If you are a fan of Call The Midwife but you often think it could do with a bit more of a regular dog element to it – oh, and you love Christmas – then we reckon we might have found the book for you in A Friend For Christmas.
A Friend For Christmas is the story of Gloria Stewart and how growing up in post-war Britain in a poor but loving family home led her on to devote her life to looking out for and helping members of her community in need. As a child, her mum and dad may not have had much for their own family but they never turned anyone away who was wanting a meal or some shelter, especially at Christmas. It is this that inspired Gloria in her quest, for which she is now known as Mrs Christmas.
And at the heart of this quest is a string of four-legged companions. There is a key moment at the start of the story where a dog sparks a family tragedy – and yet not for a moment do Gloria or her parents allow this to affect their clear love of dogs and desire to rescue any pup that was in need. Yes, a dog was always another mouth to feed but that just didn’t matter.
Gloria’s telling of her story really evokes a strong feel of each period that she takes us through and you will conjure up a host of festive, family settings in your mind as she keeps you gripped to the very end. In spite of her own health problems, she makes sure that nobody in need of a meal or some company ever misses out.
Not that the story has ended. Just this Christmas Gloria hosted a turkey dinner for over 500 lonely elderly people in her area and she intends to keep them coming!