First sentence: "Once upon a time, it matters little when, and in stalwart England, it matters little where, a fierce battle was fought."
Last sentence: "I hardly know what weight to give to his authority."
After reading 'A Christmas Carol' and the disappointing 'A Christmas Tree' I wanted to stay a bit longer in the Christmas atmosphere, so I looked in my (extensive) e-book list to see if Dickens had some more stories set in this period of time. And of course he did. There were mentioned 5 so-called Christmas novels (A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth , The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain) among his works and some short stories. So I choose The Battle of Life, a short novella (78 pages) about the love between two sisters, Grace and Marion, and the sacrifice that one brings for the other. But why this story is called a Christmas book... I wouldn't know. The books begins on a warm summer day, twice the story enfolds in autumn and there is only one scene that takes place on a cold snowy winter night.
All in all, a heart-warming but rather simple read