Fiction Book Review: Christmas with Tucker by Greg Kincaid – Hallmark Hall of Fame Inspired by Movies
You know an emotional read awaits you with any Hallmark-inspired story. Greg Kincaid continues the tradition with his new book, Christmas with Tucker, driven by the best seller, A dog named Christmas, which was made into a 2009 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, capturing more than 12 million American moviegoers.
George McCray, in his sixties, awaits a Christmas visit from his mother at his dairy farm in Crossing Trails, Kansas. Now he suffers from memory loss. To facilitate his recall, he selected key memorabilia from the McCray family, including a dog named Tucker’s collar, his grandfather’s tin mug, and the last puzzle his father, John, gave to Grandma Cora.
These objects come to life, as George recounted in the winter of 1962, while waiting for his mother to arrive. It was then, at the age of thirteen, that George went from boy to young man.
In June, George’s father was killed in a tractor accident on the farm, shaking the McCray family to the core. George lived with his parents, sisters Hannah and Trisha and Grandpa Bo and Grandma Cora McCray.
In late summer, George’s mother and college-aged sisters ventured back to Minnesota to be close to their parents. Everyone, including George, thought it best if he stayed on the farm until Christmas, helped run the McCray dairy farm; and adjust to life without his father.
Kincaid immerses you in the young world of George; and describes the impact a four-year-old Irish setter has on your life.
Neighbor Frank Thorne asks the McCray family to care for their unnamed dog while he serves a sentence for disorderly and drunken behavior at the local jail. Learn how Tucker makes his name while staying with the McCrays.
Initially, George is reluctant to befriend the canine, whom he regularly sees from afar before boarding his school bus each morning; tied to a circular chain. It isn’t long before the two become inseparable, sharing a warm bed during cold Kansas nights. Tucker is faithful to George, as he often contemplates the loss of his father and the injustice of life.
Central America, simpler times prevail. Grandma Cora works quietly at the puzzle table. She builds challenging puzzles that were provided to her by her son, John, until her death. Grandpa Bo drinks daily from the tin cup that has been in the McCray family for generations. He also makes a leather necklace; showing “Tucker McCray”, once, through a turn of events, George gains ownership of the Irish setter.
Experience the realities of farm life. George gets up every day at 4:30 am to help Grandpa Bo milk the cows before going to school. It is a generational task that he inherited after his father’s untimely death.
Feel also the cattle’s affinity for walking on frozen pond water, often resulting in death when the ice breaks and they are unable to escape. Kincaid describes George’s heartbreaking attempt to save the animals, while enduring near frostbite and blood, barefoot.
Cherokee County, Kansas, experiences one of its worst winter storms the days before Christmas. With roads blocked by snow, many residents are forced to fend for themselves. Grandpa Bo decides it’s time to teach George how to operate the gigantic machine, called the maintainer (today’s grader), to help clear the roads. “My grandfather was giving me a new rulebook for adults so that I could get rid of the children’s booklet that had disappointed me so much that year. I learned to be suspicious of rules based on rights and my needs, and instead respect the rules. rules based on truth and concern for others. “
The Christmas spirit alludes to George, given the death of his father and ambivalent feelings about returning to Minnesota to live with his mother: “Christmas, it seemed to me that it would be no good this year. How could it be when you were thirteen and did you know, did you know that I wasn’t going to get what I wanted? “
Christmas with Tucker culminates with a city-wide celebration of the season, not unlike It is a wonderful life. Spend time during the holidays and read Kincaid’s short 180-page narrative, which is sure to enhance your Christmas season.
Author Greg Kincaid lives on a farm in Kansas; and is an advocate for pet adoption. To find adoptable pets near you, visit http://www.petfinder.com.