The Christmas Pearl
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The Christmas Pearl

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,204 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Still spry at ninety-three, Theodora has lived long enough to see her family grow into an insufferable bunch of truculent knuckleheads. Having finally gathered the whole bickering brood together for the holidays at her South Carolina home, the grand matriarch pines wistfully for those extravagant, homey Christmases of her childhood. How she misses the tables groaning with...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published October 23rd 2007)
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An easy read, The Christmas Pearl is a traditional, nostalgic trip down the memory lane of Christmas. I liked that it made me reflect on Christmas past, present and future, what Christmas means to me as I age.

The main character Theodora, 93 yrs. old, yearns for days gone by when Christmas was home cooked meals, a beautiful creche, a real tree decorated with hand made ornaments, yummy cookies, and the belief that anything, "anything" at all was possible. Theodora is to spend this Christmas with...more

A short and heartwarming story for the season. Set in the low country of South Carolina Theodora longs for the Christmas of past when preparation, family and food took precedence. Thorough future generations her family has grown and started their own tacky holiday celebrations that frustrate the elderly women. The book starts out nostalgic on 12/23. Then Christmas Eve starts off like the old days with the arrival of her former maid angelic Pearl whose magical gifts transform the house and festiv...more
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Theodora is the elderly matriarch of an old Southern family. She is nostalgic for the Christmas celebrations of her childhood. She fondly remembers the weeks of preparation to decorate, cook, and fashion gifts, all of which just heightened the anticipation. Now her 60-something daughter and son-in-law (Barbara & Cleland) are living with her in the family's Charleston mansion. And their two grown children – Camille and George – have arrived with their families: children Andrew and Teddie, and...more
Ninety-three year old, Theodora has seen and lived through a lot. So when she gathers all of her children, grand children and great, grand children together for the holidays at her home, she lets them all know she will not put up with their attitudes. Though, it won’t be easy. Luckily for Theodora, she has an extra pair of hands in her friend and house keeper,
Pearl. Pearl is just as sassy as Theodora; expect that Pearl wins people over with her kindness. Whereas, Theodora just speaks her mind....more
This was a quick read. It was not a really well written story, but I did enjoy the idea of the story. Theodora is a ninety-something matriarch of a fine southern family. She had become increasingly frustrated with her family and the frustration is growing with each day leading up to Christmas. She finds herself constantly reflecting on and missing the Christmases of her youth.

When the family cook has an emergency in her own family, she calls is a substitute to cover Christmas Eve and Christmas...more
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What a delightful Christmas story!
93 year old Theodora grew up in a happy home ( the home her and her children still live in) full of love, laughter and respect with great traditions every Christmas, but Theodora’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are the complete opposite and poor Theodora doesn’t know how to fix it. While growing up Theodora’s family had a housekeeper/cook/friend named Pearl who always made everything better Theodora wishes she could find another Pearl to fix h...more
Title: The Christmas Pearl
Author: Dorothea Benton Frank (Performed by Celia Weston)
Genre: Fiction - Holiday
Challenges: 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, Book Around the States Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge 2010, Read and Review Challenge 2010, 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge, 100 + Reading Challenge, Audio Book Challenge 2010, Pages Read 2010, A to Z challenge,

Rating: 5/5
No. of Pages: 176 (Audio)
Published: 2007

Back Cover: Theodora is the matriarch of the family that has...more
Do you cherish the Christmas traditions of your childhood? Have you kept those holiday traditions alive, or have they gone to the wayside because family values have disintegrated? What would you do to recreate the Christmases of your childhood? These are the questions and dilemma that ninety-three year old matriarch Theodora faced in The Christmas Pearl.

Ninety-three year old matriarch Theodora is pining for the Christmas traditions of her childhood. Back then, she believed anything was possible,...more
I had to include this on the paranormal shelf, as there is a ghost OR angel-to-be in it.

This is a quaint story revolving around an elderly lady whose family have come home (a home where she grew up in and now lives in with her daughter and son-in-law) to spend Christmas in South Carolina. This family has become quite dysfuntional and dispirtied over time, and the old lady laments on times gone by and is sad about how her family is turning out.

Following the urgent need of the home-help to attend...more
Theodora is looking back over her ninety years as Christmas Eve approaches. The decorations of this Christmas handled by family give her pause to reflect on how much has changed and not necessarily for the better. The family is at odds with one another. Theodora too wonders whether she should make her concerns known or will it make the situation worse. A bit of "Gullah" magic arrives on the doorstep to set things straight. A short and easy read set in Charleston.
This was a little gem of a book and a very quick, easy read. I often deplore the spirit of meanness and competition among family members in place of a real spirit of Christmas, common civility and displays of love. It would be lovely if someone like Pearl could return and set everything right. There are some lessons to be learned here - such as the female head of the house drawing a line in the sand and setting some standards.... Something to think about!
Laura Bryant
I would give this one a solid 3 stars as a sweet Christmas story. A little too religious at the end for my taste, but I respect that it is a story set in the South with a religion-driven message, so it was necessary. Mrs. Benton's writing style is really good and easy to read. I think it was nice that it talked about those great Christmas traditions that people no longer sincerely follow. After all, it's those very traditions that bring people and families together and not the commercialism and...more
Theodora, now an old woman, spent her whole life in one home, the family home. She has fond memories of traditions enjoyed growing up. She misses her deceased husband fiercely and she despairs at the messy lives her kids have invented for themselves. As she dreads the approach of another modern, aka tacky, Christmas, she finds there’s a surprise in store for her. Long since passed Pearl makes a house call from the great beyond to help her get her family back on track. An old woman and a ghost ar...more
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Interesting short book by Dorothea Benton Frank and though different from her other books, enjoyable. The main character, Theodora (an interesting twist on the author's name) is the matriarch of a family which has lost its way and is gathering for Christmas. A ghost enters, in the form of Theodora's old housekeeper, Pearl, and things begin to happen. At first it gets worse but as time goes on the the family confronts each other, works though some issues and comes together. I am not one for ghost...more
This was really a quick read, if you just have time to sit down for a minute and read. It is a cute, light-hearted Christmas story. The story is about an old woman, Theodora, who has lived in the same home her entire life. She now lived there with her daughter and son-in-law, whose children and grandchildren are coming for the holidays. They are NOT a happy family and do NOT know how to 'keep Christmas'. Theodora reminisces about her childhood Christmas pasts and sees how far from this her famil...more
Jina Howell-Forbes
This story was a fanciful Christmas story based in Charleston, South Carolina. The narrator was a 93 year old woman who was a widow living in her old family home with her daughter and son-in-law. She has grandchildren and great grandchildren. It is Christmas time and she is heartsick at the lack of old southern Christmas traditions and modern commercialism. She also worries about the lack of manners and civilities in her family members. Then with the help of a supernatural friend, she manages to...more
A sweet quick read about South Carolina, that Dorothea Benton Frank writes about.

This family needs help to get along with each other and how to celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way. The Grandmother comes alive and hopeful when a miracle takes place.

It is a nice Christmas story filled with hope, love, and miracles.
Barbara Loggia
Just a short, sweet story from one of my So Carolina authors. The central character sees her family has lost all sense of spirit for the season and for each other. A visitor helps bring back the family traditions and restores the family's peace. Of course, lots of So Carolina food and ghost stories.
I loved this book. I loved the sweet Theodora as she tried to deal with her crazy family. I loved reading about how Christmas was celebrated with such expectation and vigor in Theodora's youth. I wanted to be at her house for the entire month of December. Her childhood Christmas is classic Christmas. Several foods of her youth are those of mine. It was heaven. But the jewel int he crown is Pearl. The cook, and much more, of Theodora's youth was the fabric that held her family together. She was a...more
Donna Syler
Tis is the first book I ever read from Dorothea Benton Frank. I enjoyed the book so much that I just had to read all of her books. They are a definite change from the mystery books I totally enjoy reading, but I find myself enjoying these books as well.
R J Mckay
The Christmas Pearl does such a fabulous job of reminding the reader of the true meaning of Christmas. Ninty-three year old Theodora is visited by her own personal ghost of Christmas past, in the form of her beloved grandmother's housekeeper. Pearl is a no nonesence spirit that is sent to Theodora's South Croline house to whip the family into shape, and to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. Pearl brings back the Christmas of Theodora's childhood through beautiful decorations, wonderfu...more
Judy Collins
A heartwarming e-short story to set the mood for Christmas and its traditions--- of course set in the low country in South Carolina. 93 yr old Theodora grew up in a happy southern home and has fond dreams of Christmas past and all it joy it brought. Now traditions have gone by the wayside and she has grown to despise it.

While she was growing up her favorite person was their former housekeeper Pearl. However, Pearl died years ago. However, Christmas is a time for miracles so Pearl shows up to fix...more
Dorothea Benton Frank is one of the all time greatest authors. She just draws you in right from the beginning. This book takes place in Charleston. The narrator is a woman in her 90's whose only daughter and family and the extended families are celebrating Christmas together. The Narrator says the house really doesn't like the family all there because the lights flicker, the portraits and pictures on the wall slide slightly askew and the house just groans. I'll reserve my opinion on the whole bo...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
This is a delightful bit of Southern Christmas magic that no one should miss. Theodora is the elderly matriarch of a very messed up family. This Christmas she's finally gotten them all together to celebrate, and all she really wants is a glorious, homespun holiday like when she was a girl. Enter Pearl--the now angel of her beloved childhood friend/nanny/housekeeper. Sassy, fun, and not above a dirty trick or two, these two ladies teach this disjointed family about what it means to love and respe...more
Okay, so this isn't a totally believable story. Don't we wish our family squabbles could be so tidily wrapped up? But this is a Christmas story and we don't really want to be told that Scrooge remained a mean old tightwad the rest of his life, do we? No. And we want the Christmas Pearl to point out to this multi-generation family what is really important and how they ought to honor Christmas. I liked this story in spite of my cynical nature and, believe it or not, I learned something about havin...more
This one was so utterly far-fetched I couldn't help but absolutely love it. Very fun and light-hearted with good characters. I was completely sucked in. I read it in one sitting, and I am very proud of myself for that because I almost never do that with a book. This was supposed to be one of my "Christmas Read" books, but there were too many holds on it at the library for me to get it in time to read during the holidays. But I think this would be great for any time of year because the feeling of...more
It was a low 3 stars. There's a lot of 3's that I like better than this. I was hoping for a nice Christmas story to recommend for book club. But this wasn't good enough. There was some Christmas magic, and sone "gullah" magic, and there's a happy ending for this dysfunctional family. I liked Pearl. And I wish she'd come to my house this Christmas. One thing that bothered me was that at times it seemed like the author was telling the story, rather than the narrator's voice, which is a 93 year old...more
The matriarch of an old Southern family remembers the beautiful Christmases of her youth. They were overseen by Pearl, her long deceased housekeeper. Her family has gathered in her home for the holidays, but they are all bickering with each other, and she longs for an old-fashioned Christmas.

A Christmas miracle occurs when Pearl appears for the holiday, trying to earn her wings to heaven, to fill in for their usual housekeeper.

The book is predictable and rather sugary in some parts. However, it...more
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Dorothea Benton Frank is the New York Times best selling author of ten novels.

Dottie has appeared on NBC's Today Show, Parker Ladd's Book Talk and many local network affiliated television stations. She is a frequent speaker on creative writing and the creative process for students of all ages and in private venues as the National Arts Club, the Junior League of New York, Friends of the Library org...more
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