Philip Lee Williams freezes an idyllic moment in time with a nostalgic flair that could rival a Norman Rockwell print. The Silent Stars Go By: A True Christmas Story relates a southern, boy's-eye view of the simple joys of a country Christmas. Set in Madison, Georgia, 1959, this charming memoir speaks of a time, pre-Nintendo, when a boy could still be pleased with oranges, Brazil nuts, and a few special toys. Williams's descriptions of his love, at age nine, of holiday hymns, the smell of a freshly cut cedar tree, and a hometown football team that never seemed to lose impart plenty of sentimentality for an era lost. But don't worry about drowning in over-the-top gushiness. Williams merely tells it like it was, and leaves it to the reader to mourn the passing of the good ol' days.

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