A Christmas Journey

Art Stein

Book Cover

GENRE

ROMANCE

    Core Theme

    THE PATHS OF A JAKE AND CLAIRE CONNECT AS THEY TRY TO OVERCOME FEELINGS OF LOSS AND GRIEF.

    TIME PERIOD

    2000s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    PS. I LOVE YOU

    CHARACTER LIST

    JAKE. 40'S. LEAD. ROMANTIC, EMPATHETIC, CHARMING.

    CLAIRE. 40'S. JAKE'S LOVE INTEREST. ATTRACTIVE, MYSTERIOUS, DEPRESSED.

    EMILY. 30'S, 40'S.JAKE'S DECEASED WIFE. BEAUTIFUL, HUMOROUS, SERENE.

    JANELLE. CLAIRE'S DECEASED DAUGHTER. SMART, LOVING.

    GREG. CLAIRE'S DECEASED HUSBAND. SELFISH, UNFAITHFUL.

    Logline

    A widowed man has a chance encounter with a woman on a train heading upstate a few days before Christmas during a snowstorm. This begins a love story that transpires over the next year.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    New York City, New York's Hudson Valley, Boston

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: with a Publisher

    Publisher: Infinity Publishing

    Year Published: 2013

    Starting Description

    On a snowy evening, a few days before Christmas, a tired Ben Stone is returning to his upstate home. On the train he meets Claire and this begins a love story. The events of September 11, 2001 play a major role in the storyline. The story is a year-in-the-life of these two people.

    Ending Description

    The book ends where it began in NYC during Christmas of the following year. An event at the WTC Memorial ends the book with a incident that brings both closure and peace to a tortured Claire Driscoll who lost her daughter on September 11th.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-0-7414-7818-4

    Mature Audience Themes

    Language/Profanity

    Plot - Other Elements

    Meaningful Message,Twist

    Plot - Premise

    Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Claire

    Age: 40's

    Gender: Female

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Empathetic,Romantic,Sexy,Gracious

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Development Pitch

    This book would make for the perfect holiday movie. It has the background (NYC, Boston, Hudson Valley) setting for a wonderful holiday movie. There is real depth behind the main characters and a richness of texture to the characters. The protagonist if there is one; are the events of September 11, 2001. This event has greatly affected Claire's life yet the ending is both surprising and hopeful. There is a spiritual aspect to the narrative, yet it is tasteful and not hokey. The ending is hopeful but at the same time realistic and unlike so many holiday movies, the viewer will not be able to figure out the whole storyline five minutes into the movie.

    Genre

    ROMANCE

    Brief

    Jake and Claire meet during a train ride during holidays, but it doesn't take long until they find out that their personal paths also have much in common. As the couple figures out both of them are overcoming the loss of loved ones, they manage to find their way through grief and slowly fall in love, managing to be together on Christmas of the next year.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: GOOD

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: EXCELLENT

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: EXCELLENT

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    Book profile requires editing. Fields missing. Name of protagonist is mistaken on Short Summary.

    Draw of Story

    What drew me into the story the most is the mysterious and charming character of Claire and the riddle behind what happened to her daughter.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Nothing made me want to put the book down as reading flows easily, however there could be more depth regarding personalities and lives of characters besides their personal tragedies, especially when it comes to Claire.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    I would watch the movie because it deals with stories of people who had their lives marked by the tragedy of 9/11 and the story manages to come out sensitive, realistic and also brings along a message of hope.

    Fanbase Potential

    It could have a large fanbase if adapted because if well done, heartwarming holiday movies are captivating.

    Awards Potential

    It could have Awards potential if adapted because the story deals with a subject that is dear to American audience.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    PS I LOVE YOU

    What’s New About the Story

    The most original thing about this story is that, even though it is a romance with a happy ending, it takes some time for the couple to overcome their own personal stories in order to be together.

    Lead Characters

    Jake is a sensitive and loyal man, and Claire is, at first, mysterious, but author also manages to bring vulnerability into her character arc.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This story is an interesting narrative which can be improved in terms of depth of characters. Their personalities and particularities may be overshadowed by the way each one is experiencing grief.

    Possible Formats

    Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming TV Series: Network, Cable, Limited Run / Mini-Series, Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    CONSIDER

    Justification

    Consider it because it would make for a great holiday movie if more layers are added to characters.

    Brief

    Jake and Claire meet up in a train, but little they know about how much they have in common. As they figure out both of them are overcoming the loss of loved ones, they slowly fall in love and help each other heal.

    What We Liked

    The most appealing thing about this story is that it brings along a positive but down to earth message about two people who worked their ways through grief, as they give themselves a second chance on love after their lives are torn apart by respective tragedies.

    Film: It would definitely make a great holiday movie as settings are great - the story lasts one year long but begins and ends in the same magical time of the year. Also, there is a positive message about hope for the future and life after personal tragedies.

    TV: This could be a good adaptation for TV because many stories about grief and how people deal with such dismantling personal tragedies may derive from a tragedy such as 9/11.

    Key points: Great holiday settings; heartwarming love story; overcoming personal tragedies; grief after 9/11; strong message of hope.

    Synopsis

    It will probably be the first white Christmas in years, but Jake is still melancholic. On his way home upstate and lost in his thoughts and memories, he meets an attractive but sad woman named Claire and they exchange numbers.

    As Claire dwells if she should call him and Jake entertains the idea of taking her on a date, the reader learns both of them are dealing with the deaths of their loved ones - and in the case of Claire, of her cheating husband who died on 9/11.

    As a year passes and the couple slowly falls in love and tries to leave the past behind, Claire seems to struggle the most. She keeps a secret and it leads to her ghosting Jake - who doesn't understand the reason until Claire shows up and decides to reveal she also lost her daughter in the same terrorist attack. Both of them decide to give it another try and the couple is happy to let joy in and enjoy the holidays together the following year.

    About The Author

    Art Stein is a freelance writer whose works have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. He lives in the Hudson Valley Region of New York State with his wife Diane.