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The Christmas Pearl

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3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  4,710 Ratings  ·  512 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 William Morrow (first published October 23rd 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Carol
Dec 18, 2013 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
ShoSho
Not my cuppa! Maybe if I was 93 years old I would have enjoyed it!
Trudy
Dec 12, 2015 Trudy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Everyone you love is just a thought away." Such lovely words, especially for those of us who are missing loved ones during this holiday season. (Hey, Mom, I'm thinking of you.)
A charming book full of forgiveness, restoration, and Christmas magic.
Lizfm
Dec 16, 2015 Lizfm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Narrator was good, language describing past Christmases was beautiful. Book concept was horribly flawed.

The fantasy was not the 'Christmas miracle'...the fantasy is that the family's black cook and housekeeper, who had spent her life serving her employers, would need to 'earn her wings' some 80 years after her death by coming back and doing more cooking and cleaning. It never occurs to the 93 year old narrator, or the author, apparently, that Pearl would have family or loved ones of her own who
...more
Deanne Patterson
While this is not a very long book I thought it was just perfect to get the message across. The message is be kind and understanding towards your family.
Book Concierge
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
Kari
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
Joanne
Dec 20, 2011 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas-books

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
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
A sort of Christmas Carol-esque tale about a dysfunctional southern family who needs a ghost intervention to set them straight and find the true meaning of Christmas. I listened to the audiobook version of this book and have to be honest - I was a little distracted. But the story was so simple that I don't feel like I *really* missed anything. It was a fine book, but nothing ground-breaking or even very memorable. But very Christmassy, so that was nice and definitely what I was in the mood for. ...more
Barbara
Dec 25, 2009 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a short, easy to read, imaginative story that will put you in the Christmas spirit. The characters may remind you of individuals you are acquainted with and how they may react to holiday get-togethers. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christmas fiction.
Loraine
SUMMARY: 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 home-cooked goodies, the over-the-top decorations, those long, lovely fireside chats with Pearl, her grandmother's b ...more
Linda
Nov 25, 2008 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bob
Nov 03, 2015 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, but I will tell you right up front that it is not for everyone. It is, obviously, a holiday themed book but it is also very sentimental. While the characters do go through personal struggles, they work through them with the help of Pearl, the all knowing angel of a maid. This material reminds me of the kind of movies Hallmark would make back in the 80's.....when they only made 2 or 3 a year not 2 or 3 a week. It is just a good sweet story of a family conquering their worst ene ...more
Marcia
Dec 19, 2016 Marcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, holiday, x2016
Today was my first post-chemo trip to our historic public library. For the last six months, my library visits have been on line only as I borrowed and downloaded books to my Kindle. I picked up The Christmas Pearl to add to my take-home pile, but the joy of being back at the library made me find a seat in the Study Hall and read this book in one sitting. Well worth both the reading time and the time spent simply enjoying the library.
Marlene Hedger
Dec 19, 2015 Marlene Hedger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Wonderful, so detailed in descriptions I could smell and taste and see all the Christmas preparations and meals. The story was fun and something that I would like to see happen in a lot of families. I especially liked the idea that our loved ones that shaved died are only a thought away. Great book.
Melissa
Dec 21, 2015 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010s
Such a lovely Christmas story told in the Deep South. Christmas is always magical but even more so when Pearl, former cook/housekeeper returns from the beyond to give 93 year old Theodora a Christmas miracle. The story was a little syrupy sweet but why not? It's Christmas!
Shinjini
I usually never read books in one sitting. My brain works too fast (or so I'd like to think) and I get distracted often while reading any book, long or short. Surprisingly, this was one time when I read a book in one sitting and quite liked it.

Theodora is the ninety-three year old matriarch in her family, living in Charleston, South Carolina and she is thoroughly disgusted by her children's lack of attention towards her family home. It's the holidays so her grandchildren and her great-grandchil
...more
Jencey/
Sep 01, 2015 Jencey/ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Dorothea Benton Frank shares a holiday novella with us. This novella takes place at Christmas time in Charleston South Carolina. You are invited for a down home low country Christmas. Did you ever wish that a special person could come and help you celebrate Christmas?
Synopsis:
Theodora’s family has been for generations in one house. The grandparents, parents and children all lived together for years. This was how Christmas in the family was celebrated until the present. Her children still live
...more
Sue
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
Teri
Dec 26, 2016 Teri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
A cute story about love and redemption. Theodora reflects on her childhood growing up in the south when the holidays were as much about the process of preparing for Christmas Day and following family traditions as it was about the actual day of gift giving. There was reverence in decorating the house, baking cookies, the process of filling out the beautiful crèche, and enjoying time with family. Pearl was the family housekeeper who acted as Theodora's surrogate mom, and who kept the house runnin ...more
Dee-Ann
Feb 07, 2012 Dee-Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Cheryl
Dec 08, 2009 Cheryl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Marleen
This was a cute little read, in true Dotty Benton style. I thought it might have been a little old fashioned at times, with the usual cliches about relations between men and women, but as it is Christmas time, I will not be too critical.
I loved how this eighty-something sweet lady, Theodora, reminisced about the old days. How she spent her Christmases with her family in the same old house in Charleston. That was such a treat.
Then coming back to the present time, I abhorred Dora’s current family
...more
Julie Barrett
Mar 20, 2015 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
Love pearls and the holiday so figured this would be a good read.
Setting is weeks before Christmas and everybody chips in to decorate. The family and their family and their family will all be together under the same roof.
Liked hearing of the ghosts that show themselves during the family's stay. Pearl is there to help get it all straight.
Clean slate drinks were passed around and Theador waited for it to happen......everybody spoke what was on their mind
...more
Regina
Dec 13, 2016 Regina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I semi-loved and semi-loathed this. Part of me relates A LOT to the 93-year-old protagonist who loves tradition, manners and morals. The other part of me winced at her old-fashioned views on a woman's place in the home. This is the first Dorothea Benton Frank book I have read, and I did enjoy the setting and a lot of her humor. I may check out another DBF non-seasonal novel at some point down the line.

Side note, the audiobook is read extremely well by a charming narrator. I found myself smiling
...more
Susan
Oct 28, 2008 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday
I'm glad I discovered this lovely book about 93 year-old Theodora, her dysfunctional family, and a very magical Christmas in South Carolina. This is a story of trying to recapture the holiday traditions from her 1920's childhood. If you want to escape the holiday rat-race of our generation, put the real world aside for an afternoon, and remember anything is possible while reading "The Christmas Pearl".
Megan K. Brown
Dec 09, 2015 Megan K. Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun and light departure from some heavier reading and study I've been doing. Certainly the first half of the book was much stronger (and therefore, much more enjoyable) than the second half. The story is told by a distinctly southern woman in her 90s, recalling previous Christmases, which awakens her to the realities of her thoroughly modern southern family.
Roxanne
It may sound cliche, but this book is DELIGHTFUL. Funny asides, miserable brats, magic...it makes you want Christmas to get here so you can fix things, too. Everyone I know is getting a copy for Christmas! (but don't tell them)...
Rebecca Lefler
The Christmas Angel

A bit kitschy and unexpected. The characters were caricatures of the typical spoiled American family who are transformed over the holiday by an Angel working on getting her wings. That is all.
Kim
Dec 27, 2016 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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
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