Monday, 23 December 2019

Guest Review: A Season in the Snow by Isla Gordon

Escape to the mountains this Christmas...
Alice Bright loves her life. She has a job she adores, a devoted family, and friends she'd lay down her life for.
So when tragedy strikes, bringing with it Bear - a rapidly-growing puppy in need of a home - it turns Alice's whole world upside down. She retreats inside her flat, and inside herself, with only her new companion for company.
But one-bedroom London flats aren't made for mountain dogs, and so Alice lets Bear push her out of her comfort zone to his homeland: the mountains of Switzerland. Could a change of scene in snowy serenity be just the thing to help Alice fall in love with life again?

Review: Although Isla Gordon has written five romantic comedies as Lisa Dickenson, this is her first novel under her own name. Having enjoyed her previous books, I was keen to find out how this different kind of novel compared. I was pleased to find that this story pulled me in right from the start and kept my interest right the way through. I finished it in quick time and was left with a strong desire to set off for Switzerland and visit some of the locations described in the book’s pages. 

The story’s main character (or I should say main human character) is Alice Bright, a freelance cartoonist living and loving life in London. She is devastated by a sudden tragedy that robs her of a very dear friend, but, at the same time, lands her with a new doggie companion in the shape of a young Bernese mountain dog aptly named Bear. Unable to cope with her loss, and to fit herself and Bear into her small London flat, Alice decides to take an extended trip to the Swiss mountain area that is home to Bear’s ancestors to try to put her life back together in a different environment away from family and close friends. Amidst the snow in the village of Mürren she gradually begins to rediscover her true self with the help of her ever-growing canine companion and some kind and understanding neighbours.

This is a wonderful, well-written story full of emotion and friendship that I loved from start to finish even though it moved me to tears several times. So powerful is the narrative that the pain and guilt that Alice experienced after the terrible accident that killed her friend were palpable. Alice’s difficult journey to recovery was at times really heartbreaking to imagine, but each positive step was truly heart-warming. There are very few additional characters in the story, but those that there are, particularly Alice’s temporary neighbours in Switzerland, have some interesting stories themselves. Of course, I very much enjoyed the descriptions of Bear’s antics, which often brought a touch of humour to the story. This is not just a Christmas story, but rather a moving tale to give us hope at any time of year. I can highly recommend it to other readers.

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

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