Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

New Novel Reveals Untold Story Behind Scrooge Romance

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The Red Button (2020)

A Novel That Tells What Became of Belle & Scrooge

By Keith Eldred

“I release you. With a full heart, for the love of him you once were. May you be happy in the life you have chosen!”

Belle Endicott’s goodbye to her fiancé, Ebenezer Scrooge, is perhaps one of the best known farewells in all literature. But what happened to this couple? Who was Belle? How did she meet Ebenezer? How and why did the two fall in love?

A delightful new prequel to the Dickensian Christmas classic reveals the untold story “of how the young lovers found and then lost each other. And how their doomed union stayed with Scrooge daily and ultimately prepared the way for his famous redemption.”

Fresh & Nimble

Fresh and nimble, the story is narrated by … wait. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that the narrator provides a unique “eye” on the back story of Belle and Ebenezer’s (“Ben”) love story. 

Within this book’s pages you’ll discover:

  • How and why Ebenezer Scrooge was a “walking library.” Who knew?
  • “Classic Buttons”
  • The impact of textile manufacturing and industrialization in 19th century England and beyond.
  • “A book a week!”
  • Industrial espionage
  • Scrooge’s “first commercial effort” wasn’t as a money lender. Go figure (pun intended).
  • How Scrooge meets Jacob “Door Knocker” Marley
  • Muggins the dog
  • What drove Scrooge’s “holy union” with the “kingdom of commerce.”
From our favorite theatrical version of the Dickens classic, 1970’s “Scrooge.” Starring Albert Finney.

We also meet a young, bold Scrooge who’s focused on building his business “straddling” London, but not yet bowing down to worship at the shrine of mammon. He’s ambitious, but not yet callused, ruthless, or miserly. He still places his heart above his bank account and hasn’t yet turned into the self-centric, avaricious vulture we meet in the pages of Charles Dickens’s beloved Christmas classic.

Alert readers will notice “cameo” appearances by other characters from A Christmas Carol within the pages of this sweet romance. We also meet a Scrooge who’s haunted by phantoms from his familial past. Kinda like the Ghost of Christmas Past, and… Well. You know.


The story is So. Darn. Clever. Sturdy writing undergirds a quick-moving plot and a delicious collection of rich, full-bodied characters. A delightful read for any season!

Our Rating: 4.0

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