through a mystery series without stopping to catch my breath, but I'm approaching this series a little differently, using a modicum of self-restraint. I am interspersing the delightful novels into my other reading, in two or three at a time, especially where I need pick-me-up and a relax-my-mind read. Of course, the setting being England, the main residence being a charming cottage, and, in this case, a snowy Christmas help to ensconce me into a world of pure magic.The storyline starts two weeks before Christmas when Lori Shepherd is planning her first perfect Christmas, with her husband, two twin boys, her father-in-law, and a host of villagers and friends. Of course, nothing goes according to plan after a stranger is found unconscious in Lori's driveway the morning after her much-wished-for snow has arrived. Viewing this discovery as a most inconvenient interruption in her plans, Lori hopes that his hospitalization in an Oxford hospital will conclude her involvement in the matter. Enter Father Julian Bright, who draws Lori into the puzzling identity of the stranger known only as Smitty to him. The search provides much more than identity information, as Lori learns just how far from perfect her plan for Christmas was and how much more Christmas and life can mean.
Gay Ann
Lori, a wife and mother, has just settled into a little, inherited English cottage in the village of Finch and can’t wait for this Christmas to be the best Christmas ever. On Christmas Eve, Lori discovers a tramp collapsed in a snowdrift in her yard and spends her holiday trying to determine his identity by visiting homeless shelters with Father Julian. As the tramp lies comatose in the hospital, Lori begins to wonder if her life is too closed to those less fortunate. This cozy, light Christmas mystery is filled with suspense and world of the homeless. Written with an air of reflection on being thankful for our blessings, the author challenges readers to consider to share with others. Can we bring hope with small acts of kindness?
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