Every year some of your favorite authors pop up with a new title for the holiday season, and this year is no exception. Richard Paul Evans, Linda Howard, Garrison Keillor, Wally Lamb and several others have new books this Christmas.
My favorite this year is a simple little book by Gregory Maguire, author of the Wicked series of Wizard of Oz books. It's called Matchless, and it is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Little Match Girl. In this retelling, the match girl's story is woven into that of Frederik Pedersen, a little boy whose widowed mother is the seamstress to the queen. The pair are poor, down to their last bit of tea and last matchstick. Next we meet the match girl who, loses her shoes (one of which Fredrik takes) and is freezing, and she lights her matches one by one until they are gone. Maguire takes us through the sadness of the girl's passing and the story ends happily, as a new family is created.
This story is beautiful in its simplicity and its brevity. Maguire wrote Matchless after being asked by National Public Radio to create an original story with a Christmas theme. The author will read his work Christmas Day on NPR's All Things Considered. Tune in and listen, or snuggle into a cozy chair, grab your favorite read, and have yourself a merry little Christmas!