Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Christmas Caroline

I've been reading A Christmas Caroline, by Kyle Smith, lately and I just finished it yesterday. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like - a take on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but with a modern, hip-girl twist. Caroline is in the role of Ebenezer, but this isn't just a take on the classic by Dickens; there is more Dickens embedded into this book than I thought there would be.

For example, a few names from the beginning of the book: Ursula Heep, Arabella Allen, Caroline's roomate (who has passed away) is Carly Jacobs, Trot Copperfield, Nic Nickleby, and many others. Dickens is sprinkled all over this book, and one of the things that I most loved about this book had to do with a tie-in to a very specific Dickens book that I love in particular.

Read more, but beware of spoilers (I'll narrow the font size so it won't be so large below).

Caroline's last name is.........Havisham! And, her childhood friend whom she used to tease was nicknamed Philly, and now he is the very successful owner of ...Pip's Doughnuts...and of course his name is Philip Pirrip. I thought it was something that the author decided to keep the whole name, even though others are edited slightly. There is an obvious tie-in to Great Expectations, with Estella (Caroline) and Pip (Philip) ending up together. When I reached the end, I was so surprised (shocked, even) to find that Caroline was a Havisham, but then it fit so well, so perfectly. And her mother, La, designs....dun dun dresses! A lot of it is, of course, modern, but I thought it was really neat of the author to add so much Dickens to the book, not just from A Christmas Carol.