Delighted and excited to announce that @BookElfLeeds has a brand new reading challenge!
Jess had decided to seek out the Christmas Spirit in contemporary fiction. And like all good reading challenges; there’s a strict criteria to be followed.
- The book must have Christmas in the title.
- Some one has lost the Christmas Spirit.
- A Christmas Miracle will therefore have to occur.
- Some one will then regain the Christmas Spirit.
So please, make yourself comfy and enjoy the 9th review!
Single Mum with Tragic Past, Meg
In what form does the Christmas Miracle appear?
The amazingly affordable version of New York in which she finds herself.
I really struggled with this book. Meg starts off as a sympathetic character who I wanted good things for, but just ended up making a series of ridiculously bad choices and subsequently being down trodden again and again, and still came out the other side on top, but in a way that, if it were real life, would be considered ridiculous. If this was one of your mates you’d be grimacing for them.
Meg is one of the managing team for a chain of patisseries that are known for selling beautiful cakes in cosy settings. She grew up estranged from her mum, living in care for some of the time, and found out she was the “other woman” to the father of her unborn child when he was killed. Fortunately she was taken in, pregnant and alone, by the owners of the patisserie chain for whom, five years later, she now works. She also lives in the flat above the chain’s flag chain store on Curzon Street in Mayfair and her son is looked after by one of the co-founders who also lives in the building. She doesn’t mention any friends outside of the company, apart from those who she was friends with because they were associated with an ex-boyfriend who she dumped for “not loving her for who she was”.
Meg gets to go to New York at a moment’s notice to fix a problem with the opening of a new branch of the business, and whilst therefore meets obviously handsome architect Edd, who sweeps her off her feet. Within days they are professing their love for each other and all is right with the world. Edd also has seemingly endless wealth and takes her on a whirlwind tour of all the places in New York you’ve heard of, (I costed this whirlwind tour, and, before sundries like hot dogs and cocktails, visiting the Empire State Building, the New York Aquarium, afternoon tea and the Plaza and ice skating at the Rockefeller centre in 24 hours, plus all the taxis, would cost you about $630-about £470, two weeks before Christmas, spent on a whim to impress a woman you’ve literally just met. This is a different kind of Christmas to the ones in the Small Town America books I’ve been used to in this challenge).
When Meg gets home she is just desperate to get back to her love, and encouraged to do so by her friends at the patisserie and her son’s grandmother, leaves her four your old son to have Christmas with her friends in order to get back to New York. Spoilers, it all goes wrong from there.
This book didn’t make me feel Christmassy and didn’t fill me with good cheer. It made me cross and sad. Meg needed good friends her own age who could tell her she was being a knob, Edd was an absolute dickhead with a wallet, New York comes across as an unreal fairyland, all the madcap subplots were a little bit tasteless, and I couldn’t quite get over how easily Meg was won over to have Christmas without her son-this just doesn’t ring true to me, I’m not a parent, but I can’t see the single parents I know ever contemplating this.
I’ve read really good things about Amanda Prowse’s books, so hopefully this one is just a fluke, but if you’re looking for Christmas Sprit I’m afraid I couldn’t find much of it here.
Listen to @BookElfLeeds and I introduce the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge – HERE
Or just click here!
Review 01 – Nine Lives of Christmas
Review 02 – The Christmas Secret
Review 03 – Last Christmas
Review 04 – Lakeshore Christmas
Review 05 – Home for Christmas
Review 06 – Christmas Magic
Review 07 – Claude’s Christmas Adventure
Review 08 – Christmas Eve at Friday Harbour