Monday, 23 December 2013

Review of Christmas Carol - Michele Gorman

The bit on the back…

One winter wedding, two happy couples, three ex-boyfriends. And a very uncomfortable weekend.

Carol hates Christmas. Being recently dumped, she's not crazy about weddings either. So her sister Marley's nuptials, over the Christmas weekend, are making her positively Scrooge-like. When she arrives for the weekend at the stately home in rural Scotland to find her three ex-boyfriends in attendance, Carol has no choice but to face her ghosts to discover what really happened in those relationships, learning a lot about herself in the process. As the snow falls outside and the fire crackles in the hearth, might one of the wedding guests become the harbinger of Christmases to come?

This is the story of Carol, Carol who is super-efficient, and super clever, and super good at her job, and super good at avoiding her emotions and any confrontation likely to result in an emotional ending. Carol also doesn’t like Christmas, in fact she is anti-Christmas, and her recently dumped status, means that attending her sister’s wedding, just after Christmas, is her idea of hell.

I immediately got the feeling from Carol that she was all sharp angles, business focused and a no nonsense ball buster. Her job is top priority in her life, except when it comes to pleasing her sister Marley. Carol has a normal family life, but her crappy love life has made her the heartless worker bee she is and that’s another thing that was evident from the get go, she wasn’t lucky in love and she had been burned in the past. I think it kind of detracted from her character making her less likable and more likely to be pitied.

The story is set mainly in Scotland (yay) and what could be more romantic than a wedding in the snow north of the border? The thought of 3 ex-boyfriends being present? Maybe not. The story takes on a whole Ghosts of Boyfriends Past as Carol is forced to face each one of them and not only make sense of why their relationship ended but it also leads her on a mini journey of self discovery. Her attitude to change her own way of life is quite resilient until she realises that she’s becomes someone who everyone sees as cold and unapproachable. Her demeanour changes though and flourishes with the freshly fallen snow, leaving the story on a warm Christmassy note.

This is a novella, so in between short story and full length book, it’s perfect to while away a snowy afternoon in front of the fire (or radiator). Definitely one of my favourite reads so far with it’s warm and touching storyline.

Erin x

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