Books: Tidings of Joy

A Yuletide novel that is humorous but heartfelt

To the urbane entertainment consumer there is perhaps no scarier assessment of a cultural product than one that includes the words, "It will make you laugh; it will make you cry." The '90s have left people so well nourished on irony and irrelevance that many of us have no digestive tolerance left for movies, television shows or books that want to be both funny and heartfelt. And can we be blamed when, so often, that impulse results in something like The Mirror Has Two Faces?

When we keep this in mind, writer Mark O'Donnell emerges as a true gift. A humorist...

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