I hesitate to say this out loud, but…I’m getting rid of a book I’ve had on my shelf for four years. Ooh, that’s so painful.
Last year at this time I wrote about my favorite Christmas-themed books – ones I read every year as part of my holiday celebration. I’m in the midst of reading through them again, and loving every minute of it.
There’s one Christmas book, though, that did NOT make that list last year: “An Irish Country Christmas.” It’s one my mom gave me for Christmas four years ago. I should have loved it – the setting is a mid-2oth century small Irish village, so it’s right up my alley.
The first two years I had it, I read the whole thing through, enjoying the characters and the story lines. But with every line I cringed at the terribly poor writing. Actually, the problem was probably a serious lack of editing. Any editor worth his or her paycheck should have cut the darned thing by about 75 pages. The whole thing is full to the brim with author intrusion, lack of trust in the reader’s intelligence, and repetition. And then there’s the truly painful and awkward dialog, which only rings true about half the time. I’ve actually considered going through the book with a pen, marking up all the changes that should have been made before this book saw the light of day.
The really sad thing is that “An Irish Country Christmas” is part of a series. I must admit I checked out two others from our library, because I truly did like the characters and the setting. But both of those were just as over-written and poorly edited as the Christmas volume.
So it is with a bit of regret (and honestly, a great deal of relief) that this Christmas book is making its way into our Little Free Library this afternoon. The rest of the family is fed up with my groaning and complaining every time I try to read it. I suspect they’ll all be happy to find that this book is gone from my shelf.
It’s time to give up. Maybe someone else can overlook its issues and have a nice, cozy Christmas read.