Friday 19 December 2014

Review: Coming Home for Christmas by Julia Williams

These three friends are dreading Christmas …

Cat needs to get off the ‘has-been’ heap and rescue her flagging TV career but the demands of her extended family are reaching fever pitch and she barely has time to breathe. Meanwhile, Pippa has got too many balls to juggle as a struggling single mum trying to hang on to her family farm. And Marianne’s marriage is looking distinctly rocky now her beloved husband’s ex is back on the scene.

Happy Christmas? Forget it.
But Christmas is a time for miracles, and when the villagers learn they must fight for what they love, it becomes clear that there is festive magic in the air.
Suddenly for Cat, Pippa and Marianne, it’s looking like it might just be a Christmas to remember …

Review: before reading this book I didn't realise that it was the third book in a series of companion novels. I actually own the second book in the series as well so before reading this installment, I could've read the other two first but not realising it wasn't a standalone, i plough straight into this one. I actually reallyd din't like this book. I found it really slow and yet hard to follow at the same time because I felt it jumped around quite a bit. The book kept referring back to things again and again which i now realise is reference to what happened in previous books or a book but it does labour thew point that 'something' happened seven years ago rather heavily. other books in a series that I've read have given you a quick catch up or explained further what happened seven years ago but this book assumes prior knowledge and so I think it should be made clear that this book cannot be read a standalone. 

I think even if i had read the other books in the series though, i still wouldn't have enjoyed this book. I found the characters really hard to like, they just didn't endear themselves to me at all and i honestly don't think i could tell you anything about them now, having read the entire book apart from the fact that they have christmasey names and they're all just a little bit apathetic. I think that if the characters had been introduced to me gradually rather than just simply appearing in the novel then i would've felt a bit more of a connection to them. 

This book does have a large dose of festive cheer but it does cover other times of the year as well and also has flashbacks to Christmases past. I normally quite like flashbacks because it think they add depth to a novel but this one jumped around fair bit and so i found ti difficult to follow, i wasn't really sure who was who or what was what and so i think a little more clarity on the structure of this novel would've been helpful. I'm normally a massive fan of any Christmas novel because i love this time of year and i love reading about how other celebrate it in their own ways but this book really wasn't for me, i didn't gel with the characters, the storyline or the setting and despite having finished the whole book i really didn't find it memorable or particularly festive. 

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