Thought I’d do something a bit different and review a book I just finished.
As Christmas creeps up on us I have decided to try and read as many Christmas themed books as possible to keep the fun spirit of Christmas going to make the build up to it that much more fun.
Now normally I am not really into love story type books because I find them quite predictable and boring but somehow at this time of year it’s the perfect type of light hearted reading you need when life all around you is busy with plans about Christmas.
We’ll Always Have Christmas by Jenny Hale is a sweet book set around Christmas focused on the life of a young mum called Noelle that is struggling with where she is going next. After losing her grandmother the year before and losing her job on the lead up to Christmas she feels completely lost.
Her entire life she has prepared herself for taking over her grandmother’s bakery Hope & Sugar, however after finding out she has lost her job she finds out from her family that the bakery will be closing down along with many of the other businesses in town.
Noelle manages to find herself what she feels is the perfect job to get her through Christmas by caring for William Harrington the head of the Harrington family, while living in the massive house her and her friends used to pass every day on the way to work. All seems perfect until she finds out it is the grandson of this man Alex that is getting rid of her family bakery. However she finds herself struggling with her own emotions as she gets to know Alex more, questioning whether or not he knows who she is and the trouble he is causing her family.
Keeping the story simple and easy to follow I feel is perfect for a book set around this time of year, it means I can easily lose myself in the book without having to use too much brain power to follow a more complicated storyline.
For me I feel the story was pretty predictable but I think it’s kind of what you want sometimes. The main character Noelle was the perfect protagonist for this book because I think most people have felt like her at some point in their life. As a young mum she is struggling to keep up beat for her young son Lucas, who already is quite different from a normal young boy, often retreating into his books than speaking to people. She feels like she is stuck at a crossroads and is clearly worried about making the wrong choice feeling now everything she had planned is suddenly not possible. For me I can really relate with her because of her struggles with not feeling like she is in control as someone that always tries to plan everything.
The relationship between her and her son is heartwarming due to the fact it is not always perfect from her point of view as she begins to feel threatened when Alex manages to communicate with Lucas so easily. The love they have for one another is clear though as she attempts to make Christmas as special for him as possible taking the job at the Harrington house in order to afford a decent Christmas despite the fact she questioned about taking it because they were responsible for causing so much hurt to her family. As the book progresses you then see the love Lucas has for his mum getting excited about all their Christmas traditions, making it even sweeter because everything you are told about Lucas leads you to believe he is quite a solitary child and so when he shows excitement about going sledging or helping his mum shop for presents you fully appreciate the effort Lucas is putting in.
The relationship Noelle manages to create with William, the old man she is in charge of looking after is always very sweet. To begin with he clearly does not want her help but again as the book progresses she manages to find common ground with him and take a genuine interest in what he has to say. He struggles with his relationship with his grandson Alex and Noelle tries to fix this, showing her caring nature.
Jenny Hale manages to create a Christmas feel to this book without bombarding the reader with constant references. She simply uses Christmas as a setting but allows the narrative to focus on her characters and their struggles. She creates lovely characters all believable with their flaws and hang ups but does it in a way where you suddenly become appreciative of your own family and loved ones and the special Christmas traditions you have. Through this she has created a light hearted cosy read that allows the reader to lose themselves in the wonder of the book while rooting for the main character to achieve everything she desires.
Rating – 4/5