Robert’s Hill, a review by Shelley

posted in: Shelley | 0

Jeremy John

Dundurn Press
Publication Date: November 1st, 2022
148 pages
Goodreads | Amazon

This book was a delight, it was hilariously funny but also warmhearted and loving too. I enjoyed every single one of these stories. Don’t let the title fool you it is a lot more sophisticated than it sounds.

The titular story Robert’s Hill, is about a boy who gets a GT racer for Christmas and poops his pants going down the scary hill. I was in stitches laughing.

The 12 shots of Christmas are exactly that, take a shot every time someone says Ralphie while watching A Christmas Story. The story got funnier and funnier as the movie played, but it was full of love at the end.

The Christmas Divorce was a little sad. It’s about a lad making friends with a spoiled rich kid and using him to get what he wants for Christmas. He really wants to get a slot car racing set but instead, the parents get a divorce and he feels responsible for it.

Merry Christmas Mr. Baggins warmed my heart. It’s about a family ( with three kids!) driving three hours, in their station wagon, to see grandma at Christmas. It is a family tradition to listen to books on tape during the drive. Getting to sit up front with dad was a cause for celebration when mom went in the back to rest. They listen to The Hobbit and bond during the drive. My favourite quote from this story was “There is nothing less helpful than a child trying to be helpful.” 🤣

Christmas in the Neighbourhood was by far the most give me all the feels story and was so upliftingly sweet. A taxi-driving dad moonlights as a limo driver and picks up a very special passenger. The famous man invites the driver to dinner with him and afterwards, the driver takes this famous person home with him. They eat and he plays the piano as they all join in to sing along. When you find out who this famous person is, it makes it all the more special.

The Sweet Things is just that, sweet. Candy maker Mr. Bunte is a Swedish man living in Germany and his friend Vincent is the choirmaster at his church. The candy maker offers to help his friend control the twitchy choir boys by teaching him how to make cheap candy to keep the boys busy. It turns out to be sugar plumbs, that have nothing to do with the fruit and hilarity ensues once the boys get the sticky candy.

Never Open a Gift on Christmas Eve: A Cautionary Tale is about a young boy who is allowed to open a gift on the 24th. He decides to open the one from his great-aunt in England because he figures someone who has great in their name and lives where royalty is to give an excellent gift…he couldn’t be more wrong. Needless to say, she is no longer his “great” aunt. From that year on Christmas Eve gifts just get worse and he starts to think that he is cursed. It just gets funnier and funnier until they aren’t and then the perfect gift arrives.

The Greatest Christmas Movie of All Time Ever is about the worst (dumbest) newspaper boss ever. After being asked to write an article with the title of the story it proves very difficult for one reporter. How do you choose such a movie? Again hilarity ensues and a champion is crowned.

Humbug (Noun): Hoax; Fraud; Rubbish; Nonsense; Hard-Boiled Candy is the final story in this collection. This one is about traditions and remembering those we lost. Aunt Victoria the oldest living relative reflects on her father recording A Christmas Carol in 1942. Every year the family gathers to listen to the record and has done so for four generations. This was the perfect way to end the book.

I love supporting Canadian writers and the author is from Ontario, Canada like myself. This was a most excellent way to kill a few hours and put yourself in the Christmas spirit. I am going to recommend this to everyone who asks for a holiday book idea. All. The. Stars.

This title is currently available for purchase.

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