Talking To Calippa Cumberland by Chick Yuill is the most heart warming and delightful Christian novel that will soothe your soul.
The novel opens on Christmas Eve in 1976. The following chapters are all set on various Christmas Eves as we dip in and out of a life. This is not just a novel for Christmas. This is a novel for life.
I loved the inclusion each year of the Christmas number one. Music evokes memories within the reader.
We hear of characters who are lost. “I’ve always felt a little bit lost” declares lead character Lori Bloom aged 24 years old. I think we can all relate to feeling lost until we are found by Jesus. “We both know that we are lost.” In the Bible we hear the stories of the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son. The good news is – if we are lost, Jesus is looking for us. It is no coincidence that the lead character’s surname is Bloom. Jesus wants us to bloom under His care.
Over the years we lose those we love – either through life moving on or through death, the ultimate journey. To be human is to face loss.
Everyone needs to have a safe place. For Lori aged nine and three quarters, it is home. “Number 17 Morley Road is a place of safety and shelter, within those walls I’m sure that no bad thing can reach me or harm me.” As Christians, our safe place is not found in bricks and mortar but resting in the arms and heart of Jesus.
Christmas has become very commercialized. People are “spending money they don’t have and buying things they don’t need to give to other people they probably don’t even like.” We need to strip Christmas back to its purest form and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
The characters are all wonderfully and realistically drawn. I loved Lori Bloom who tells the tale, and I loved Madge, the old lady with the huge heart. Warmth and love simply oozes from the pages. Chick Yuill has written from the heart of Lori. His carefully chosen words in her mouth make her easy not only to empathise with, but her emotions are identifiable.
I absolutely adored Talking To Calippa Cumberland and just when I thought my heart could not swell any more – the conclusion of the book arrived. I was undone! My emotions were in shreds. Talking To Calippa Cumberland is simply beautiful.
I have not read any books by Chick Yuill before but now I want to read everything that he has written.
I will leave you to ponder on my favourite quote:
“The older I get and the more I read the Bible, the more I see it as an invitation to imagine.”
I received a free copy from the publisher. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
A novel about Christmas past and present,
about living and loving, about losing and finding
It’s half past four on Christmas Eve, 1976. Lori Bloom, aged three and three quarters, is leaving
a busy department store with her mother when the tannoy announces that a child in reception
is lost and crying for her parents.
The impact on Lori is immediate. ‘Calippa Cumberland’, the mysterious girl with blond hair and
a curious name, becomes her imaginary friend and a constant presence into adulthood. As
one Christmas follows another, Lori finds herself confronting painful questions and in need of
a companion in whom she can confide – and finds herself sharing her experiences and her
innermost thoughts with Calippa.
Will there ever be someone Lori can completely trust? And will Christmas Eve ever be about
finding and being found, rather than losing and being lost?
Talking to Calippa Cumberland is a story that faces the reality of the human condition: the
relentless passing of time, the searing pain of loving and losing, and the astonishing power of
the imagination for both good and evil. But it is also a Yuletide tale to warm the heart and offer
hope: hope that what is lost can be recovered, hope that lasting friendship can be found, and
hope that Christmas can be all we ever wished it could be.
About Chick Yuill
Chick is a speaker, writer and broadcaster with a passion to bring matters of faith into the
wider arena of public life and discourse. He believes that nothing reaches truth or touches
people’s hearts better than a well-told story. Talking to Calippa Cumberland is Chick Yuill’s
6th novel to be published by Instant Apostle and has all the characteristics that have endeared
him to his growing band of faithful readers – a cast of convincing characters who linger in the
mind long after the book has been closed, a series of revealing events and encounters that
propel the narrative ever forward, and an ending that is as satisfying as it is surprising.
Praise for Chick Yuill’s previous writing:
‘I was totally mesmerised. It’s one of those rare books which is genuinely un-put-downable.
For anyone who likes a hard-hitting novel which addresses serious issues head on,
I heartily recommend this.’
(Anne Rogers on The Man Who Broke into St Peter’s in Together Magazine)
As with Chick’s previous novels, all author royalties are being donated to charity.
This time his chosen charity is Compassion (UK)