Review of Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas by Wendell E. Mettey
Overview from www.barnesandnoble.com: Lost and Found, Stories of Christmas is a collection of stories written by Reverend Wendell Mettey for his congregations. While written over a span of years, the stories have a timelessness that appeals to readers of all ages. These simple stories share the emotional journey of characters whose struggles with doubts, fears and resentments cause them to lose hope, but who ultimately find a great gift through the discovery of the true meaning of Christmas. Readers will recognize their own anxieties and concerns in the reactions of the characters and celebrate with them their triumph as they discover the joy of giving… the true spirit of Christmas.
This time we take a departure from the usual books and start with a story or stories related to the Christmas season. I have occasionally done reviews on short stories but it’s been a while so I am glad to review a few others.
The book that I review this week was interesting. Firstly, they all have a Christmas theme. I suppose that it was partly for this reason I immediately began to think of the famous short story by O’Henry called “The Gift of the Magi.” I mention that because the more I read, particularly on the first short story presented in this collection, the more it reminded me of that story. I can’t that this story was as good as “The Gift of the Magi” but “The Little Candle” had a similar message about giving and the spirit of Christmas. Some parts of the story were a little slow and I did find myself losing interest at times but I did like the message.
As I continued reading though I noticed something, the subsequent stories did not seem to be as good as the first. Also there was a lot more telling than showing which is usually the reverse of what most writing workshops and coaches recommend. I am a writer also so I can’t help but notice these things, I know. I do believe though that most other readers might get bored by it as well.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t read this book. I think it is nice if you want to read something to put you in the holiday mood or that is uplifting. This collection of short stories can provide both of those things. And the other nice thing about it is that it is free so you don’t have to worry about it coming out of your Christmas gift budget.
However overall, this writer is no O’Henry. I realize though that asking him to be one is probably asking a lot. Perhaps if I hadn’t made the O’Henry connection early on, I might have had a more positive impression of the book. Still you might want to read these stories to your family on Christmas Eve, if nothing else but to get you into the Christmas spirit. Just know that your expectations should not be too high.