200 pages, 8.5 in x 8.5 in
Publication Date: Nov-2006
A wrecker operator with a hardened heart spends Christmas on the icy interstate and unexpectedly lends a hand in a holiday miracle. A fisherman struggling with the death of his wife plants a memorial to her in a special place. A family on the edge of financial ruin unloads its prized possessions at a Christmas yard sale only to have a mysterious, bow-tied stranger answer their prayers.
Meet these characters and more in this cozy collection of contemporary holiday stories, Comfort & Joy. Set in the Carolinas -- from the southern Blue Ridge Mountains to the sea islands of the Lowcountry -- these tales reverberate with the homespun style of a classic storyteller, Kirk Neely, pastor of Morningside Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Neely's ode to the redemptive power of Christmas harks back to O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi." Along the way he introduces us to Sara Williams, a young woman who carries the family legacy of sweetgrass basket making but whose life has gone off track into drugs and prostitution. In the story "Joe's Tree" we follow a Christmas tree on a miraculous journey from a child's grave to a frat house to children's shelter. And together with schoolteacher Mary Alice McCall we learn how slaves once used handmade quilts as a beacon of hope.
Comfort & Joy, beautifully illustrated by June Neely Kern, is a book of unforgettable characters and images. The Hub City Writers Project proudly presents these stories as a Christmas gift to readers in our own community and beyond. Enjoy!
About the Author
Neely is the author of A Good Mule is Hard to Find (Hub City Press, 2009) and When Grief Comes: Strength for Today, Hope for Tomorrow (Baker Publishing Group, 2007). He is pastor at Morningside Baptist Church in Spartanburg.