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Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies

By
Reading List
Reading List
Reviewed by Nancy Young

In one of the rare instances of a book based on the movie, this little story is as enchanting as the 1947 film on which it is based. Whether or not you've seen the movie before you read the book, the enchantment of Valentine Davies' Miracle on 34th Street is much the same.

Is Kris Kringle, the ageless and white-bearded star of this story, the one and only Santa Claus or is he just another nice old man with whiskers? The cast of characters in this story line up on both sides of this pivotal question. On the one side is world-wise cynicism that teaches a little girl to doubt. On the other side is a resilient hopefulness that approaches the same question with the toughness of a child's belief. In the middle is Mr. Kringle, himself almost despairing of a world in which it seems all hope is lost.

Suspense mounts in the story as it looks more and more likely that Santa Claus himself will give up on the world and acquiesce before the machinations of deceit and cynicism. There is much of value in the story as examples of courage, hope, belief, and the influence one person can have who does no more than try to do good within the little radius of his reach. Throughout the telling there is delight as those values are portrayed in ways that warm the heart and kindle courage.

This book is short enough to make the memory of having read it, once in an afternoon, last forever.

Tags: 2010, Book reviews

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