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The Christmas Pearl

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  6,351 ratings  ·  674 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

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Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published (first published October 23rd 2007)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,351 ratings  ·  674 reviews


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Lizfm
Dec 16, 2015 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
Carol
Dec 18, 2013 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!
Jeanne Adamek
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the Christmas story that I have wanting to read this season. I picked the book up at the Womans's Guild Christmas bazaar here expecting a kitchy, cutsey story and while reading the story was thrilled that I found the story that touched my heart...

November 26 2018
I have to confess--I adore Christmas stories. All kinds. And I can read them throughout the whole year. But I also have a love/hate relationship with Dorothea Benton Franks books. So last year, after looking at this book for a wh
...more
Trudy
Dec 12, 2015 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.
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 Geo ...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
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
A typical Christmas read, full of magic and miracles that normally it would be too sweet for my taste, but …it’s Christmas time, so some sugar overload is allowed!
2 stars rounded up because of the festive recipes at the end of the book for mint julep, cheese straws, sands, rum balls, etc. I might even try some this year.
ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook
3.5 Stars
A wonderful story of relationships and a great book for the holidays. Such a warm and poignant story for all ages. And the southern recipes, at the back of the book, are an added bonus.
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.
Becca!
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful Christmas story. Great on audio.
Cheryl
Dec 08, 2009 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
Mayda
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
This Christmas tale rambles on with little focus or direction. Perhaps because it is told from the point of view of a 93-year-old woman, that was the reason. After a slow start, there really wasn’t much more to it. Pearl was a jewel, but there wasn’t enough of her and there was way too much Theodora.
Laura • lauralovestoread
Pour on the southern cheese... but a cute Christmas story nonetheless. Definitely gave me all the Hallmark Christmas vibes!
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 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
Marcia
Dec 19, 2016 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.
Barbara
Dec 25, 2009 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.
Lisa B.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
Funny and heart-warming. Can you ask for much better? Especially for a holiday book. This may just be my new favorite Christmas story. I listened to the audio version and the narrator was just perfect.
Joann M
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 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 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
Marlene Hedger
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 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!
Margie
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wealthy family waiting to celebrate Christmas, a tree trimmed with modern ornaments, a bratty child, a 93 year old who remembers Christmas during her childhood and a beloved housekeeper of her long gone parents ; put all together and you have a story you will not want to stop reading.
Emily
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really want to give it 3.5 stars. I liked it. So it’s not quite 3 because i wasn’t indifferent about it. But I feel like I needed to like it a little bit more for it to make 4 stars. But I thought the book was a good Christmas story and would probably make a good Christmas movie. It wasn’t your typical Christmas romance which is what I really liked about it. The main character is an old woman named Theodora who has since had kids, become a grandma and a widow. She lives in Charleston, SC and i ...more
Kamilla
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fabulous, magical little book. A book that can be read in one afternoon, a book that will warm your heart and soul, a book that will fill you with love and hope.
A disfunctional family spends two days together at Christmas. At first they are at each other's throats - as so many other families would be when getting ready for thenig day, then magic fills the air and slowly but surely they find peace, love, harmony and respect for each other.
I adored this little book. I love a bit of magica
...more
Koren
If you want a quick Christmas read, this one only takes a couple of hours to read. It's about family relationships and families not getting along, but this is just a cute story, not very believable and not a lot of substance. It has almost a Mary Poppins feel to it, with a magical housekeeper coming to help make Christmas a little happier.
Heidi Hilty
A very quick read by the low country storyteller. 93 year old Theodora longs for a Christmas like those from her childhood and magically, her former housekeeper and friend, Pearl, returns to this world to straighten out Ms Theodora’s dysfunctional family. The southern recipes following the end of the book are a bonus.
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Dorothea Benton Frank was a New York Times best-selling American novelist of Southern fiction. She worked in the apparel industry from 1972 until 1985 and then organized fundraisers as a volunteer, before becoming a novelist.

She is best known as the author of twenty novels placed in and around the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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