Retro Reading: A Gift of Angels by Jerry Bledsoe
If you have a couple of free hours during the day, you may want to first read The Angel Doll and then this installment where the story continues. You could call it a double feature since both books are very fast reads.
In A Gift of Angels, Bledsoe continues the story of friendship, only this time we're introduced to William C. "Mutt" Burton, who was a close friend of Bledsoe's while the two were both writing for a local newspaper. There was a thirty two year age difference between them and it didn't stop them from becoming fast friends.
They had a few things in common, but the one thing both men could count on was their love for Christmas.
Mutt (who receives a dedication in the first novel) kept celebrating Christmas until January 6 and was the founder of the World Wide Twelfth Night Society and it's during part one of four that we're introduced to him and his love for Christmas.
In the second part, Bledsoe wants to do something special for Mutt and his love for Christmas and searches out his old columns and comes across the inspiration for The Angel Doll and while he wasn't at first impressed with his original story, he eventually turned it into the small Christmas book that he knew would make Mutt proud.
It was during the writing of The Angel Doll, that Bledsoe started to wonder about friendships (past and present) and throughout the years wondered what had happened to his childhood friend, Whitey. He always though it odd that he had never reached out to him (especially since the publication of the book) yet at the same time, he confesses that he didn't actively seek out Whitey.
But he does make you think about your friends (both past and present) and when you think about it, the question of "how did we become friends?" sits at the forefront of your mind.
As the story progresses, Bledsoe tells us that whenever he was on a book tour, people would ask if he had heard from Whitey and of course, his response was always no. He wasn't sure if Whitey was still living in the same area and as The Angel Doll began to grow in popularity, he would still let people know that he was hoping to hear from Whitey.
At a book signing before Christmas, he meets a young woman named Sandy and together, the two of them seek out answers to the life of Whitey with beneficial results for both.
If there was one eerie coincidence between the men in Bledsoe's life, both Mutt and Whitey celebrated their birthday's on November 11. How often can you say that two of your best friends share the same birthdate, yet neither knowing the other?
As in his previous offering, chances are you'll want a box of tissues by your side as you spend the time with the author and his early life.