How Many Days Left Until The World Cup Fiction Book Review: Christmas With Tucker by Greg Kincaid – Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie-Inspired

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Fiction Book Review: Christmas With Tucker by Greg Kincaid – Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie-Inspired

You know you’re in for an emotional read with any Hallmark-inspired story. Greg Kincaid continues the tradition with his new book, Christmas with Tuckerencouraged by the bestseller, A dog named Christmaswhich became a 2009 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, capturing more than 12 million viewers in the US.

Sixty-year-old George McCray awaits a Christmas visit from his mother on his dairy farm in Crossings Trails, Kansas. Now she suffers from memory loss. To help her remember, he selected key McCrae family memorabilia, including a collar for a dog named Tucker, his grandfather’s tin cup and the last puzzle his father John gave his grandmother Cora.

These objects come to life as George recounts the winter of 1962 while waiting for his mother to arrive. It was then, at the age of thirteen, that George turned from a boy into a young man.

In June, George’s father was killed in a tractor accident on the farm, which shook the McCray family to the core. George lived with his parents, sisters Hannah and Trisha, and grandfather Beau and grandmother Cora McCray.

At the end of the summer, George’s mother and student sisters returned to Minnesota to be near her parents. Everyone, including George, thought it best to stay on the farm until Christmas, to help run the McCray Dairy Farm; and adjust to life without a father.

Kincaid draws you into George’s young world; and describes the impact a four-year-old Irish Setter has had on his life.

Neighbor Frank Thorne asks the McCray family to take care of his unnamed dog while he serves time for drunken disorderly conduct in the local jail. Find out how Tucker is making a name for himself by staying at McCray’s.

George is initially reluctant to befriend the dog, whom he regularly sees from afar before boarding the school bus each morning; tied to a circular chain. They soon became inseparable, sharing a warm bed together on bitterly cold Kansas nights. Tucker faithfully supports George as he often reflects on the loss of his father and the unfairness of life.

Simpler times prevail in Middle America. Grandma Cora works leisurely at the puzzle table. She designs complex jigsaws, which her son John provided until her death. Grandpa Bo drinks daily from a tin cup that has been in the McCray family for generations. He also makes a leather collar; featuring “Tucker McCray,” one day, through a series of events, George gains ownership of the Irish setter.

Experience the realities of farm life. George gets up at 4:30 a.m. every day to help Grandpa Bo milk the cows before going to school. It’s a generational concern he inherited after his father’s untimely death.

Hence the tendency of cattle to walk on frozen pond water, often resulting in death when the ice breaks and they cannot escape. Kincaid describes George’s agonizing attempt to save the animals, with his bare feet nearly frozen and bleeding.

Cherokee County, Kansas is experiencing one of its worst winter storms in the days leading up to Christmas. As the roads are covered with snow, many residents are left to their own devices. Grandpa Bo decides it’s time to teach George to drive a giant machine called a maintenance machine (a modern grader) to help clear the roads. “My grandfather was giving me a new adult rule book so I could get rid of the kid’s primer that had failed me so badly that year. I learned to be suspicious of rules based on rights and my needs, and instead to respect rules destroyed by truth. and concern for others.’

The Christmas spirit is alluded to for George, given his father’s death and mixed feelings about returning to Minnesota to live with his mother: “Christmas, I thought it wasn’t going to be any good this year. How could it be when you were thirteen years old and you knew, just knew, that you weren’t going to get what you wanted?”

Christmas with Tucker culminates in a city-wide celebration of the season, none other than It’s a wonderful life. Take some time over the holidays and read Kincaid’s 180-page short story that’s sure to brighten up your Christmas time.

Writer Greg Kincaid lives on a farm in Kansas; and is an advocate for pet adoption. To find suitable pets near you, visit http://www.petfinder.com.

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