Quirky and full of small-town characters, A Redbird Christmas is pure Fannie Flagg. It's the story of Oswald Campbell, a Yankee come South, and a man resigned to his Chicago doctor's prognosis of terminal emphysema and less than a year to live. Moving to Lost River, Alabama, though, he finds that not only does the slow pace and beautiful setting agree with him, but that the community itself has a way of redeeming whatever's hurt, lost or marred in the world at large. Whether it's the healing of a redbird with a broken wing or a little girl with twisted bones, the people of Lost River are a community in the greatest sense of the word. Underscoring Flagg's ability to turn fiction into an enviable wish for reality are the recipes included at the end of the book. France's Macaroni and Cheese and Betty Kitchen's Banana Pudding make a reader feel as though he or she really has spent the last few hours in the company of Lost River's dearest souls.