I love Christmas and one of the ways that I like to build up the enthusiasm for the season is with a good book on the theme. This year, the first Christmas themed book that I managed to lay my hands on was Silent Days Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols and I must say that the book exceeded expectations by far. Set in a small tight knit community, the story revolves around a young girl who learns what it is like to be physically challenged and how perceptions of a society can affect an individual deeply. It is a tale of how people are social animals and how if used well, society can make a positive influence in a person’s life.
PHYLLIS CLARK NICHOLS
Phyllis Clark Nichols grew up in South Georgia and was born during a hurricane which makes her no stranger to the winds of change. A novelist, seminary graduate, concert pianist and co-founder of a national cable network, it is apparent that she draws on her life experiences as she builds her tale about a small-town community. I particularly love the focus that she brings to music and disability and how she shows how people who are differentially abled function. Public perception is a strong thing and she draws on her experience to tell her story.
SILENT DAYS HOLY NIGHT
The cover of Silent Days Holy Nights by Phyllis Clark Nichols will immediately make you think of Christmas. The pun on the words that compromise the title however will not make as much of an impression on you till you have read the book.
The main character in the book is a little girl and I found that I could connect with the character on so many levels. Her incessant chatter, her love for crochet and the fact that her nose was always buried in a book. Coming from a family of lawyers, Julia definitely has a way of framing her questions and often leaves the adults in the room flabbergasted. She also knows how to get her way. When her father takes her to meet Mr. Lafferty in the mysterious house on the hill, her whole life takes a change.
Mr. Lafferty has been a recluse and his lonely lifestyle is a large reason for the number of rumours that surround the house. Julia quickly learns that while Mr. Lafferty is deaf and confined to a wheelchair, he is nothing like the troll that the children describe him to be. His heart pumps kindness as her father would say. An unlikely bond is struck between the young girl and the differentially abled man. Life however is never a smooth path and as time goes by, it starts becoming increasingly apparent that someone means poor Mr. Lafferty harm.
With Christmas fast approaching, Julia has plans to thwart the culprit and make sure that light shines in her new friend’s life again. The question is, how much of a difference can one small child make?
I honestly believe that Phyllis Clark Nichols wrote Silent Days Holy Night straight from the heart. The depth of character, emotion and detail in the book brings the story alive. It is one of those books that you can read again and again and still not have enough. Definitely achieving Silent Days Holy Night so that I can read it again next year. Have you picked up your copy yet?