About the Book
As mechanization spreads worldwide in the early 1800s, Ebenezer Scrooge leaves his mentor Fezziwig to launch his first enterprise, a factory that produces buttons for clothing. Such businesses spell doom for independent button-makers, but Scrooge seeks out the most respected small shop to gain expertise and tailor contacts. This is how he meets congenial craftsman Archie Endicott and his daughter and partner Belle, who immediately fascinates young Scrooge with her intelligence as she astutely counters his business proposals. As Scrooge and Belle learn more of each other—notably his large ambition and her entranced communion with the spirit of her late mother—they fall in love and become engaged. This delights Belle’s father but concerns Scrooge’s bankers. Side-by-side, the loving couple vigorously confronts mounting challenges, but their future is in jeopardy.
A red button. A romance. In Keith Eldred’s prequel to A Christmas Carol, The Red Button, the narrative of Ebenezer Scrooge and Belle Endicott begins.
When Ebenezer Scrooge comes to their button shop, Belle Endicott and her father, Archie, are contentedly working together. Both Belle and Ebenezer are attracted to one other almost immediately and embark on a romance.
The Red Button, written in a language evocative of Charles Dickens’ old English, explores what could have happened between Ebenezer and Belle to cause the demise of their romance.
The backdrop of Belle and Ebenezer’s doomed love is nicely written and easy to follow. Quickly, I became attached to all the characters. When Scrooge began to value material wealth over human emotions and love, it shattered my heart. His character’s shift tugged at my heartstrings as I read it. Belle’s empathy and kindness were almost otherworldly, and she went above and beyond normal kindness.
There were various aspects of The Red Button that I found appealing. I was thrilled to see the inclusion of Fezziwig and Marley, as well as some of their backstories. The details of button making, both hand-made and factory-made, were fascinating. In addition, I was amused by Scrooge’s creation of a desk which was a forerunner to the standing desk!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.
About the Author
Keith Eldred created the THIS IS RED project with his wife Janet, a public library director diagnosed with early-stage dementia. With Janet’s condition making every day precious, they decided to make the most of 2020, the year of their 30th anniversary, by publishing 20 books. All profits from these titles go to the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, where Janet works. See more at https://thisis.red/
Keith is also helping his granddaughter Brook Johnson (age 8) create a book trilogy about her character The Puppy Queen.