THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK
Get your hankie ready before you settle
in for Martin's novella of love and forgiveness. The sweet story is well wrought, although the characters and their actions are, at times, predictable.
Lottie, who is raising her young grandson Teddy, is succumbing to Alzheimer's. When he wants to buy her an antique clock, Teddy asks reformed convict Joe for a job. Joe spent time in jail for accidentally killing a man during a drunken brawl when he was upset over being jilted by his fiancee, Sylvia. Now Syl has returned to town and reveals why she left. Reunited, she helps Joe fight to adopt Teddy after he's put in foster care. As a felon, it'll take a miracle for Joe to get the family he's always wanted. (VANGUARD, Oct., 144 pp., $14.95)