Review of ‘The Butterfly Christmas’ by William McDonald

A beautifully-written novel about grief, hope and miracles. It had the feel of a Christmas movie but on the right side of sentimental.

Book cover of The Butterfly Christmas by William McDonald showing a snow angel.

Set in the town of Erie, Pennsylvania, the story centres on a family – appropriately their surname is Worthy – and how the real Santa Claus decides to help them. It all started when a little girl wrote letters to Santa about her sister, who had a disease which made her skin as fragile as butterfly wings. Santa felt guilty that he wasn’t able to prevent the sister’s death, so, after a conversation with God, Santa becomes an ordinary guy on Earth for a while. He ends up at a homeless shelter, makes friends and even gets arrested.

I found this a very absorbing read, with a strong sense of place, the tone sad and yet warm-hearted. There was a side-plot about a virus which I think could have been cut from the story to make it simpler. Although the book mentions heaven and God, the spiritual approach has a broad appeal.

Independently published in 2022.

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