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Have you ever loved an object that in and of itself was just inanimate matter but to one person held the key to memories of love, peace and an unquestionable connection that defies description? Teddy Winter's grandmother, Lottie, is deteriorating from a form of Alzheimer's disease that rapidly ravages one's ability to think and remember. Lottie knows what is happening in her clear moments and is worried sick that Teddy may be left an orphan left to live in a place where he is treated poorly.
Teddy, on the other hand, is totally focused on his determination to purchase the beautiful Victorian, hand-painted clock that reminds Lottie of her childhood and which, even when she doesn't remember, brings her such peace to just gaze at. So he begs Joe, the local mechanic, to let him work in his garage station. Little by little, Joe develops an affection for Teddy that turns to worry and care about his future. But Joe's got a problem background, the result of some reactions after a tremendous loss that sent him to prison for several years. Now when he thinks about those years, he knows he has turned around his life but still bears tremendous bitterness toward one individual. Can he overcome this combination enough to help Teddy the way he wants?
Sylvia Winters, meanwhile, has returned to the small town of Dreyerville, Michigan after years in a big city. Why did she initially leave when it seemed her future was destined to be spent with someone she so deeply loved? That's the secret that almost no one knows but one which haunts her as she returns to find a job and renew her hometown connections. And what will she do when her secret eventually is discovered? How can she also help Teddy, whom she meets in the doctor's office when he comes with Lottie for her regular physical examinations?
The Christmas Clock is a special story about the spirit behind this holiday, a promise of possibilities full of life, love, forgiveness and peace so often associated with the Yuletide season but so often missed because hearts are closed to its magic. The Christmas clock is a beautiful metaphor for the new love and life about to inspire and transform everyone in this poignant story!
Beautifully written, Ms. Martin!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on September 3, 2009