On my list this year was this delightful story of unconditional love by Raine O’Tierney. Her tapestry of rich and well-developed characters depicts that love as it appears not only between true mates, but between parents and children, siblings, and friends.
Rell Lang is free spirited and artistic. His imagination is fertile, but lacks structure or direction. He has explored a range of careers and professions, but has yet to find the perfect match. As the story opens, he is between jobs and has come home to regroup and look for his next job opportunity.
Crowley Frederick is following a conservative path to a secure future. He’s in school to learn the fundamentals of music and is honing his skills as a classical violinist. Yet, inside him beats the heart of a free-spirited fiddler who longs to perform for the pure joy of it.
The two meet when Crowley’s Christmas plans change unexpectedly and he finds himself spending the semester break with his best friend’s family. Over the course of the holiday, the two get to know, not only one another, but themselves, as they come face-to-face with their greatest challenges.
The book cover, illustrated by Paul Richmond, depicts Averell and Crowley’s smiling faces radiating an uplifting joie de vivre. It is impossible to look at it without smiling back.
If you’re looking for a serving of unconditional love topped with happily-ever-after and a sprinkling of Christmas spirit, then a “Bowl Full of Cherries” is just what you need.