Thomas Fox Averill

A Carol Dickens Christmas


A Carol Dickens Christmas is a cornucopia of traditions and transitions. 
Single mother Carol Dickens is trying hard to give her son his last, best Christmas at home.  Finn Dickens-Dunmore is graduating early from high school and taking a music scholarship at a small college far from home.

Carol wants to maintain her rituals:  read A Christmas Carol, cook her Victorian feasts (recipes included), trim a lavish tree, celebrate the 12 days of this rich season.  Finn, who walks at night, discovers that his classmate Gabriela is about to have a baby, and about to turn eighteen, when she can decide her child's fate.  He enlists the help of his old friend, chimney sweep Mr. Marble.

A reference librarian who studies the transition between the Victorian and Modern in literature, Carol is also obsessed by semi-colons.  She counts this punctuation mark to discover when one period became the other.  Finn is busy rehearsing for year-end concerts.  He joins the Mariachi band Gabriela once played in, and meets a whole new culture of community, music, and food.

Carol is distracted by her former husband, who is leaving town at the same time as Finn.  And by her boss, paraplegic Laurence Timmons, who is trying to re-claim his life and his interest in Carol. Finn is distraught by the impending death of his childhood dog, Scraps, and excited by the impending birth of Gabriela's baby.

This novel of growing up, of acceptance, of irritation and joy, of confusion and clarity, measures out equal parts of the sad and the happy, of tears and of laughter. 

Between transitions and distractions, between old holiday traditions and new interests, between old lives left and new lives begun, Finn and Carol have A Carol Dickens Christmas.

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Critical reviews of A Carol Dickens Christmas:

“A compelling Christmas tale.”

--Library Journal

“Cheery yuletide traditions are hampered by modern-day distractions in A Carol Dickens Christmas by Thomas Fox Averill, a charming story that pieces together morsels drawn from Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol: Christmas songs, poems, recipes, and themes of family and change. . . . A Carol Dickens Christmas captures the essence of Christmas, revealing that changes can sometimes bring blessings.”

--Foreword Reviews

“Averill’s new book, A Carol Dickens Christmas: A Novel, takes the built-in structure of Christmas and spins a heart-warming story that echoes such classics as A Christmas Carol, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and the biblical Christmas story.”

--Topeka Capital-Journal

A Carol Dickens Christmas is a book that’s more than the sum of its parts: It’s a tale of seemingly ordinary people and their more or less ordinary lives that speaks to deeper truths of what it means to be human, what it means to change, what it means to love.”

--The Wichita Eagle