A Family for Christmas by Linda Finlay
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As a matter of fact, the author of this story entitled "A Family for Christmas" is written by Linda Finlay. In addition, the events take place in London in different places such as Mole Valley Mine and Buckland Manor as well as Somerset and Barnstaple. Moreover, the main characters in the story are represented in: Eliza who is the main one and a young girl whose age is fifteen. She lives with her family consisted of two brothers, her father and pregnant mother while her two sisters live in a different place where they work. They are called Izzie and Hester. Another basic character is Fay who is a kind old woman that takes care of Eliza after escaping from her house. Duncan the Druid is also another character. He is very kind to Eliza and he treats her with tenderness as well as always taking care of her. Two more characters are Rose and Ben, a married couple who have a baby named Joshua. Then, there is Grandmother Evangalina who is Rose's mother. She represents the stereotype of the grand motherhood as she comes to her daughter's marital house to see her grandson and looks after him. Regarding the events of the story, it talks about the young poor Eliza who feels rejected at her own house. Her mother is pregnant and tired because of the house work and her two brothers while her father is upset because his job at the mine where he works is going to be finished as there is no more copper. One night, he argues with Eliza's mother and says something that makes Eliza decide to run away from the house. He believes that his daughter is useless and ugly because of her twisted foot and she will not be able to get married. After leaving the house, Eliza goes to her sister Izzie. However, Izzie tells her that she does not have the ability to let Eliza stay with her because she needs the job and she will be kicked out. So, Eliza leaves her sister and keeps moving in the snowy cold weather till she faints. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a warm bed surrounded by an old woman and a giant man. She knows that their names are Fay and Druncan. They help her to recover from the fever she had. Both of them also treat her in a very good way and they offer her food and clothes. However, Fay's best pigeon pet named Wooden dies leaving her sad and lonely. Therefore, Duncan asks Eliza to go back and help their neighbors Ben and Rose with their little baby Joshua. So, she goes and helps them in preparing for the festive named Wassail at the twelfth night of the month. Eliza spends there a great time and also dances with Duncan. She likes him so much and she feels close to him. Eliza stays at Ben's till the arrival of Rose's mother Evangalina. That's when she goes back to stay with Fay. There, she learns how to prepare perfumes and potions as well as medicines since she used to collect flowers before running out of the house. After that, Fay sends her to get well education and training about perfumery in Follytown with the assistance of Mr. Charles Farrant and Madame Simmons. Aty the factory there, Eliza is responsible for polishing the floor in addition to keeping the equipment clean. Then she must read all the notes prepared by Mr. Farrant in order to learn more about theories so that she could be able to prepare perfumes. After receiving her training, Mr. Cary who is a father of James, Eliza's friend and colleague at the factory, takes her to work in his shop. At the shop, she starts selling perfumes and dealing with different customers. One day while she was at the shop, she finds the two owners named Nan and Grandfa Sam talking to someone. When she looks at this familiar body, she figures out that he is her father. He comes to tell her that her mother and one of her siblings died, so he wants Eliza to take her younger brother Luke so that she could take care of him. At the end of the story, Eliza finds herself surrounded by people whom she loves and without whom she cannot imagine her life. On Christmas night, she has dinner with her brother Luke, James with whom she falls in love, Grandfa Sam and Nan. She finally feels happy as she gets herself a new family who respect and adore her. She also feels that life is getting better and better in order to make up for her.
According to my point of view, the best part in the story is when Fay and Duncan the Druid gives Eliza presents because of her birthday. Fay's present is amazing as she offers Eliza a painting. When Eliza looks at it, she finds a beautiful woman and when she asks Fay about such woman, Fay replies that she drew her. Eliza becomes very happy but she gets even happier when Duncan gives her the box she lost in snow after leaving her house. Such box is very close to Eliza's heart because her grandfather made it for her and she keeps everything she likes in it. So, when Duncan finds it and shows it to her, she is excited and thrilled. She thanks him and kisses him on his cheek. She loves him so much because he is kind and pure-hearted towards her. He also protects her when an old man comes to Fay's house to take her in order to work with him as a maid. Duncan stops him and tells him that Eliza is a guest and she cannot work. Therefore, it seems that he treats her like a lady; something that she was not used to when she was living with her family.
Another part of the story which I liked is when James gives Eliza the new pairs of shoe that make her walk well. When she puts them on, she feels very happy as she finally can be able to walk properly like any other person. James tells her that these shoes were the new business of his father as James explains to him Eliza's medical condition. Therefore, Mr. Carl designs them and then James gives them back to Eliza. After seeing Eliza wearing them, James is so delighted and tells her that she now can be treated as a princess because she deserves that. That's why she likes and loves James because he is handsome and very tender with her. He also treats her like she is something important to him and that she deserves such respect from people. As a result, they both become together at the end of the story while having Christmas dinner with Nan, Luke and Grandfa Sam.
The worst part of the story is when Eliza decides to leave her sister and does not have any idea where to go. She is lost, lonely, cold and hungry. She walks a lot of miles in the snow and bad weather. She is weak and thin and she cannot find any shelter till she faints. This is very difficult and very hard for such young girl to go through as the cruel words said by her father forced her to prove to escape in order to prove to herself that she is not useless. That's what she manages to show at the end after succeeding in the training of perfumery as well as working in the shop. Finally, Duncan the Druid and Fay find her and take her to the old woman's house so that she can rest and receive recovery from the fever. At the house, she is well treated as Fay gives her broth and food to eat well in order to get better. Duncan also respects her and deals with her with appreciation and honesty. In addition, Fay tells her that she is a beautiful lady and that she must not believe what her father told her because he could get angry sometimes and then becomes calm. That's why Eliza loves both of them so much.
On the other side, I learned from the book a lot of things. One of these things is the new words used by the author as she succeeds in describing the events perfectly through using a lot of vocabularies. Some of these words are: druid, moore, grin, blush, distilled and others. From the ideas discussed in this story are methods of education done by parents. For example, we can compare between the education received by Eliza from her father and the one she received by Fay and Duncan or by Grandfa Sam and Nan or even Ben and Rose. While she is at her house, her father always treats her like nothing and hates her existence because he feels that she is useless and that's why she escapes to find a better life. On the other side, other characters give her food, medications and clothes in order to make her look better and walk better as well as not making her feel that she is a disabled or that she is dependent on others. By receiving this good treatment, Eliza starts to feel that finally life begins to smile at her.
As for what the author tries to teach us, she wants to tell the readers who are attracted to her story that they must treat others well and that they must show them respect and good manners. Because when we are kind and truly appreciate others, they will love us and teat us back with honor. Furthermore, we have to prove to people whom we love our feelings towards them through giving them gifts and presents. Besides, parents have to deal with their children well, listen to their complaints and not be afraid to show what they truly feel towards them. Finally, it seems that Linda wants to indicate in the story "A Family for Christmas" that we will reap what we sow. In other words when we exert our best efforts and when we dedicate our time at work in order to earn money, God compensates us for all the struggle we had to face and rewards us for our good work.
In my opinion, I believe that the best character is Duncan as he is so sweet with Eliza and finds her the box made by her grandfather where she keeps all her favorite things. He also believes that she is kind and beautiful and that she is not useless or a loser. On the contrary, he thinks that she must take care of herself and gets dressed well to show to herself that she deserves to be happy and treated like a lady. So, it seems that Duncan is truly a gentleman who knows how to deal ladies well and how to show them respect.
Finally, this book and the plot in it is different comparing to other books. In such story, Linda perfectly manages to grab the attention of readers as well as sharing thoughts with them. She also tries to discuss alt of ideas to see their reactions. She also depicts the characters perfectly using a lot of new words and voices so that readers will not feel bored. She also was able to talk about every single topic on which she wanted to focus in order to prove her excellence and ability to write stories that any other author is not willing to or does not have the audacity to write. That's why this story is considered as one of the best stories any one could read.
The story written by Linda Fay is truly an amazing one and I would definitely recommend it to all my friends and family members. When I read this book, I become really excited and fascinated about the main character Eliza and how a poor young girl like her has to deal with all these problems in order to have a good life. After deciding to leave her house in which she was brought up, she does not know where to go. If Fay and Duncan did not find her, she would die or live in streets with no shelter or food. In spite of the fact that the story could be long to many people, I really enjoy it as it is full of different incidents that attract my attention especially when Eliza's father comes to see her after this long time or when Eliza has dinner with her new family at the end or even when James gives her the new shoes to enable her to walk well without feeling disabled or useless. On the other hand, the story is good for both adults and young kids because its themes represented in love, respect, family and poverty are suitable for any age. That's why parents can read it for their children or they can read it by themselves.
Moreover, Linda is one of the greatest authors as she tries to do whatever it takes in order to prove her success and increase her fame around the world. That's why the New York Times calls this story the year's best book since it is full of fiction, adventure, emotions and romance. Linda also focuses on the important ties and bonds between the members of family and how these bonds can have an impact on the members. Throughout the whole story, Eliza tries to find herself a new family with whom she can live in peace and serenity and with whom she can feel secured and safe. That's what obliges her to escape to get a new life away from poverty and cruelty. At the end, Linda puts a happy ending to her story in order to make her readers satisfied about what they read and to make them enjoy reading more and more of her books.
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