Spirit of the Season by Brian Lamont is the kind of book you want to read to your kids while curling up on the couch near fireside on a chilly Christmas eve. Crafted out of the legend of Santa Claus and the historical figure of St. Nicholas, the novel as a historical fiction takes the readers back to good old village times prior to the advent of modern machinery.
Set in the early 18th Century England, the story revolves around a generous candlemaker who sets out to spread happiness and hope around the world with his miraculous candles that can cure any darkness with the brightest light one has ever seen. The candle serves as a symbol for ‘hope’ that can bring about the end of darkness and despair usually associated with the season of winter. The novel as a whole can be defined as a ray of hope for those who dare to believe in miracles.
The Candlemaker stands for purity, innocence, selfless giving and the cheerful spirit of the season.
“The chandler’s boy, as he came to be known, had the happiest childhood imaginable, even though there were no friends in his life, other than those that he made his own – in the fields and in the forest.”(3)
The novel follows his incredible journey from being a naive country boy to becoming a selfless candle maker who devotes his life to bring happiness into children’s lives all around the world. His visit was welcomed by young and old, rich and poor alike.
The novel opens with the classic once-upon-a-time story in third-person narration. The simplicity of the language makes it an easy read even for beginners of English. Mr. Lamont’s storytelling is embellished with a pinch of magic sparkles here and there. It is interesting to note that the characters are all nameless, signifying the author’s deliberate attempt to emphasize the virtues and traits instead of humanizing and focusing on their individuality. The gradual change of time from the tranquil country life to the toxic industrial age is also shown through the eyes of the central character.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this charming piece of fiction that restores faith even in the coldest of hearts. Needless to say, one would feel elated after finishing this book as it convinces you to put faith in miracles. The author has successfully done his job to make up for the loss of faith in the modern era by retelling a refreshing tale that is no less than uplifting. I would recommend this not just to kids but to people of all ages, particularly those who cling on to every bit of hope in the dark times. In short, this little novel is very much captivating and would make an ideal Christmas gift to your loved ones.