A REDBIRD CHRISTMAS
Fannie Flagg

 


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Random House, 2004
Reviewed by Barbara Fielding
 
Fifty-two year old Oswald Campbell has been given just a few months to live. His emphysema has progressed to a critical stage, but his doctor says if he moves out of Chicago to a milder climate it could give him more time. His doctor gives him an outdated brochure that leads Oswald to relocate to Lost River, Alabama. The small village has one grocery store, inhabited by a pet cardinal with a broken wing, and four lively women who make up The Mystic Order of the Royal Polka Dots Secret Society.
 
Oswald, who grew up in an orphanage, is divorced from the only woman he ever loved. He has never had much of a family until the residents of Lost River begin to make him feel at home. Something about Lost River and its residents heals Oswald's soul like never before. As Christmas approaches, an abandoned little girl with a twisted leg comes into their lives. She forms a bond with the townspeople and the crippled cardinal named Jack. Their magical connection brings about a Christmas miracle that touches all of them.
 
A REDBIRD CHRISTMAS is another classic Fannie Flagg novel that features quirky characters in a heartwarming setting. Ms. Flagg has been a long-time favorite author of mine beginning with FRIED GREEN TOMATOES and DAISY FAYE AND THE MIRACLE MAN. This Christmas tale is another keeper. It's a sweet, delightful story that is easily suitable any time of year -- not just Christmas.  If Hallmark doesn't option this story for a television special, I'll eat my words.
 
December 2004 Review

 

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