This Christmas, I'm reading the Penguin Christmas Classics. Just like last year, I'll use a special rating system to give you an even better idea what this story is about and if it's for you.
CHRISTMAS FEELS: ★★★/5
ROMANCE FEELS: ★★★★/5
Like a lot of people, I only know The Nutcracker from the famous ballet. I've seen it once when I was younger and I have to admit that what exactly the story was has remained a mystery ever since - until now.
The Nutcracker is a short story, only 120 pages in this Penguin edition, and is all told from the view point of Marie. Marie and her brother Fritz are celebrating Christmas Eve and that night, magical things start happening. Marie witnesses her nutcracker, her favourite toy, coming to life and fighting off the Mouse King. Is it real? Is it just her imagination? And how can she help the Nutcracker defeat his enemy?
What I loved about this story is the fairytale quality of it. This is clearly a story for children and it is written in a way very reminiscent of the Grimm brothers. There's some great description and though we never really get to know the characters all that well, something else that is very fairytale like, the storytelling still drags you into this tale.
Is it a very Christmas like story? Not directly. The first part takes place on Christmas Eve and there are some other references to it, but the rest takes place after Christmas. The thing that makes this a great holiday read was the magic and the idea that at Christmas time, everything is possible for everyone.
The Nutcracker is a classic and reading it I can definitely see why. The story reads easily and it is by far one of the most original Christmas classics. Plus now I know exactly what the ballet is about, which will help me in the future.