I’m having some trouble reading the books I bought. Fortunately, the problem of the messed up pages in Night Echoes has been resolved, but now I’m struggling with The Magic of Christmas.
I started the first story—“A Christmas Child” by Carolyn Davidson”—and I got as far as the second paragraph of chapter one before I was yanked out of the story so hard, I might have whiplash.
The heroine traveled to Walnut Grove.
Now, I’m a fairly intelligent grown woman. I know Walnut Grove is a real town. I could go there now, if I wanted to shell out the gas money. But “Little House on the Prairie” the TV series premiered when I was two and I read the Little House book series when I was six, so for pretty much my entire life, I’ve known the people of Walnut Grove.
Yet I forged on.
So the heroine ends up seeking help at the general store, which in my head became the Mercantile. And when the storekeeper’s wife was so gentle and generous with the heroine, I actually snorted. Then I had to set the book down and remind myself the storekeeper’s wife’s name is Janet, not Harriet.
But I know from the blurb the heroine—who’s only been described as ‘not yet a woman’ so is probably thirteen in my head—finds her hero in the town pastor. Well, you know Reverend Alden entered stage right, and the thought of him with a ‘not yet a woman’ heroine…It made me laugh and feel queasy at the same time.
So I’ve skipped to the second story in the anthology. I hope to find the right frame of mind to go back to the first story, because I like the author’s work. Maybe if I pick it back up where I left off the words ‘Walnut Grove’ won’t be used again.
I feel bad, and I can’t help but wonder if it was meant to trigger the sense of familiarity, but I can’t wrap my head around a town full of people I’ve known my entire life being replaced by strangers.