New Hope UMC

Author: Thomas Houser, 2015.

This novel revolves around the characters of Ruby Spriggs, fashioned as an infant rescued by Charles Dickens; Edwin Chatfield, the young man who would become her lover; Alexander Murd, the scheming coal baron who would destroy them; Abraham Hart, a dwarf who befriends Ruby in a faraway land; and Octavius Joy, a 19th century philanthropist cut from a unique cloth.

From the description on the inside cover: Meticulously researched and masterfully told, The Baker’s Tale, recreates Dicken’s voice in the gorgeous prose brimming with the atmosphere of historical London. It is a gripping tale of obsession, corruption, hope, and love that champions social justice and the need for universal education that Dickens believed in. It will entertain readers from beginning to end.

A memorable passage: “You have done us many acts of kindness that can never be fully repaid.” “No payment is necessary, ‘The reward one receives for kindness is that one enjoys being kind.” And another: “Man enjoys the most exalted position in life’s creative plan. We must always strive to justify that privilege. No one flies to Heaven on wings of words. Conduct is the key. The life of every person we can help is precious. Every man, woman and child matters.” And, yet another: “Death is a natural part of life. It is as certain as being born, although it arrival cannot be calculated with the same precision.”/p>

May be found at amazon.com, Baker's Tale. Also available at Orangeburg County Library. ISBN: 978-1-61902-598.

Reviewed by: Sandra Whetsell