Last of the Spirits frontWhat’s it all about?

Sam and his sister Lizzie live on the streets of Victorian London, and on a freezing Christmas Eve beg for money from a wealthy Ebenezer Scrooge who rebuffs them nastily, filling Sam with anger and a desire for revenge.

Later that night they are huddling together for warmth in a cemetery when they see a ghost rising from a grave and heading towards Scrooge’s home. And in that way they become witnesses to the events of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Why did I want to read it?

I am a great fan of Chris Priestley’s works which I’ve been reading over a number of years. This is the latest in his re-tellings of well-known stores for younger readers (the others are Mister Creecher and The Dead Men Stood Together). And as I’ve said on my Screen God blog I love A Christmas Carol, so reading The Last of the Spirits was a no-brainer.

What did I think about it?

I just loved this beautifully written short book. I have always enjoyed stories that are written from the perspective of an onlooker to major events (the two that spring most easily to mind are Valerie Martin’s Mary Reilly (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Hamlet)) and although Sam and Lizzie become direct participants in Scrooge’s story they fit into that trend very well, of an observer illuminating a well-known story by presenting it from a different point of view. And of course given the story we’re watching here it has a happy ending.

Just lovely and will become a regular read for Christmas in the future.

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