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The Upas Tree, A Christmas Story For All the Year

Florence L. Barclay

Book Overview: 

Ronald West has a brilliant idea for his next novel, but to do it right, he wants to spend the next six months tramping around central Africa to experience the setting first hand. His wife Helen fully supports his trip, but for the first time in their marriage, she refuses to go along herself. Ronnie is disappointed at her reticence, but plows ahead, planning to be back in England by Christmas. But when Ronnie returns, something is seriously the matter which threatens to make his reunion with Helen, and their Christmas together, anything but merry.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Oh, Ronnie, I wish I could laugh! But to-morrow is so near. What shall I do when there is nobody here to tell me silly stories?"

"Ask Mademoiselle Victorine to try her hand at it. Say: 'Chère Mademoiselle, s'il-vous-plait, racontez-moi une extrêmement sotte histoire.'"

"Ronnie, do stop chaffing! Go and play me something really beautiful, and sing very softly, as you did the other night; so that I can hear the tones of the piano and your voice vibrating together."

"No," said Ronnie, "I can't. I have a cast-iron lump in my throat just now, and not a note could pass it. Besides, I don't really play the piano."

He stretched out his foot, and kicked a log into the fire.

The flame shot up, illumining the room. The log-fire, and the two seated near it, were reflected fitfully in the distant mirror.

"Helen, there is one instrument, above all others, which I have always longed to play; yet I have never even held o. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Rakkaustarina - väärinkäsityksiä matkan varrella, jotka selviää lopulta. Mukana fantasia elementti - mies oli ostanut 100 vuotta vanhan sellon, jonka henki loihti menneisyyden tapahtumat nykypäivään. Tapahtumiin liittyi murha.
Kirjoitustyyli vanhahtavaa - onhan kirjan suomennoskin vanha.

Even though I am very fond of F.L.B. this is not one of her best stories. The description of true, self-sacrificing love is beautiful, but the bad guy is a bit too black. The story about the reflexion in the mirror seems out of place, not belonging to the rest of the story. I wonder what the inte...more

Muddled supernatural yarn in which either the poison of the Upas tree or a psychically possessed cello cause a writer of romantic fiction to temporarily lose his mind. Or maybe it was a dose of malaria ... or perhaps the ill-intentioned power of suggestion ...

It's hardly surprising that I couldn...more

I enjoyed this book. It was a nice Christmas Story.