Mary’s Son, A Tale of Christmas follows thirteen-year-old Jared Roberts and eleven-year-old Sarah Stone as they discover the real meaning of Christmas first hand.
Jared, a poor boy from the Sink, is bitter over the circumstances that led to his father abandoning the Roberts family. He thinks the world owes him. Sarah, on the other hand, is the spoiled daughter of a wealthy widower who has battled his grief by immersing himself in his work, giving his child nothing but material riches.
Enter a man who calls himself Nicholas. He can’t remember his last name, but he does know he’s Santa Claus. Nicholas is determined to show Sarah that there is more to Christmas than what can be found at the mall. In the meantime, he hopes to save Jared from himself.
IMO: “Jared Roberts was a man—thirteen years old—but a man nevertheless.” What a great opening line and insight into the sudden responsibility placed on a young teen.
I enjoyed the main characters in Mary’s Son, a novel for tweens, teens, and adults. For me, Jared was real, a child caught in circumstances that forced him to be the man of the family. Sarah, too, faced the loss of both parents, one to death and the other to emotional neglect. The author referenced the movie, Miracle on 34th Street. Prior to that, I kept seeing Edmund Gwenn each time Nicholas came on stage, so I guess we were on the same wavelength.
Darryl Nyznyk gave Jared a tremendous voice. From page one, I felt his pain and could sympathize with him. While Sarah was a brat at first, it soon became clear she was only a lonesome, little girl who wanted the love and attention of her father.
Nicholas tries to change the attitudes of both children with little result. Not even Santa can give them what they really need. In the midst of a crisis, he takes them back in time to the only One who can.
Although I think the story would have been stronger had it been told strictly from Jared and Sarah’s points of view—without the head-hopping perspective of adults, it serves as a reminder of the need for all of us to realize there is no real Christmas without the real Christ.
I applaud Darryl Nyznyk for providing his children (and ours) with a story that celebrates the birth of a Holy Baby who came to Earth for all people, no matter their circumstances.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the author’s representative with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.