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The Christmas Letters

Quick and Tasty Wallet-Friendly Lunches for Grown-Ups

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Description

In The Christmas Letters, three generations of women reveal their stories of love and marriage in the letters they write to family and friends during the holidays. It's a down-home Christmas story about tradition, family, and the shared experiences of women.
Here, in a letter of her own, Lee Smith explains how she was inspired to write this celebrated epistolary novel:

Dear Friends,

Like me, you probably get Christmas letters every year. I read every word and save every letter. Because every Christmas letter is the story of a life, and what story can be more interesting than the story of our lives? Often, it is the story of an entire family. But you also have to read between the lines with Christmas letters. Sometimes, what is not said is even more important than what is on the page.

In The Christmas Letters, I have used this familiar format to illumine the lives, hopes, dreams, and disappointments of three generations of American women. Much of the story of The Christmas Letters is also told through shared recipes. As Mary, my favorite character, says, "I feel as if I have written out my life story in recipes! The Cool Whip and mushroom soup years, the hibachi and fondue period, then the quiche and crepes phase, and now it's these salsa years."

I wrote this little book for the same reason I write to my friends and relatives every holiday--Christmas letters give us a chance to remember and celebrate who we are.

With warmest greetings, Lee Smith

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 01, 1996 – It's easier to believe in Santa Claus than in the premise of Smith's holiday novella. Employing the epistolary form that she used much more successfully in Fair and Tender Ladies, Smith provides a series of letters among three generations of women, aiming to create a record of a family's joys and tragedies, as well as a slice of social history from 1944 to 1996. Unfortunately, credibility is a casualty of the device, as we are asked to believe that close relatives living in neighboring Southern states would let a year go by without even the most basic communication about births, deaths and marriages. The letters recapitulate episodes that family members would surely have heard about before (one correspondent reminds her parents at great length about how she met her husband). In the era of telephones and cameras, it is highly unlikely that the information--both intimate and picayune--contained in these detailed missives would have awaited a seasonal newsletter. Recipes passed down through the decades, beginning with boiled custard and ending with an African dish from a woman in the Peace Corps, are meant to indicate changing social mores. But nothing here can surmount the awkward format of a book that is, in fact, as bland as boiled custard. Author tour.
The Christmas Letters
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Aug 19, 2002
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 136 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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