Books mentioned and mini reviews:
Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin
I want to go on holiday to this book. Desperately. It’s about a hotel reviewer who before a long-awaited sabbatical makes one last trip to a beautiful, Christmas themed resort, only to discover that the owner is the childhood sweetheart she ran out on years earlier. It was full of pretty much everything I love about Christmas and was such a perfect festive read I’m planning to re-read it and pick up the sequel to review next year!
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild (review copy from NetGalley)
Trelawney Castle is a beloved millstone round the neck of its owners, inhabitants, and former residents, the three generations of the impoverished aristocratic Trelawney family. I really enjoyed this satirical look at a family clinging too hard to the past and those desperate to snatch it away from them.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
Sigh…I enjoyed this, it was very gripping, but the way it came together reminded me far too much of a second-rate YA thriller. I liked finding out about the way the aunts’ organisation worked but I was really hoping this book would explore the lives of Marthas and Econowives too,.
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
This is the first novel in the Discworld series about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch so I was really excited to read it and wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s a lot of fun and there are dragons!
The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan
I read this for my work book club. It’s a strangely gentle apocalyptic novel about the inhabitants of a caravan park on a Scottish island as an ice age arrives. Dylan thought he would sell the caravan, the only inheritance his mother and grandmother, former proprietors of a London cinema, left him. But then he finds himself drawn into the lives of Constance and her twelve year old daughter Estella. It was really great to see an apocalypse story that isn’t a thriller and doesn’t focus on people with a lot of privilege – the people in this story were already struggling.
A Season in the Snow by Isla Gordon (review copy from NetGalley)
I was expecting a cosy Christmassy romance and I feel slightly mis-sold because the beginning of this book is emotionally devastating! My heart ached for protagonist Alice, who after a terrible loss becomes a hermit in her London flat, avoiding the outside world and anyone except for her dog. She goes to stay in a friend’s Swiss chalet to try to come to terms with what’s happened, and it is cosy and lovely but also very realistic and depicts Alice’s slow recovery very well.