It felt a little bizarre reading a Christmas book just as the new school year was starting, particularly as I have a self-imposed rule of not buying or reading Christmas themed books until December. However, this was for review and so rules are made to be broken!
Anna and Mike have decided that after many years together it’s time to formalise their amicable split, but before they go their separate ways they arrange a last big family Christmas in a rented house in Cornwall. Their idea is that it will convince their children that they are doing the right thing. Thea and her siblings, Jimi and Emily aren't convinced about their decision but go along with the plans.
A big family get-together brings on all the usual rivalries, spats and misunderstandings. Throw in a couple of unwanted guests, unexpectedly heavy snowfall and a gorgeous surfer landlord and the scene is set for an eventful Christmas where primary school teacher Thea, still recovering from her split with the self-centred Rich manages to get her life back on track.
It’s easy reading and a little predictable, but the way the characters bounce off each other, particularly the irrepressible Charlotte, makes it very entertaining. I've not read any Judy Astley for a while, but I will have another look at ones I've missed. This was written with a light touch and is a definite Christmas feel-good read.
Thank you to netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld for my review copy.