"Marley was dead to begin with ..." These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now R. William Bennett rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge's miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn't he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge? Or had he?
The very first thing I loved about this book was how the author, Benett, attempted and succeeded at writing the novel in a similar style to the original Dickens classic. This novel does not change anything about the original story, but rather focuses the camera, if you will, at the character of Jacob Marley.
I truly enjoyed learning more about Marley’s past, and how he played an even bigger role in the change that occurred that night for his partner Ebenezer Scrooge. I also loved that Bennett continued the story of Scrooge after that famous morning where A Christmas Carol ends. We get to see the many ways Scrooge actually does change his ways for the better, and how he sincerely keeps Christmas in his heart until he dies.
The book is well written, making it easy to read, but not so easy to put down. The book did well in making me feel as if I were in London during Christmas. In fact, there were quite a few times where I looked up from the book and fully expected to see snow out the window and decorations hung around. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is a fan of Dickens, Scrooge and Marley, or simply a fan of Christmas.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!
Guest Reviewer J. Martinez is the husband of Maria @ GCR and is happy to bring an occasional male perspective to the blog. He loves to read all kinds of books, but his favorites lean toward fantasy/fiction novels like Harry Potter and Eragon.