Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Zig Reid-Harris has everything an eleven-year-old girl could ever want: a great home, two fantastic fathers named Deacon Reid and Lang Harris, and all the books she could possible read.
When a school assignment about holiday traditions unexpectedly broadsides her, she discovers burying the past isn’t as easy as it looks, and the stark reality of her life before her adoption sinks in. Ashamed of the bleakness and poverty she came from, Zig struggles with the assignment until an epiphany strikes the whole family—it’s time to start their own traditions.
Zig and her fathers plunge into the insanity of holiday joy, exploring everything the season has to offer and learning how precious family truly is along the way.
The theme of this story, making new family traditions at the holidays, comes about through a fairly typical homework assignment, one I would imagine needs revisiting in RL schools just as it does here in Tutus and Tinsel (Half Moon Bay #2.5) by Rhys Ford. Given the complexities these days in what constitutes a modern “family” and how that family is constructed, I would think that (hopefully) teachers at every level are becoming sensitive to handing out a “simple” homework paper on family’s holiday traditions.
Ford takes our own memories of such an homework papers and perhaps our family traditions and runs it smack up against a small powerhouse of a character called Zig to devastating results. Zig has no past history of “adorable Christmas traditions” having barely survived her childhood to find her uncle. Here that lack comes roaring home and it’s up to her fathers to help her find and create new traditions for them all.
This story roils with emotions. Rhys Ford takes us back into the past, broken shards of parental abuse and neglect that still stab at both Zig and Deacon, and Lang’s there to love and hold both close. I loved seeing all the other characters as well pull together to try different crafts, “trying on” traditions to make their own as a family. This story is excellently written, tightly constructed as I have come to expect from this author, and flows beautifully, full of emotion and heart.
Tutus and Tinsel explores what it means to be a family again at Christmas and shines a light on how exactly something becomes a family tradition in the first place. It’s heartwarming, suffused with the holiday spirit and love. I found it perfect holiday reading.
It is, however, not a standalone story. So treat yourself, if you are not already familiar with the series, to the preceding stories. You will love them!
Cover art: Reece Notley. Love the cover because it captures Tig perfectly with her tutu.
ebook, 95 pages
Expected publication: December 21st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English
Series Half Moon Bay #2.5