I love Christmas themed books. There is something about them, that draws me. The cheery spirits, the happiness, the general feeling of everything being in place. Of course, nothing can be better than reading a Christmas book during the Christmas season. So when Sage asked me if I wanted to review Justin Bog’s book, I was all for it.
Having said that, Hark — A Christmas Collection, is a different sort of Christmas book. It is a beautifully written set of 6 stories, each of them exploring the various emotions that form part of the holiday season. Emotions aren’t normally part of traditional Christmas stories. Loneliness, sadness, hope, forgiveness, despair feelings that we rather tend to try to forget during the festive season. It is a season for happiness, and yet, so often it is sad time for many, for a many a reason.
Each of the stories are different, strongly emotional, Christmas being the common thread, running through all the stories. Beautiful stories, from the injured police officer’s reminiscences of how one Christmas changed his life forever, another story about a woman who has misplaced a present she bought for her sister, who seems to have very little interest in her lonely sister. My favourite was the one with Mr and Mrs Claus, both beautiful and heart-wrenching, brave at the same time.
A very different and yet very ‘Christmassy’ set of stories, not the usual saccharine sweet stories but one that will stay with you, haunting you, as you watch the merry festivities around you. Having said that, it is a book that you could read anytime of the year, and feel just as moved. A 3.5/5 read for me.
About the Author
Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin Bog was Pop Culture Correspondent and Editor for In Classic Style. He is an experimental cook, a lawn mower who colors outside the lines, and treat master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n.