By Melissa Amster
I need to first say that I'm not normally into reading Christmas stories, being as Jewish as I am. However, when Sarah Pekkanen's name became attached to one, I couldn't resist.
"All is Bright" takes place during Christmas, but it really could take place during any time of year. It's about a woman who has second thoughts about her break-up with her boyfriend (because she wasn't ready to take the next step) and revisits these thoughts during a trip to her old neighborhood in Chicago during the winter holidays. Since this is a short story, I don't want to divulge any further, as to not ruin the plot for those of you who haven't had the opportunity to read it yet.
This story definitely shows Ms. Pekkanen's natural flair for storytelling. The dialogue was genuine and showed each character's personality, the background story and scenery were descriptive without being overwhelming, and the story itself had a nice arc and flow throughout. I do wish this were just a chapter in a longer book where she could elaborate even more and develop the characters further, but it was definitely a nice and quick treat on a cold winter's day. It warmed me and lifted my spirits in the same way a nice cup of hot cocoa (with marshmallows) tends to when it's dark and dreary outside.