What’s Christmas In Silver Street all about?:
In this collection, Michael Faber revisits the world of his bestselling novel, “The Crimson Petal & White”, briefly opening doors onto the lives of its characters to give us tantalising glimpses of where they sprang from and what happened to them. In the first story – Christmas on Silver Street everyone’s favourite prostitute Sugar takes pity on the small boy who works in the brothel, and aims to give him a Christmas he will never forget.
What did I think?:
When I first saw this short story collection by Michel Faber, I knew I had to have it. I thoroughly enjoyed The Crimson Petal & White when I first read it a few years ago, and felt quite bereft at its ending. Now Sugar and the gang are back, giving us an exciting insight into their hard and impoverished lives in a cruel 19th Century world once more. The first story is incredibly short, (perhaps a bit too short?) which makes it a bit difficult to review on its own, but is quite a heart-warming tale, and a nice introduction and re-visit of the characters. It is Christmas, and Sugar feels desperately sorry for Christopher, a young boy who works at the brothel she lives and works in. He has the unenviable job of collecting the dirty sheets from the working girls, and taking them to be laundered. When he talks to Sugar about Christmas, she realises that he has never had a Christmas present and does not know the luxury or delight of Christmas dinner, so resolves to go out and procure some items to make it a decent Christmas for him. This is a wonderful ruse by the author of showing the reader the sentimental side of Sugar, which we rarely see, as she has to be focused on “business” for her customers. I think the reader does benefit from having read Faber’s original novel (or at least having seen the recent TV series), but I was slightly disappointed by how short this story was. On a positive note however, it has made me eager to finish the collection, and I am looking forward to the rest of the stories.
Would I recommend it?:
Star rating (out of 5):
NEXT SHORT STORY: The Blessing of Brokenness by Karin Slaughter (stand-alone)