Tinsel

A charming feminist retake on the Santa story, Tinsel is set in Victorian London, where penniless orphans Blanche and Rinki carve out a life for themselves on the mean streets. When a mysterious  old lady gives Blanche a Christmas bauble, telling her to never underestimate the gifts she has within her, and to use them well, the course of Christmas is set to change forever. Teamed up with the magical Rinki, Blanche Claus sets out to ensure every child receives a gift at Christmas.

A magical adventure that is reminiscent of both The Little Match Girl and A Christmas Carol, Tinsel is an old tale with a modern twist. The novel gently highlights gender issues by showing how Blanche has to dress as a boy to work as a carter, while also introducing young readers to the lives of poor children in Victorian times.  Another twist is the relationship between Captain Garland and fashion designer Teddy, who become adoptive parents to Rinki.

Tinsel explores the timeless themes of poverty, homelessness and exclusion by showing the two sides of Christmas; finely dressed and well-fed people behind the doors of their comfortable homes with glittering trees compared to the lonely streets and cold bridges where the homeless hid away till Christmas passes. However, the real message of this charming story is that just one act of kindness has the power to transform.  A fun-filled adventure with a magical horse, a talking tree and two feisty girls makes for a great Christmas tale.