FIRST REVIEW

5.0 out of 5 stars

Dickens in Dallas — such lovely stories

A review of CHRISTMAS THEN: TEN STORIES by Charles Robert Baker

November 26, 2019

Format: Paperback

I read these brief, moving stories in a couple of sittings. There is something quit magical about the prose, as Charles Robert Baker takes us back half a century or so to a quiet Dallas neighborhood, which is evoked with loving granularity. Baker is a poet in prose, and I came away from these tales with phrases hanging in my head, to be savored, like ornaments on a tree. I think I most thought of Dickens while reading these stories. There is such a particularity here, and an unabashed allowance for human emotion, even…yes..sentiment. And there is a lovely touch of magic here, too — a child’s imagination lifted and laid bare, as at the end of “The Harp,” a story I much admire: “When the figure briefly glowed in the dark window, he knew better than to think it was only his imagination.” JAY PARINI

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