It’s that time of year when scores of Christmas novels and short books come on the market to warm our hearts. I have read quite a few in my day and they are generally enjoyable and often uplifting. I found The Christmas Bus at a favorite charity discount book sale. The name alone was intriguing…The Christmas Bus!
Set in Christmas Valley, Oregon, a town struggling to survive the loss of its primary industry reinvents itself to capitalize on its unique name (yes there is actually such a place). The main characters are an older couple where the husband is a minister in the town and his wife runs a bed-and-breakfast. The best laid plans seem to come apart and their Christmas is not typical.
“Fine, you stubborn fool. Rapp has already warned you what he would do to you if you stabbed him in the back again…Does he strike you as a man who doesn’t follow through on his threats?’…His friend had turned into a stubborn old fool who thought the Americans lacked the resolve to play this nasty game at his ruthless level. For the average American he had a point, but Mitch Rapp was in no way average…’If you aren’t afraid of Mr. Rapp then you need to have your head examined.”
“He was below average in height – five foot eight, perhaps, but no more – and had the spare physique of a cyclist. The face was long and narrow at the chin, with wide cheekbones and a slender nose that looked as though it had been carved from wood. The eyes were an unnatural shade of green”
“In 1964, James Bond’s creator sealed a package containing a manuscript he thought no one would read until fifty years after his death.”
That’s the subtext of the storyline of the novel set in 2005. The heroine, the granddaughter of a man close to an inner circle of the British government, finds herself in possession of an Ian Flemming’s manuscript that many people are “dying” to get their hands on. The premise loosely tries to thread together several of the British monarchy’s skeletons including the death of Princess Diana and the abdication of the throne by the Duke of Windsor. Author Mitch Silver provides some interesting theories in this novel, In Secret Service and differentiates between fact, fiction, and supposition in the Athor’s Note.
I don’t want to suggest that you need to work in a cube city office to enjoy this book. I don’t want to suggest that you have to have endured a series of layoffs at your work to enjoy this book. I don’t want to suggest that you have to work for an advertising agency to enjoy this book. I do suggest that the more of these experiences you have the more you’ll enjoy Then We Came to the End and I consider myself somewhat an authority since I’ve experienced two of the three.
I had heard many times that in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle (weight, exercise, mental status) a rule of thumb is to take at least 10,000 steps everyday. In some ways that sounds like a lot, but as much as I walk in a day I thought I’d be close. As I was browsing around Amazon I found a very cool pedometer that counts steps, estimates distance, calories burned and keeps a record of the last seven days measurements.