Friday, 13 January 2012

Ruth Gogoll's Christmas Carol by Ruth Gogoll

Modern day version of Scrooge, Michaela Wittling, hates Christmas, it’s just another day to her. She hates that she has to give her staff time off, hates that she has to give out bonus’s and hates all the fuss everyone makes.

When Michaela’s father all but ruined her grandfather’s wine company, Michaela had a hard time getting the company back on track, let alone making a profit when she took over after his death. Michaela lived in virtual poverty, she ran the company as cheaply as she could. She paid her staff a pittance, dressed in tattered clothing, in fact she was so tight, she wouldn’t spend one penny unless it was absolutely necessary. Even when she got her company back in the black, she still carried on saving every penny.

Michaela had no social life at all, save for the odd one night stand. Her latest fling, Karina was a woman she’s hooked up with a couple of times, but Michaela really wasn’t bothered if she saw her or not.

Young mother Ramona Benckhoff works for Michaela. Her daughter Leonie had been ill since birth. Now on this Christmas Eve she is dying. Her only one hope and a slim one at that, is a treatment only available in America. Treatment that Ramona can not afford. What will happen to poor little Leonie? She needs a miracle.

Although Ramona has worked for Michaela for quite some time, Michaela has never really noticed her, until she offers to work over the Christmas holiday. Michaela thinks Ramona is trying to up her salary and is dismissive when she hears Ramona has a sick daughter in hospital. Michaela is her usual self centered obnoxious self.

When Michaela goes home on Christmas Eve the fun begins. Michaela is visited by three ghosts. The ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present and the ghost of Christmas future. What will these ghosts have to show Michaela?

Will these ghostly visits change Michaela’s outlook on life? Will they change her way of life? Will they help Michaela become a better kinder person? Or will Michaela carry on being the frugal Scrooge, who couldn’t care about anyone or anything? Will Michaela ever find love or will her only love be money?

I loved this twist on Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. I’ve read and also watched many different versions of this timeless classic. It is a firm favorite. This modern day version with a lesbian Scrooge is fabulous. The layout of the story is very similar. But the story is so very different.

Michaela’s character was great as a female Scrooge. I hoped right from the outset that her character would follow the traditional story and become a nicer person. But did she? You will have to read the book to find out. I loved Ramona’s character too. She is so full of love and hope, she never gives in. Each of the other characters plays a vital role in the story to bring it all together. The book is very well written.

In my opinion this book would make an wonderful film. It was originally written in German and the translation is excellent. If you only buy one Christmas book, make it this one.

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