Wednesday 22 December 2021

Guest Review: The 12 Days of Christmas by Poppy Alexander

The most magical time of the year...

For the first time in ten years, Freya is back in the little village of Middlemass for Christmas. The streets might be twinkling with fairy lights, but after the recent loss of her mother, she's never felt less festive.

Forced to sleep under the same roof as her handsome neighbour Finn, Freya realises she's going to need a distraction - fast! So she sets herself a challenge: to cook the '12 Days of Christmas'. Her delicious food soon brings the villagers together, and as each day passes, old friendships are renewed, memories stirred and there's even the flickering of romance...

She was only meant to stay for the holidays, but could Middlemass - and Finn - steal her heart forever?

Review: This is the first book from this author that I have read. I am always looking out for new titles and writers when it comes to Christmas books, and when this one was recommended to me, I was pleased to add it to my list. I purchased the audiobook, which kept me entertained on a long car journey this December. It proved to be a compelling story, that helped make the miles pass in no time.

The main female character in the story is Freya, who finds herself back in her home village of Middlemass for the first time in many years. She has been living in Paris, where she is a sous chef in the kitchen of a world-renowned but demanding Michelin-star chef. Time off at Christmas is strictly forbidden, but this year, it is imperative that Freya makes her way home for the most tragic of reasons - to see her dying mother one last time. Feeling completely desolate after her mother’s death on Christmas Eve, Freya bumps into old schoolfriend Finn, who offers her somewhere to stay. To give her something to occupy her mind, he suggests that she could apply her cooking skills to making a dish each day that follows the gifts in the 12 days of Christmas song. Day after day, she produces amazing food along the lines of the song, culminating in a large gathering for old friends on 12th night. As the days pass, there is a growing attraction between Freya and Finn, but she’s not sure if this could become a lasting relationship. 

This is a wonderfully uplifting and heartwarming festive story, beautifully told. The characters are all well-developed and they and the situations are completely believable. We meet Freya at one of the worst moments in her life, but she is lucky enough to meet up with Finn who is so gentle and wholly understanding of her needs. I found the whole story very moving and so much more than a simple Christmas romance. The concept of cooking dishes connected with the words of the song was brilliant, and a clever way of distracting Freya from her feelings of guilt over staying away so long as well as her grief. Of course, the descriptions of those wonderful dishes had my mouth watering all the way through the book, and how kind of the author to add the recipes at the end. I can definitely recommend this book; I shall be on the lookout for more from its author.

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

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