Dean Marney – The Christmas Tree That Ate My Mother (1992)

Review by Justin Tate

After a Jack-O’-Lantern ate Lizzie’s brother and a Turkey gobbled up Dad, I was ready for Mom to get her turn. Mom is clearly the most antagonistic character in this series. She’s constantly on Lizzie’s case and siding with the brother nearly 100% of the time. More clinically, she may even be a source of mental abuse for the way she belittles her daughter and seemingly makes up mistakes for the pleasure of punishing her. Of course, we are reading the story from Lizzie’s point of view, which is almost certainly skewed to portray her as the victim.

In any case, I wondered if this book would go darker than the others. Might Mom get roughed up a bit? Symbolically taught a lesson for all the unfair groundings? (These desires probably stem from the troubled relationship I have with my own mother).

Well, for those like me who would prefer a dark twist, prepare for disappointment. Mom does get consumed by a Christmas tree, and is even teleported to a strange land filled with high stakes danger, but she receives no reckoning. Instead, Lizzie learns a familiar lesson that even when she doesn’t get along with her family she should still love them unconditionally–blah, blah, blah. Gag me with a spoon!

Fortunately the book is short and the sappiness doesn’t last long. Soon enough things are back to normal, with Lizzie once again ignored and outcast by her relatives.

Maybe next time she won’t interfere with karma!

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