Genre: Speculative Fiction/Christmas
“While home in Midland, Texas on a weekend visit with the eccentric uncle who raised him, Marion (‘Mary’) Waclawski discovers a long-forgotten letter Uncle Joe wrote to Santa Claus. Mary keeps it to share with his girlfriend Lindsay and best friend Tommy. At first they consider the letter to be nothing more than a silly lark—what kind of grown man would write a letter to Santa? But soon Mary and Lindsay find themselves caught up in a much larger mystery, concerning many, many more letters to Santa, all surrounding the crisis of gun violence in America.
It’s a problem bigger than Texas, and a mystery bigger than Mary and Lindsay can solve on their own. Thankfully they discover they have willing and eager partners at the North Pole: Sandra and Kris Kringle, better known around the world as Mr. and Mrs. Claus! But can the Texans and the Clauses solve a mystery and a crisis no one else seems able to?”
After growing up in California Shana Hammaker bounced around the country a bit before landing in Austin, Texas where she now lives with her husband. Shana is the author of several books including memoirs, a novel, and several shorter works.
Imagine that the neighbor kid who told you when you were ten that Santa wasn’t real didn’t know what he was talking about. That’s right, Santa is real. Now imagine the kids in the US who are scared by the stories of all the mass shootings they hear about and the active shooter drills they go through at school deciding to take action in the only way they an imagine making their dreams come true, by asking Santa to do something about gun violence in America for their Christmas present. If enough kids ask for this same thing, Santa will have to do something, right?
Exactly what was going on and how it was going to shake out kept me guessing and intrigued through the entire book. Along with an engaging story is plenty of background to give perspective and get the reader thinking about the issue of gun violence in the US. Ideally, we would be able to make some progress in improving things in that area without having to enlist Santa’s help, but just in case I know what I’m asking Santa do for me this Christmas. Give this a read and see if you agree.
Some adult language.
This review is based on a preliminary reviewer’s copy of the book, so I can’t judge the final product in this area.
Rating: ***** Five Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words