Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Book Review: 'Red Popcorn Strings and Gumball Rings' by Nell Iris

Casey and Ellis might be practically broke, but for the first time in Casey’s life, they’ve managed to get a Christmas tree – something that Casey is eternally grateful to Ellis for. They string red-dyed popcorn to decorate the tree and both Casey and Ellis use their ingenuity and buckets of love to find Christmas presents for each other.
This is a really sweet and heart-warming Christmas story. It reminded me strongly that a lot of the Christmas season really is your attitude and how you work with what you have. Ellis and Casey might be skint budget-wise, but they have so much love and joy in each other, and their simple gifts to each other has so much thought and love soaked into it that I can’t imagine anyone would think they are anything but emotionally rich. All too often the consumerism consumes Christmas and I found this short story to be refreshingly different and a good reminder that one doesn’t need a stack of money to enjoy the holiday.
While at times bitter-sweet, this emotional story was just so delicious I read it all in one sitting – desperate to know what happened next in the lead up to Casey and Ellis’ Christmas Day. While the two men have a very loving and committed relationship, there’s only one sex scene – the focus of the story being more about Casey and Ellis’ day-to-day life and their lead up to Christmas. I found the whole story interesting, emotional, romantic and best of all a lovely representation of two men who adore each other but have no money and find ways to still celebrate Casey’s favorite holiday of the year together.
Full of lovely warm-fuzzy feelings and two interesting, layered characters this is a great short story and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Recommended.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.