by Jim Piecuch
An interesting idea, which I've seen attempted once before with dubious results, but this one very quickly looked like it would shape up to be a worthwhile story. The pacing was a little slow at first, but soon began to pick up and I found myself being engaged by the characters.
There was an element of Romance, but that wasn't the main focus of the story. I liked the plot progression a lot despite the sometimes slow delivery and a fairly weak ending. The characters were very well defined and brought reader reactions, sometimes strong ones. Tim is a likable character. He's generous, charitable and everything you would expect him to be, based on where Dickens left his story.
There were a few things that made it glaringly apparent that the book was written by an American author; terms like 'washcloth' and 'Mom' and drinking coffee in a situation where a Victorian Englishman would be far more likely to have tea for example. Otherwise there weren't any huge problems, although a sudden pov change to Jane did stick out a little. Also the ideas of gift giving at Christmas were very modern and didn't reflect the actual customs of the Victorian English as you might expect from a History teacher, even one who specialises in American history.
Conversely, there were some smooth transitions into visions from Tim's childhood which were very well done, although one extensive flashback seemed to go on too long.
Overall I enjoyed reading it and feel my time was well spent. As Christmas stories go, this one is a nice, light read. You have to suspend disbelief on some things, like how long it takes to recover from a major operation before someone can be moved, but generally it kept my attention and has left me feeling that now I know what eventually happened to Tiny Tim.