Several yes ago, I was invited to write a novella in a Christmas story anthology. The only requirement was that each author base their story on a classic Christmas film.
I chose Miracle on 34th Street. The original film was made in 1947 and starred a young child actress named Natalie Wood. The story is about a nice old man who is institutionalized after he claims to be Santa Claus, and the young lawyer who defends him in court as the real thing. At the heart of the story is a young girl who doesn’t believe in Santa, but after Santa is found to be the real deal, her heart opens to embrace the miracle.
I named my story Miracle on Bannock Street, which is the street Denver’s district court is on. It features down-on-her-luck PI Stella Gray who is about to lose her apartment and her investigations business. The last thing she needs is temporary custody of a troubled boy and the distraction of his well-meaning–and attractive–lawyer, Victor Lancaster. She’s hired to investigate the elderly man’s background, who insists his name is Kris Kringle and that he’s from the North Pole. I set the story in the 1950s.
Below is a review of the story.
Miracle on Bannock Street by Colleen Collins – 4 stars
I hate to admit it but I have never watched the Miracle on 34th Street. How closely it follows the movie, I cannot tell you. What I can say is this novella hit some of the the movie’s premise very closely.
From the moment they met, Stella and Victor felt something between them. However, their instant attraction had an obstacle. P.I. Stella Gray was testifying against Victor Lancaster’s client, Kris Kringle. Due to circumstances, Stella had to take in an orphan and Victor had to take in Kris. Will Santa use his Christmas magic and create a family that they all deserve to be?
I have to say this is my favorite of the three. Why? The main reason that there was a nice balance of romance while staying somewhat true to the original movie’s plot. The characters were charming and you can feel the true essence of the holiday season. I like Stella and her spunk. Just the fact she was a PI in a mainly male occupation of the time made her an inspiring and gutsy heroine. I love how the romance was developed but the ending was a bit rush. Despite that little flaw, a sweet story that touches one’s heart.
Happy Holidays, Colleen
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