Wednesday 8 December 2021

Guest Review: The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Carmen has always worked in her local department store. So, when the gorgeous old building closes its doors for good, she is more than a little lost.

When her sister, Sofia, mentions an opportunity in Edinburgh - a cute little bookshop, the spare room in her house - Carmen is reluctant, she was never very good at accepting help. But, short on options, she soon finds herself pulling into the snowy city just a month before Christmas.

What Sofia didn't say is that the shop is on its last legs and that if Carmen can't help turn things around before Christmas, the owner will be forced to sell. Privately, Sofia is sure it will take more than a miracle to save the store, but maybe this Christmas, Carmen might surprise them all...

Review: I am quite a fan of Jenny Colgan’s writing and of her Christmas books in particular. This one is set in Edinburgh, which always has plenty to see and do in the run up to Christmas. I listened to the audio format of the book, which was beautifully narrated and kept me entertained on a few car journeys.

The central character in this story, Carmen, is devastated when the department store where she has worked since she was a girl finally closes down. With no better opportunities arising, Carmen reluctantly accepts her sister Sofia’s offer of a job and a room in her house in Edinburgh. The job is in an old bookshop which, unbeknown to Carmen, is facing closure if business doesn’t improve by Christmas. After witnessing the way in which the bookshop is run, Carmen can soon see why the business is in trouble, but just maybe she can turn things around for the shop and its owner, and even heal the relationship between her and her sister along the way. The customers who she meets include two very different men who show an interest in Carmen, but will she find an ideal partner in either?

I can highly recommend this festive book, which I have thoroughly enjoyed reading, filled as it is with the typical Jenny Colgan mix of drama and humour in real-life situations. It was great to watch as Edinburgh and the characters in the story prepared for Christmas; I could almost hear the sounds of merriment from the fair and smell the Christmassy offerings at the Christmas market. I loved the mix of characters in the story, especially the customers who came into the shop and the community of shopkeepers in its vicinity. I was particularly delighted to be reacquainted with characters I had met in a previous story and to find out how life is treating them. Carmen has a hard time adjusting to living with a sister who she has always felt overshadowed her, but surprises herself again and again. This is certainly one of my favourite Jenny Colgan books, and one that I’m sure will make its way into many Christmas stockings this year.

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

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