I've loved Lemony Snicket since I read the first page of The Bad Beginning and while some books might seem better than others, I've never regretted reading a single one of his books. However, I was not sure how I would feel about Snicket writing a 'Christmas' story. Further, I can see even now why some would be unsure of this book after looking at the cover. A gloomy black lump in a suit with the less then jolly title of The Lump of Coal; it might be a hard sale.
This, however is Lemony Snicket; the treasure is in the written word.
In a lovely little story about miracles in a season when one looks for them, an anthropomorphic lump of coal is knocked out of his forgotten bag and begins his journey to find his purpose. He is an artist but he's willing to compromise and cook food instead. But no one seems to want or need him.
But even a lump of coal can find a miracle, which leads to more not only for himself but others.
Told in Snicket's inimitable way, this is a surprisingly warm and heartfelt Christmas story that reminds us there are miracles all around us.