Christmas has always been a sad time for young widow Holly Brown, so when she’s asked to look after a remote house on the Lancashire moors, the opportunity to hide herself away is irresistible – the perfect excuse to forget about the festivities.
Sculptor, Jude Martland, is determined that this year there will be no Christmas after his brother runs off with his fiancée and he is keen to avoid the family home. However, he will have to return by the twelfth night of the festivities, when the hamlet of Little Mumming hold their historic festivities and all of his family are required to attend.
Meanwhile, Holly is finding that if she wants to avoid Christmas, she has come to the wrong place. When Jude unexpectedly returns on Christmas Eve he is far from delighted to discover that Holly seems to be holding the very family party he had hoped to avoid.
Suddenly, the blizzards come out of nowhere and the whole village is snowed in. With no escape, Holly and Jude get much more than they bargained for – it looks like the twelve days of Christmas are going to be very interesting indeed!
This was my second seasonal read, and I really liked it. The plot is fairly simple and it plods along quite contentedly. I’ve seen other reviewers criticise this book because not a lot happens, I found myself enjoying the book for this very reason. The book is set in a tiny sleepy village full of mildly eccentric characters, I think this is the reason I got so drawn into the book – as a country girl I could really identify with the book.
I enjoyed Holly as a character though I couldn’t always understand her motivations. Partway through the book she suddenly reveals a huge plan for the forthcoming year when she’s on the phone to her best friend, I was completely taken back by this as it came out of nowhere. The character I found the most interesting was Holly’s grandmother, though she only really featured through entries from her diary that Holly was reading.
One slight problem that I did have with the book was with the tenses, a couple of times it seemed that Holly’s narration changed from the past tense to the present tense. This jarred with me, and broke my reading flow. It was a minor thing though and may well have just been a writing style feature that I didn’t appreciate.
I can imagine this book wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea due to its gentle and steady nature but I thoroughly enjoyed it.