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Reviewed by Joanie Chevalier for Readers' Favorite
Home for the Holidays by Valerie Allen is a charming short story full of hope, forgiveness, and the power of music. When Mick shows up at Harmony House, a place for the homeless to receive a hot meal, Father Joseph welcomes him with open arms, and it seems that they know each other. Although Father Joseph recognizes the signs of aging, the weariness of living a hard life living on the road, he doesn’t say anything but sets Mick to work tuning the piano for that night’s entertainment by Mrs. O’Rourke’s grandson, a 12-year-old prodigy. It wasn't said outright in the story but it alluded to the fact that Mick was musically inclined.
Even though Home for the Holidays by Valerie Allen is a short story that can be read within minutes, it packs a powerful punch. Valerie Allen is a talented author who can fit all sorts of emotions into a few pages. What I like about Home for the Holidays is that the author doesn't have to tell the reader everything in the characters' minds, but allows the reader to form their own ideas. When I was done with the story, I just had to read it again, and reading it a second time, I caught even more character aspects that I had missed in the first round. Home for the Holidays is a story full of rich meanings, family, acceptance, forgiveness, and the miracle of the holiday. I recommend Home for the Holidays for anyone looking for a feel-good holiday story.