I have just finished reading this charming book. For a few years after it came out, I read it each December as an advent calendar (it has 24 chapters).  That lapsed in the last few years because things were a little hectic and December always runs away with me, but this year I made time.

The book contains a story within a story and certainly reminds me of the magic of Christmas.

If you had lived in Hamburg in the fourteenth century, or Venice in the ninth century, you might have glimpsed – just for a second – a strange procession rushing past and out of sight. There were, at different times, a little girl, a flock of sheep, shepherds, angels, a Roman governor and the Emperor Augustus, and they were hurrying to Bethlehem to see the Christ-child.

The little girl was Elisabet Hansen, who disappeared from Norway at Christmas in 1948. Years later, a young boy called Joachim opens the 24 doors of a magic Advent calendar and pieces together Elisabet’s story – how she was taken on an astonishing journey, not just from Norway to Bethlehem but back through two thousand years of history.*

Now all that remains is for me reach 24 on the church candle that I bought in York Minster. It is such a good quality candle it is taking a lot longer to get through than the book ;-)

*From inside front book flap.

10 Comments CherryPie on Dec 24th 2011

10 Responses to “The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder”

  1. Bernard says:

    I don’t read much anymore.
    I seem to nod off before finishing the first chapter. :(
    But tonight, I have three candles burning. Don’t ask me why three.
    No particular reason.
    Yes there is, I only have three holders.
    But they are so tied in with – Christmas.
    I can remember sixty years ago – candle lit carol services – singing carols outside with lanterns, candle lit. Even our Christmas tree had real candles in those days! :o
    So, Christmas and candles are inseparable for me.
    Best wishes to you and Mum Cherie.
    Have a nice Christmas.
    See you next year.

    • CherryPie says:

      I am still an avid reader and always have several books on the go.

      I love candles at any time of year but yes at Christmas they are special. I have been out visiting friends and now I have a couple burning just before I go to bed. One is the advent calendar candle which has gone past the 24 marker eventually and one is in a Christmas tree. I need to try and photograph it so you can see what I mean :-)

      Thank you and my very best wishes to you for a Happy Christmas. I look forward to seeing you in the New Year :-)

  2. Wishing you and your family the best Christmas, Cherry :-)

  3. Chrissy says:

    One for me to read next year :-) Merry Christmas Cherie, thank you for all the feedback, the lovely images, thoughts and places I need to visit. I hope you and yours have a great time :) X

  4. Have a very Happy Christmas, C!
    Oh… I am so looking forward to eating some Brussels sprouts tomorrow. ;)

  5. Frida says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.