Miracle on 34th Street
September 14, 2021
Generations of believers in hope and goodwill have made Valentine Davies’ Miracle on 34th Street a treasured part of their holiday traditions. Millions of copies of this award-winning story have sold since its first publication in 1947, delighting readers of all ages. A facsimile edition of the book is now faithfully re-created, offering a new generation--and fans of the original--the beauty of the classic 1940s design. Details of how the book came to be written, and made into a beloved film, are included in a brief historical note.
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
This 1947 title bears some hints of its age, but holds up fairly well. It's good to see an independent woman at this particular juncture of history, and I think Doris' approach to raising Susan is sound. The dated aspects include quite different treatment of the elderly (especially since Kris is described as being around 75!), and different terminology for mental health conditions; "lunacy"is no longer a politically correct term. I wasn't a huge fan of Fred's pursuit of Doris, but he was generally a fine fellow, even though the dream of a house in the suburb and married life seemed very tied to post war feelings.
The cinematic orgins of the story also bleed through occasionally, and the sentimentality is typical of holiday fare from this era. Considering this was a movie before it was a book, it's not a surprise. The writing is still strong, and the slim volume is a quick read.
I've never compiled a list of classic Christmas stories, but this would be a good addition to a holiday collection along with Dicken's Cricket on the Hearth, Henry's Gift of the Magi and Shepherd's A Christmas Story.
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