Few would argue that Ebenezer Scrooge is the breakout character from A Christmas Carol. The story, after all, is about him and his Christmas Eve redemption. But where does that leave Jacob Marley? As Scrooge's former partner, Marley is the first spirit to visit him and to warn him of the other ghosts - and of how important it is to listen to them. What was Marley's life like? Where did he go wrong? Did he have a chance for redemption as well?
As my favourite film version of A Christmas Carol is Susan Lucci's Ebbie, I don't think I could ever be accused of being A Christmas Carol purist. Beyond that, I like reading books that shed light on characters from other works. The first few chapters of Jacob T. Marley felt more like a character sketch than a novel, but once the novel had established Marley's background it seemed to settle in, and so did I. Jacob T. Marley answered questions that I didn't know I had about A Christmas Carol; it has an amazing attention to detail and is a solid addition to holiday reading.
I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Shadow Mountain.
Visit R. William Bennett's website.
Find it at IndieBound.
Read it with:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Marly's Ghost by David Levithan
Mrs. Scrooge by Carol Ann Duffy
The Christmas Gift by R. William Bennett