Many authors have written what are deemed “retellings” of fairy tales. Instead, Keith Eldred chose to write a “retelling” of a well-known classic Christmas story, A Christmas Carol. Mr. Eldred has created a more modern setting.
Evan Easter is a loner with an abusive past. He is a loner who receives a visitor who hasn’t walked the earth in years, as well as a couple other visitors from beyond the grave. He also receives a summons that causes him to fear for a child he has never met.
Keith Eldred writes in the style of the classic authors, and in Rubrum, he moves the reader back and forth from present to past and back again, and occasionally hops from one character’s head to another’s without warning. Evan Easter is a very likeable character who gains the reader’s sympathy from the start. Mr. Eldred gives a very clear picture of Evan’s life, both past and present, which, at times, seems to draw the story out. Evan’s life is filled with hurt, misery, and loneliness, but he has chosen the loneliness.
Despite his tragic, lonely life, Evan has a very caring heart, so when he is summoned and told of a situation in the life of a child he has never met, he fears for the child. Evan is a man of great and deep thought. He thinks long and hard about everything before he chooses whether or not to act.
Rubrum is the story of a likeable character, and though the ending isn’t really sad, readers who want happy endings may be disappointed. But whether you want a happy ending or can be satisfied with an ending that isn’t really sad, Rubrum is worth reading just to get to know Evan Easter because he’s a remarkable character that everyone can relate to in one way or another, and he has a message for all of us.
Rubrum is different from any other book I have ever read, and Evan Easter will live long in my memory. Rubrum’s genre is listed as Psychological Literary Fiction. And though it’s very different from A Christmas Carol, I believe Evan and Scrooge may have some things in common. However, I believe Keith Eldred gives us a much deeper psychological look at Evan Easter than Charles Dickens offered of Scrooge.
If you are a reader who likes unique characters and stories that will give you things to think about long after you turn the last page and close the book, I suggest you read Rubrum by Keith Eldred.
I give Rubrum by Keith Eldred 4 stars.