A Christmas Story


A Hill City Christmas is set in 1923 in a small southern city, Lynchburg, Virginia, built up from the James River and fringed by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. It paints a picture of many other such cities at that time, but also reaches back to the Civil War and its effect. Yet, the deeper story lies within!



A small, Southern city built up from the banks of the James River became known as the Hill City. Fringed by Virginia’s beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, it was named the second wealthiest city in America per capita in the mid-1800s, for it embodied wealth from its thriving tobacco industry—but it also embodied those who lived in its shadow. Grace Connelly was one of those. Called the poor aristocrat by some, she lived a humble life, but never lost her joy. A heart- rending experience tested her resolve one hot summer night as the story unfolds on Main Street. Virgie Jackson, a young black woman, also lived in the shadows down by the river. Obviously, life wasn’t easy for her, but she had strong faith and a loving heart. These two unlikely young women develop a special friendship at a time when such was frowned upon, and Grace found hope midst it all. Downtown Lynchburg was a bustling place in 1923. Automobiles were overtaking horse-drawn wagons, along with the sounds of clanging trolley cars, and the rhythmic resonances of trains as puffs of steam reached up the hills. The story also renders a look further back into its past during the Civil War, via actual history and lively discussions between these two friends. Yet, it is much more— for it is a tender story focusing on Christmastime, with a far deeper story within.


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