Monday, December 4, 2017

DSP 2017 Advent Calendar: Stocking Stuffers Review: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers by Brandon Witt

Title: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
Author: Brandon Witt
Category: Holiday, Contemporary
Pages: 48
Fifty-six-year-old Samuel Phillips is all alone on his small farm in the Ozarks, with nothing but a menagerie of chickens, pheasants, turkeys, and other birds as company—which is just the way he likes it. In fact, if Samuel had his way, he’d tear down his neighbor’s house so his solitude could be absolute. One day Faloola, his favorite turkey, escapes, forcing Samuel to make the trek next door. When Raymond Webber—sixty-seven—answers the door as naked as the day he was born, Samuel doesn’t know whether he’s more annoyed… or attracted. The two men are opposites in every way—Samuel is serious, while Raymond believes in free love and herbal relaxation. The weeks leading up to Christmas are rocky to say the least, but some holiday spirit might help them get past their differences.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

This short short story is part of Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar Daily-Stocking Stuffers.  I am not the person who these stories are marketed towards because I'm not a fan of holiday stories but I know many of you love these little holiday nuggets so I hope you enjoy the wide variety available through DSP!

This story is very different from the typical, everyday read because it involves a man in his 50's and a man in his 60's.  Whoa!  And though I'm a huge fan of Brandon Witt's, this was not a favorite of mine.  I liked Samuel.  He's in his 50's and lives a solitary life.  He has his animals to keep him company and that's really all he needs in life.  The only thing that mars his solitude is the neighbor's house being too close.  Samuel is the male, older version of myself.  I get him.  Then there's Raymond.  I did not like Raymond.  Though he's quirky, and a hippy that thinks nothing of opening his door to a stranger naked, I thought this was entertaining.  But, then it ended.  Raymond decided when a friendly turkey showed up on his doorstep that he should shoot it and have it for dinner.  Come on!  Wild turkeys aren't just friendly!  And thus began my hatred for Raymond which then made me disappointed that Samuel is willing to forgive the death of his pet.  And Raymond further makes me not like him when he shows up with his poached deer casserole.  There was no redeeming him to me after that point, I was done with him. 

I know that most people will be more normal about this story, and will enjoy two older men finding companionship (at least).  I don't know that this story is a romance with a HEA, or two men finding someone to spend the holidays with to make them less lonely.  You should read this short story, it only took about 30 minutes, then you can give Samuel and Raymond the ending that you'd like!

Rating:  3.5 stars

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