Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here are me honest musings . . .
Title: take a look at the five and ten
Author: Connie Willis
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Publication Date: TODAY!! (hardback/e-book)
The cover drew me in and three things convinced me to read this book:
- Connie Willis wrote the doomsday book and it was seriously one of the best books I have ever read;
- It is a Subterranean Press book and they do great work; and
- I now try to read all the Connie Willis I can get me hands on.
I requested this not reading the blurb because ultimately I know it will be a good read. So imagine me surprise to find out that this was a holiday tale. I am not a holiday person and only care to pillage the baked goods. So I had a small moment of dismay about the holiday aspect. I needn’t have worried. This story was lovely.
Ori dreads spending the holidays with her family. Her step-dad’s latest wife and her daughter are horrible. The other issue is Grandma Elving. She worked in Woolworth’s during Christmas in 1950. And loves to talk about her time there ad nauseum and in detail. Everyone dreads hearing about Woolworth’s and Ori gears up for survival mode. Only this holiday is different.
Sloane, the current wife’s daughter, has brought her most recent boyfriend, Lassiter, to dinner. And he actually wants to hear all about Woolworth’s. Lassiter is studying TFBM, or traumatic flashbulb memories. He thinks Grandma Elving has one. So Ori is dragged into helping Grandma Elving participate in a scientific study. which ultimately changes Ori’s life.
This story is heartwarming and lovely. I adored Ori and I really adored Grandma Elving. The descriptions of Woolworth’s were so vivid and alive. I actually spent time trying to figure out if I was remembering ever being in Woolworth’s meself or if the imagery was so strong that I just felt like I had.
This reminded me of being a child when Christmas actually did feel magical. Back then I loved seeing the department stores decorated, riding around neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights, and watching Christmas movies. Seriously if Connie Willis can make this grouchy grinch forgo a bah humbug and smile with nostalgia then ye know it be an excellent story. Arrrr!
So lastly . . .
Thank you Subterranean Press!
Goodreads had this to say about the novel:
Ori’s holidays are an endless series of elaborately awful meals cooked by her one-time stepfather Dave’s latest bride. Attended by a loose assemblage of family, Ori particularly dreads Grandma Elving—grandmother of Dave’s fourth wife—and her rhapsodizing about the Christmas she worked at Woolworth’s in the 1950s. And, of course, she hates being condescended to by beautiful, popular Sloane and her latest handsome pre-med or pre-law boyfriend.
But this Christmas is different. Sloane’s latest catch Lassiter is extremely interested in Grandma Elving’s boringly detailed memories of that seasonal job, seeing in them the hallmarks of a TFBM, or traumatic flashbulb memory. With Ori’s assistance, he begins to use the older woman in an experiment—one she eagerly agrees to. As Ori and Lassiter spend more time together, Ori’s feelings for him grow alongside the elusive mystery of Grandma’s past.
From beloved New York Times bestselling, multiple-award-winning author Connie Willis comes another enchanting science fictional Christmas tale and screwball comedy, Take a Look at the Five and Ten. Readers in the need for a dose of Willis’s humor and heart will want to curl up with this novella for the holidays.
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Previous Log Entries for this Author
crosstalk (On the Horizon – Sci-Fi eArc)
i met a traveller in an antique land (On the Horizon – Fantasy eArc)
to say nothing of the dog – book 2 (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)
jack (On the Horizon – Historical Fantasy eArc)