on Oct. 28, 2013 :
Willie Arkenthwaite is employed as dye house worker in Murgatroyd’s Mill. Like most folks, when Christmas has come & gone, Willie sees nothing but debt. He’s stuck with a live-in Mother-in-Law who contributes nothing but opinions. Listening to her drone on is enough to drive Willie mad. Add in the rest of his immediate family & his feathered friends, pigeons, & he has quite a bit to take care of economically.
During his escapes to the pub, his mental light bulb goes off. A Christmas Savings Club may just be the answer to his money woes. However, Willie’s neither banker nor even an adequate mathematician. In fact, he’s never organized anything at all. Relying on friend, Arthur, they embark on their quest to be self-sufficient by next Christmas.
A diverse bunch joins Willie in his new adventure. Readers will meet Willie’s friends, co-workers, & of course the boss of Murgatroyd’s Mill. They’re all together in this adorable Yorkshire village. Can Willie attend financial security? Either way, it’s a roller coaster of humor & light-hearted drama.
Stephen Bailey has written a quaint tale. Willie could be just about anyone in England or here in America. Many people have fantasized about how they were going to put presents under the tree. Willie, at least, tries. It may not be the most brilliant of plans, but he gets an A for effort. All of the characters seem to genuinely mean well in helping out. His mother-in-law needs a dose of reality, but she could be another novel all to herself. Actually, Will reminds me a bit of Archie Bunker with an Edith-like wife who tries, but is too mild-mannered to make any difference in the family dynamic.
All in all, it’s a good, solid 4 star read appearing just in time for the Holidays.
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(reviewed 8 days after purchase)