God Bless Us Every One!: Being an Imagined Sequel to "A Christmas Carol"
Susan Rogers was a librarian with the Laurenval School Board (Adult Services), Deux Montagnes, Quebec.
Sequels to any famous work are difficult to imagine. When one picks up this novel, one wonders what tone the author can possibly take that will measure up to Dickens’ original.
The time is seven years after that famous Christmas. Charles Dickens, having heard Scrooge relate his story, has written A Christmas Carol. He visits the Cratchit house in order to ask permission to use the real names of the characters involved. Bob Cratchit has become prosperous in the years since Scrooge’s change of heart and is about to receive a knighthood, on the condition that he disown Ebeneezer Scrooge, whose unsavoury reputation lingers on. Cratchit is losing his own humanity as a result of material success. He is saved from this fate by Scrooge’s manipulation of events.
The book is “cleverly conceived and deftly written,” as the jacket claims; however, it fails to “fascinate all lovers of Charles Dickens and enchant families everywhere.” The author does not attempt to duplicate the emotional character of the original but tries to replace this mood with humor. The humor does not seem to be based on any genuine feeling (the reader never feels like chuckling aloud); it depends instead on plays on words and twists of plot. One can see this story being used as a parody on a television comedy show, but a sequel to A Christmas Carol deserves more.