A straightforward plot and a limited cast of characters make for a smooth, fast read. The heroine is a strong-minded, quiet-spoken, wise-beyond-her-years type, her coping skills and judicious use of silence when confronted by difficult situations are admirable; a delicious example of letting one’s enemies defeat themselves by running about ever more madly while one remains at the calm eye of the storm saving one’s breath.
‘Charlotte… found herself even more out of tunes with the festivities than usual. She had nothing in common with Aunt Lydia’s friends and it did not amuse her to see a group of middle-aged people pulling crackers and wearing paper hats and kissing coyly beneath the mistletoe. In fact she found it revolting… (S)he thought about it seriously: was there any connection between Aunt Lydia’s parties and the “Christmas Spirit?” Was it priggish to be unable to join in the “fun?” She thought of the noise and the laughter and the feasting…and then she thought of the birth of a little baby in a quiet stable… The more Charlotte thought about it the more she became convinced that the orgies of Aunt Lydia and her friends were not Christian at all, but pagan…’
Hardback 1st edition