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Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite
With an old-fashioned writing style and a connection to the beloved Dickens’ story, A Christmas Carol, The Ghost of Christmas Past by author Michael Hebler is a must-read for the Christmas season or any other time of the year. The story opens with the Ghost of Christmas Past attempting to save a suicidal woman, but when the spirit fails, it is sent on a journey to view the life it led in the past. While the spirit does not initially know if it was a female or a male in life, it learns the truth about its upbringing, including the relationship it had with its father. The spirit, after witnessing its own life and death, journeys back to the earthly world to try to save the suicidal woman and show her the truth about her own past.
There is much to love about The Ghost of Christmas Past. While I was initially drawn to the book because of the connection with A Christmas Carol, I quickly learned that the story stood on its own but still retained the old-fashioned writing style associated with Dickens. My favorite part of the book was when the Ghost of Christmas Past traveled back to its own beginnings. The scene of the spirit’s death was one of those rare book moments when you read through the pages without being aware of anything else around you. Also of note was the mention of Ebenezer Scrooge, which was greatly appreciated, and the Ghost of Christmas Future.
At the root of the story is family misunderstandings, a connection author Michael Hebler constructed with ease, showcasing the theme without hitting the reader over the head with it. The writing was beautiful, the story was reminiscent of the original, and there was a believable backstory for the Ghost of Christmas Past. I would recommend the book to fans of A Christmas Carol or anyone who is interested in this genre.