Mini Reviews #14 Finding Family for Christmas
It may appear that I am repeating myself at this point, but I promise you – I’m not. Well, not really. Either way, I know that I did a post with a similar title, but apparently I just really like finding family for Christmas books?
It Won’t be Christmas without you – Beth Reekles
Eloise, a self-confessed Christmas obsessive, can’t wait for the big day. Devoted to her Michael Bublé playlist, she’s organising the school nativity play and even her gorgeous Grinch of a neighbour, James, can’t get her down.
Her workaholic twin sister, Cara, on the other hand, plans to work over the holiday – and figure out what secrets her seemingly-perfect boyfriend George might be keeping from her.
The sisters used to be close but since Cara moved to London, everything’s been different. Only, Eloise isn’t giving up just yet, and with a white Christmas on the cards, Cara can’t fail to be moved by the magic of the season … can she?
The way Beth Reekles manages to slowly portray the totality of their relationship, as well as how she doesn’t allow the story to get stuck in just romance, combine to make this one of those reads where you really want everything to work out as perfectly as possible. Maybe even with the cosiness of a white Christmas… And of course: a Hallmark-y happy ending, all put together in an incredibly cosy, easy read.
4/5 stars – Goodreads
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Single All The Way – Karen King
Single together for the first time, 34-year-old Meg and her warm-hearted, long-suffering mother Sally are cancelling Christmas, and running away to a tiny cottage on the Cornish coast. For Meg, it is the perfect place to heal, away from all the mistletoe, while for her mother it has a special, and secret, place in her heart – from a love story that seems a lifetime ago…
Meg and Sally find they’re getting to know themselves, and each other, better than ever before. But as they are unable to resist getting involved in the village Christmas celebrations, they encounter two handsome local strangers.
Sometimes, it’s being away from home that helps you realise where your heart is. What neither woman knows is that, by the time the new year rolls around, one woman will have fallen in love with her husband all over again, and one marriage will be over for good…
It’s not an easy thing to realistically put down to relationships that are strained – maybe even beyond repair? – because of very separate reasons. Somehow, though, the author manages to bring both Sally’s and Meg’s perspectives together into a really well-narrated whole.
What’s even better – even those people whom, naturally, you maybe wouldn’t like? Their motivations and feelings are revealed in such a way that you can’t help but root for everyone. So when, after some very nicely put up misdirections, there’s a happy ending that appears to work for everyone – ànd which is suitably Christmassy? Well, I could only finish this book feeling utterly content – and very happy about the little sneak peeks of “what happened next”!
3/5 stars – Goodreads
Let It Snow – Sue Moorcroft
Family means everything to Lily and Zinnia Cortez and, growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.
So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’s always believed. She is in fact the result of her mum’s reckless affair with a married man.
Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known – an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a Christmas market or two along the way…
– And this is the big however –
Somehow, the moment I got past the halfway point, I couldn’t be ripped away from this book. Maybe it’s that they finally got to Switzerland – and what a lovely Christmassy place to go! – maybe it’s that the lengthy descriptions finally slowed down a bit. Either way, the second half of this book left me with no doubt that Sue Moorcroft *knows* how to make you almost live through whatever she’s describing, from the splendid descriptions of the Swiss countryside and towns, to breaking my heart for Lily – on multiple occasions
All in all, this was a really enjoyable read, I just wish that first half would’ve hurried up a little.
3/5 stars – Goodreads
Coming Home To Glendale Hall – Victoria Walters
Beth Williams hasn’t been home for ten years. After falling pregnant at sixteen, she ran away from the imposing Scottish estate where she grew up rather than risk her family’s disapproval, working hard to build a life for herself and daughter Isabelle – but now she’s finally returning to Glendale Hall.
As Beth tries to mend her broken family ties, and fights to bring the community of Glendale back together, she realises that the story she has told herself for a decade might well be a very different one from the truth. Even though she ran from Glendale it has never left her heart. And, she soon realises, neither has Drew – Beth’s first love.
Will Beth be able to forgive her mother and grandmother (and herself) for what happened ten years ago? What will Drew say when he discovers the secret she’s been keeping from him for so long? Can a festive trail bring the village back together?
Will Christmas work its magic on Glendale – or will Beth be forced to run away from it all over again?
From the idyllic background of Scotland, to multiple snowy mornings – and even a white Christmas! Combine that with a double miscommunication that is about to be resolved after 10 years of distance… And of course to top it all off: a more realistic view of a happy after – where that might mean getting the man, or just finding the strength to continue on your own. Not to forget Beth’s daugher Izz, who was basically me as a ten-year-old…
Honestly, this book somehow manages to deliver just about every element you could be looking for in a holiday read. And it is narrated in such a clever way that it had me gasping and reeling at a plot twist I did *not* see coming. Mind you, that was right after putting tears in my eyes for a goodbye that was very obviously coming. I will definitely need to check out Victoria Walters’ Writing!
4/5 stars – Goodreads
There’s something about the holidays that just seems to make it more obvious – or more urgent – that finding family for Christmas is a must. And if your own family don’t quite step up to the plate, than finding (or making ) a family of your own is a must!