Monday 22 October 2018

Guest Review: The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant

Christmas is coming but it doesn’t feel that way for Esme Greenwood. Recently jilted by her cheating fiancee Warren, she’s had enough of London life and escapes to Thimble Cottage in the Peak District, home of her beloved grandmother Matilda.

While Esme mourns for the wedding she’ll never have, Matilda puts her granddaughter back together again with comforting words and generous helpings of fruitcake and together, they plan the trip of a lifetime, to Lapland to see the northern lights, somewhere Matilda has always dreamt of going.

But tragedy strikes and when Matilda dies, Esme screws up the courage to go on the trip on her own to honour her beloved grandmother’s wishes. At the airport she meets a motley crew of characters including Zach, a handsome, brooding, out-of- work actor and together they set off for an adventure.

Beneath the indigo skies of Lapland, Esme and Zach grow closer. But when Esme is bombarded by messages from Warren promising he’s changed and she discovers that Zach is hiding something very significant - will her head be turned? And when a trip to the northern lights reveals the full extent of Zach’s own secret past, is there any hope that Esme will get the happy ending that her grandmother wished for her?

Review: I am a big fan of Tilly Tennant's books and was looking forward to reading this Christmas story, having very much enjoyed her previous festive tales. I especially love the cover of this book, promising lots of snowy scenes and clear, crisp nights. Once opened, it proved a real page turner too; this was definitely a book I didn't want to put down - once started I had to finish. 

The story revolves around Esme, who has run away from a life she no longer finds enjoyable to stay with her grandma, Matilda, who lives in a dreamy cottage in a sleepy little Derbyshire village. Esme is escaping the clutches of Warren, her cheating and controlling fiancé who turned out not to be what he seemed, although it cost Esme lots of friendships before she realised. When Matilda dies suddenly, Esme decides to fulfil her grandmother's dream of holidaying in Lapland and, hopefully, seeing the Northern Lights. This trip leads to more than a winter delight. Esme makes some new friends, including Zach, who she is attracted to, but finds a little mysterious. At the end of the holiday will she return to Warren, or will her life take a different direction?

I found this a lovely, rounded story, with some humour mixed in with the drama and romance. I was very worried for Esme, firstly that she didn't see Warren for what he was, and then that she might go running back to him; it was at times difficult not to feel angry with her. Zach, on the other hand, was just an all round nice guy, if a bit of a conundrum. Esme's older travelling companions injected most of the humour into the story. I think that this was a wonderfully Christmassy book, with all the snow and winter activities in Lapland added to the usual features at this time of year. I can recommend it to be read at any time of the year, but especially now, in the run up to Christmas. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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