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Books to give for Christmas

The Quiet Little Woman

Esme Shirt

By Susan Howatch
This is a real page-turner by this excellent writer. It is about a 1990s' woman who 'has it all', but discovers the greater realities when her life falls apart in a story including stalking and psychics.
Despite some seriously wonky theology, the story graphically describes the struggle for faith, and any Christian reader will warmly relate to the heroine's growing sense of that 'unseen companion.'

THE QUIET LITTLE WOMAN is for those who like their heroines obedient, dutiful and good!
It is a short collection of Christmas stories written by Louisa May Alcott (of Little Women fame). Quaint and old fashioned though the stories are, there is something heartening and refreshing in these cynical times to read a story whose unashamed message is that virtue is its own reward, however bad a hand life has dealt you. The editors' biographical notes are illuminating.

There is no wonky theology in this slim volume of Isaac Watt's poetry, just ample food for quiet meditation.
The themes are generally lofty and spiritual, as you would expect from the writer of When I survey the wondrous Cross, but there is a short piece on the South Sea Bubble and some moral homilies for children all in immaculate rhyme and metre.

In this glossy book, John Stott provides us with biblical lessons from a lifelong bird-watcher.
Superb teaching is illustrated by wonderful photographs of bird life, and Stott as you've never seen him before!
The High Flyer
By Susan Howatch
Little, Brown & Co. £16.99.
ISBN 0 316 85176 0