Our Simple Gifts by Owen Parry
Civil War Christmas Tales

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A Union officer struggles homeward through a Christmas Eve snowstorm, haunted by loss and doubtful of the future. Paroled from a brutal prison camp, a young southern soldier yearns to find the one person he loves most in the world -- and worries over the devastation rumored to have reached his family's mountain. An immigrant private plans a startling Christmas surprise for his comrades. And a newly freed slave must choose between the desire for revenge and his longing to be a better man than his master . . .

From northern colliery towns to ruined Old South plantations and the divided loyalties of the Appalachian Mountains, Owen Parry casts his storyteller's spell with a collection of unforgettable tales celebrating the enduring spirit of Christmas. Moving from darkness toward the light in the grand tradition of holiday tales, these stories are bound to become classics of the American yuletide season. Whether whispering an old-fashioned Christmas ghost story or reminding us that not all who suffered war's losses wore uniforms, the author always leads us back to the joyous beauty -- the miracle -- of Christmas. Moving and heartfelt, Our Simple Gifts revives the tradition of Christmas tales for grown-ups.

As quietly as snow falls on holly, these Civil War Christmas tales will insist on being read again, year after year.


About Owen Parry

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Owen Parry is the author of a series of critically acclaimed, prizewinning novels set during the American Civil War: Faded Coat of Blue, Shadows of Glory, Call Each River Jordan, and Honor's Kingdom. He has also published a collection of holiday tales for adults, Our Simple Gifts. Born in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania, Parry lives and writes in northern Virginia.
Published November 6, 2012 by William Morrow. 160 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In “Tannenbaum,” a well-educated German immigrant, his Union company’s butt of humor, provides a cheerful Christmas tree for fellow soldiers during a bitterly drear encampment in Virginia.

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Publishers Weekly

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The traditional lessons of Christmas are revisited in this set of four inspirational stories from novelist Parry, creator of the Abel Jones series of Civil War–era suspense stories (Honor's Kingdom, etc.).

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