The Christmas Throwaway, by RJ Scott
A feel-good, curl-up-beside-the-fire read
Publisher’s blurb: Christmas is a time for giving – what do you do when no one gives a damn?
For Zachary Weston Christmas means sleeping on a churchyard bench in the freezing snow with nothing better in his future. Thrown out of his home for being gay, he is left without money or, it seems, anywhere to go.
Until a stranger shows him that some people do give a lot more than a damn.
Ben Hamilton is a rookie cop in his small home town. He finds a young throwaway, fresh from the city, sleeping on a bench in the churchyard on a snowy Christmas Eve. Can he be the one to give Zachary his own Christmas miracle?
Review by Gerry Burnie
At the risk of seeming Grinch-like at this time of year, I found The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott [Silver Publishing, 2010] a bit too saccharin for my taste.
The premise of the story is that Zachary Weston, an almost-eighteen-year-old castaway, thrown out by an abusive, homophobic father, takes refuge in a small town with a small police force and young cop (Ben Hamilton) who happens to be gay.
Moved by the young lad’s plight and the spirit of Christmas, Hamilton takes him under his wing and under the protection of his family—most particularly his nurturing mother. Zachary is readily accepted by all, except for Jamie—Ben’s married brother—who quite reasonably has some reservations about bringing a total stranger under his mother’s roof. Other members of the supporting cast are Ellie, Ben’s younger sister; Mark his long-standing, best friend, and Melanie—Mark’s wife and the town doctor.
After considerable toing and froing the inevitable happens, and Ben and Zach fall in love. The issue of Zach’s previous home life is also resolved—quite surprisingly in the end.
Journalistically, this is a well-written story. The premise, although somewhat lacking in originality, is also well-developed with some interesting plot twists here and there. Where it suffers, however, is in a noticeable lack of any real tension or drama. The characters are just too cloyingly nice to one another, and what tension there is comes across as mildly contrived.
Nonetheless, it is a feel-good story with likable characters and a happy ending, and if are looking for a good curl-up-beside-the-fire read, then this is a book for you. Three-and-one-half stars.
Merry Christmas to all
And the very best in the New Year!
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