Zanna’s Gift: A Life in Christmases

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Zanna’s Gift: A Life in Christmases by Orson Scott Card is a sweet story that mostly takes place in the 1940s and 1950s. It is a short book of about one hundred pages long and a quick, easy read. It is about family, loss, grief, and continuity. Zanna’s gift is a drawing, meant to be given to her brother, who dies. The drawing and its meaning to the family stay in the family for generations. The character of Zanna is full of innocence and love, even as she ages in the book. The other family members, especially her niece, Betty, are good-natured, well-meaning people. My favorite character is Betty, an energetic child and then young woman, struggling with polio and post-polio symptoms. There isn’t a lot of plot or action but is a quiet tale. It seems to me that the story would have worked really well as a short story instead of a novel. And although it’s a sweet story, it fell a little flat for me. It felt two dimensional. There is an afterward, running several pages long, that offers interesting Card family history and some background on the novel’s ideas.


Reviewed By:

Author Orson Scott Card
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 122 pages
Publisher Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date 2020-Nov-17
ISBN 9781982696818
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2021
Category Popular Fiction
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