The Christmas Tide: A Story (2005)

Originally published in 1990 as The Wizard’s Tide

Book Description

From the publisher: From the author of Godric (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize), Brendan, and The Book of Bebb comes this brilliant tale of growing up in Depression-era America. One of today's finest writers, Frederick Buechner blends sharp perception and deep insight into a powerful tale of one family's struggle for unity and love during hard times. Through the poignant beauty of a child's voice, Buechner describes the joys and sorrows of the Schroeder family as they contend with personal calamity and the disastrous events of the Great Depression.

“This is a story about Teddy Schroeder and his sister Bean,” writes Buechner, “and about some things that happened when they were children. It is mostly a true story. Teddy was grown up when many years later he finally told it. He told it as clearly and simply as he would tell something to a child—either to a real child or to a child like the one who he felt was holed up inside his grown-up self with a lot of unsolved mysteries. He told it because it helped that child inside himself solve at least some of those mysteries at long last and because—who knows?—maybe it would clear up a few things for other grown-up children too.”

Achingly beautiful and richly nostalgic, this narrative of memory and healing will speak straight to the heart. The Christmas Tide is a reissue of an earlier Buechner book entitled The Wizard's Tide.


“This daring, graceful little book is a powerful profession of faith.”
Detroit Free Press

“Plainly told, gently nuanced, the story has appeal for those who believe in the healing power of memory.”
Publisher's Weekly

“[He] has been one of our most celebrated storytellers.”
USA Today

The Wizard’s Tide is often grouped with Buechner’s novels, but that is a problematic classification, since the short book is so directly autobiographical…The Wizard’s Tide is a novel infused by memoir, or is it nonfiction infused by fiction?…The book is, as he labels it, ‘A Story,’ but it is decidedly his own story, a thinly veiled revisiting of Buechner’s own childhood…The Wizard’s Tide is another take on the central event of Buechner’s life, his father’s suicide.”
— W. Dale Brown, The Book of Buechner

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