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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Humorous
  • Language:English
  • Pages:128
  • eBook ISBN:9781483558950

A Modern American Christmas

by Susan Anthony-Tolbert

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Overview
“A Modern American Christmas” is not a typical Christmas Story. It is more in the genre of the Chevy Chase movies or Dave Barry’s story. Though it is funny and somewhat irreverent, it is also not meant to be disrespectful. The story-line is framed in Christmas traditions and serious ethical and moral issues of the times. It is a humorous look at how over-the-top things can become in modern American Society. It does poke fun at consumerism to the extreme, double-standards, keeping up appearances and personalities who don’t “do what they say” or “don’t say what they do!” The story is that of a young college woman home for the holidays only to discover that the beloved family home is in the foreclosure process. The ‘squatters/renters’ who have been living there until the actual owners (her family) can return for the one last ‘Spectacularly Sensational and Shiny’ Christmas in the home are quite the characters. The dialogue is funny and fast and somewhat biting. There is some mystery, some romance, a little sex and an interesting cast of personalities: a woman who rescues laughing hyenas; an outrageously expensive veterinarian who treats the heroine’s beloved cat; a college dean with more hunting trophies on her wall than scholarly achievements; a brother gone missing only to return as a monk. Anyone who feels his or her Christmas or any holiday was not all it could or should have been will realize as they read this story, “they are not alone!”
Description
A Modern American Christmas” pokes good–natured fun at some of the over-the-top behaviors and events of early 21st century Christmas celebrations. Though it is humorous and somewhat irreverent, it is also not meant to be disrespectful. The story-line is framed in modern Christmas traditions and serious ethical and moral issues of the times. It does take slightly sarcastic jabs at consumerism to the extreme, double-standards, keeping up appearances and personalities who don’t “do what they say” or “don’t say what they do!” The story is that of a young college woman home for the holidays only to discover that the beloved family home is in the foreclosure process. The ‘squatters’ or renters, (depending on how the reader wants to view them) who have been living there until the actual owners (her family) can return for the one last ‘Spectacularly Sensational and Shiny’ Christmas in the home, are quite the characters. The dialogue is funny and fast and somewhat biting. There is some mystery, some romance, a little sex and an interesting cast of personalities: a woman who rescues laughing hyenas; an outrageously expensive veterinarian who treats the heroine’s beloved cat; a college dean with more hunting trophies on her wall than scholarly achievements; a brother gone missing only to return after missing for five years. Anyone who feels his or her Christmas or any holiday was not all it could or should have been will realize as they read this story, “they are not alone!” Gabrielle Glamore’s college Christmas break begins with a meeting with the Dean of Academic Affairs over a misreported grade. Though that issue is resolved, there are the much larger issues of football team members and their grades, an instructor who does not appear for class and a dean whose office looks like the waiting room at “The Hunter’s and Fisherman’s Outlet Store.” When the young woman arrives home she discovers that a family of strangers is living in her home. Since she has not returned home all fall semester, she was not aware that her parents had rented out the house in hopes of avoiding foreclosure. The family who is living in the house is quite unique: Dad, a chemist in appearance; Mom, a bank officer in title: Derek, age 23, handsome and intelligent but descending rapidly into alcoholism and Davy, a young boy of 12 who needs good parenting. In the midst of this holiday joy, her brother who was not kidnapped or abducted returns, as originally feared, and is quite disappointed that there is no welcoming home party! The story is of adventures leading up to the return of Gabrielle’s parents, her grandmother’s visit, this brother’s re-surfacing and the Christmas Eve Dinner. The turn in the story and what eventually happens to the foreclosed house should amuse the reader. And, there is a happy ending.
About the author
Susan Anthony-Tolbert, a native of Scranton, Pa., received her doctorate in Social Psychology from Temple University and served as a Professor of Psychology and Director of the Undergraduate Psychology Program during a tenure of thirty years at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She has numerous publications in psychology journals as well as having authored textbooks in personality, social psychology, cross-cultural psychology and observational methods. Music has always played an important part in her life. Currently, she is a free-lance harpist and marimbaist with CDs selling both locally and nationally. As a lifelong equine enthusiast, Susan continues to pursue equestrian activities on her two horses: News Flash and Harmony. In addition to “A Modern American Christmas,” Susan has written other works of fiction. . Her novel, “When the Red Jacket Sings,” is a mystery involving musicians and missing persons as well as a Basset hound, named Sophie, and two cats, Brahms and Bartok. This story is set in Lake Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A second novel, “Harmonic,” explores a love story also set in the world of classical music. These two novels are available on line as eBooks for such e Readers as: Nook, Kindle, iPad, Kobo, and Copia . She has also written fiction for young people and the young at heart. Readers might enjoy: Ranger: Tales of the Yellow Tavern Cat; Snow Prince: The Magical Christmas Pony of Heathsville, Virginia; Keeokee: The Beautiful Swimmer; Fanny-Grace: Herself the Harp; And The Purple Pig Played Piccolo; The Adventures of McCue, My Wonder Horse; Paula: The Perfectly Pleasing Pigeon; and Merlin: The Magic Marimba. These are available through her website: www.singingcatandmule.com. Susan has found a new passion in history. With her husband, Dorian Tolbert, she has co-authored: “The Home Front: Northumberland County, Virginia in World War II” and “Menominee, Lost Lights! The Sinking of the Unarmed Tug and its Barges off the Virginia Cast in World War II.” This last book is the third that they have co-authored together. Their first joint project was “A Quiet Glory: The Life and Times of Dr. James Skelton Gilliam of Northumberland and Lancaster Counties, Virginia.” Susan has written several articles for the Bulletin of the Northumberland County Historical Society and serves on the Board of that Society. She has also written “The Mare with Mysteries, Robert E. Lee’s Other Warhorse, The Story of Lucy Long for Young Adults.” This has been written for youth and for easy reading. Susan’s other more inclusive volume, “Lucy Long, Robert E. Lee’s Other Warhorse: The Mare with Mysteries” contains more complete and detailed historical information and more biographical accounts of the important persons in the mare’s life. These are available through the Northumberland County Historical Center in Heathsville, VA. CDs by Susan Anthony –Tolbert available from CD Baby on line or at SingingCatand: Basically Baroque, Music Enjoyed by the Colonists; Miskimon Double Concerto for Harp and Cello; Chesapeake Bay Christmas: Bells, Stars and a Little Harp; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Harp; Chesapeake Bay Suite, Songs of the Chesapeake, With Every Beat of My Harp; Chesapeake Lighthouse Sketches, Life Songs from the Depths of My Harp; Chesapeake Bay: Wind in My Strings; Women Composers Across the Centuries (Piano Music); Marimba Moments, A Musical Mosaic (featuring Ribbon of Steel composed to celebrate breast cancer warriors); When Wood Sings(Christmas Music on the Marimba); and Ye Olde Sweet Songs of Christmas Past: From My Heart and Harp (featuring both harp and marimba).
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