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Book Review: A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

Updated on February 9, 2018

I am very traditional when it comes to Christmas. I use the same decorations every year for the tree and the house. I cook basically the same meals AND I re-read several Christmas books each year to help me "get in the mood" for the holiday.

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg is one of my favorite stories. I read it every year right after Thanksgiving.

Although the title implies it is for Christmas only, the book can be enjoyed in any season. A Redbird Christmas is a short, easy read and I highly recommend it.

Of particular interest to me is that Fannie Flagg herself is from Alabama and her writing is dotted with areas in south Alabama with which I am familiar.


Oswald T. Campbell, divorced long ago and all alone, hates the cold Chicago winters, which aggravate his emphysema. His doctor tells him that he must move to a warmer climate or he will die within the month. But, where will he go?

Ending up in the tiny community of Lost River, Alabama, Oswald thinks he's entered another country. Everyone is so friendly, the slow pace of life is appealing and the weather is fabulous - even in winter.

The cast of characters is fascinating and all the more funny since there really are people like that in the area. The mail is delivered by boat by the best fisherman around, the Creoles who live across the river stay there, the widows have their do-good "Mystic Order of the Royal Polka Dots Secret Society" and the only store sells everything from fish hooks to marshmallows.

Jack is the title redbird (otherwise known as a cardinal) who was rescued as a baby and nurtured back to health by Roy, the store owner. He can no longer fly but Roy teaches him all manner of tricks. The bird pokes all the food in the store and customers become used to buying things with Jack "holes" in them - all but Mildred, whose hair color changes with the wind - she complains about it all the time.

Lost River "adopts" a poor crippled girl named Patsy Casey who is abandoned by her family and who is also fascinated by Jack. When a crisis occurs involving Patsy, Lost River and surrounding communities join together to support her.

Like all Fannie Flagg books, A Redbird Christmas is heart-warming and tragic, with tongue-in-cheek humor and intriguing people that must be experienced to be believed.

Northern Cardinal



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  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, MissFrost. I also recommend "The Christmas Train" by David Baldacci.

  • MissFrost profile image

    MissFrost 6 years ago from 50% Island Girl, 25% East Coast Girl, 25% Country Girl

    Thanks for the recommendation! As a teacher, I look forward to the Christmas season when I have some extra time to relax and read. You included the perfect amount of details without spoiling the story.

  • Esmeowl12 profile image

    Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

    Thanks, Donna and Gypsy. Yes, Fannie also wrote Fried Green Tomatoes (another fabulous book & movie).

  • DonnaCosmato profile image

    Donna Cosmato 6 years ago from USA

    This sounds like a really good Fannie Flag the same author who wrote Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe? I'll give this one a go as I love stories about animals. Voted up and away!

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Thanks for the hub. Sounds like a great story.