The Thursday Night Club – A Tale of Christmas Spirit – a novella. Steven Manchester. The Story Plant. November 2014. 64 pp. ISBN#: 9781611882032.
Izzy and Ava host a weekly Thursday Night Club get-together with Jessie Cabral, Ava, Randy and Kevin. They’re College Senior students who work hard at their studies and play just as hard, goofy friends who love nothing better than a good prank on each other, harmless fun that lightens their work load. Some have risen from poverty and are paying their tuition by the skin of their teeth but they don’t focus much on the hardship part of it all. They are loyal to each other and beyond that focusing on meeting the directions of their various professors. One professor in particular is a philosophy teacher who is highly demanding but how isn’t specified. Jessie Cabral is probably the only remarkable student among them, preferring to be out on the streets doing something kind for someone in need but never flaunting it in anyone’s face.
We meet them one Thursday night when they bet $.75 each to see who can play the funniest prank, specifying that such a plan is not to cause harm or hurt anyone else’s feelings. The game is on and they all do a great job which the reader will be sure to chuckle at. But the laughs are soon to end dramatically when a tragedy strikes one of their group. It will change their lives forever and many, many other lives because of what follows!
“Pay it forward” is a phrase that has been put into action over the last few years, but what this group agrees to do following the tragedy they are now living with will far exceed that temporary phase. They will make another bet to see who can do the greatest good to another human being but they must remain anonymous.
What follows is inventive, spontaneous, and a true blessing to each recipient of the deeds these students initiate. To tell all would be a spoiler unworthy of this Christmas gift given to us by Steven Manchester. One little hint – would you donate part of your body to give life to another – while you are alive?
The Thursday Night Read… is not only a perfect holiday read but also one for every day of the year and years to follow. A great read, may it inspire others to live a life with “purpose.”