BOOK OF THE WEEK: MARGUERITE’S CHRISTMAS

A tomargueriteuching portrait of aging and what it means to be alone during the holidays, Marguerite’s Christmas is sure to become a modern classic– and it also might make you cry.

As with the best stories in this genre, Marguerite’s Christmas is a simple one that pulls and tugs at your heartstrings, and in turn, urges you to pull and tug your loved ones closer as the days grow shorter and the nights grow darker. Marguerite is an aging woman who lives alone after her husband has passed away (she bemuses rather darkly that “soon it will be her turn”), and she claims to be comfortable in her solitude, although certain things tell otherwise. Her home, at once filled with family during the holidays, is now a solitary fortress, the meals she would make for her children and grandchildren a simple affair after “her hands started to shake…and she gave up cooking once and for all.”Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 10.32.26 AM
All too often, elderly people feel like a burden on their families, and Marguerite steadfastly refuses to even tempt this, and she instead draws within. Rarely leaving the house, the outside world becomes a loud, dangerous place “full of hidden dangers” like icy sidewalks and errant germs. And so, at the book’s outset we find Marguerite eating a solo meal in front of her TV, a jumble of feelings bumbling around her head, until the doorbell rings and an unexpected visitor brings a little holiday cheer and companionship to her otherwise silent night.

“This is a special Christmas book– one worth sharing with ages seven to 107.” Montreal Gazette, December 2, 2015

This book is a chameleon and thus appeals to a wide range of audiences. Kids will love it for its classic Christmas book packaging, and will find a suitable home for it alongside The Night Before Christmas and The Polar Express. Adults will get misty-eyed over the story of Marguerite and may find themselves re-reading it after Santa has been to visit. In either case, it is an absolute treat and professes the real “reason for the season”– togetherness, caring and love. Copies are now in stock at Raincoast, and if you’re in Ontario or Quebec, you still have another day or so to order up for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

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Marguerite’s Christmas by India Desjardins, illustrated by Pascal Blanchet

9781592701780

Hardcover, $27.50

Juvenile Fiction/Comics and Graphic Novels/General

Enchanted Lion Books

Available now from PGC/Raincoast

 

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