5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Fine for a fake snow Christmas..., 10 Dec 2011
I bought this book after reading a positive Guardian book review and was expecting great things. Really disappointed in this and was expecting it to be much much better. I wanted a Christmas tale with a bit of fire and warmth.... and with this all I got was fake snow. Admittedly haven't read anything previously by India Knight, so can't compare with previous work - but I found this really annoying - half-way through I've given up today. The plot is thin, the characters 2-dimensional and the dialogue I found unfunny, unpleasant and strained. It just all seems a bit sad and pointless - a novel without heart or soul. The characters of Pat, the boys, sisters, the mother, mother-in-law and ex-husbands are all a bit crass in their (under)development - a motley crew of tired stereotypes and caricatures which in the real world just don't ring true. Teenage boys just don't speak like this! - ooh, I know, let's have some naughty language and make them say 'arse' every other sentence because that's what teenagers do (no, they don't). Added to this I didn't particularly like the character of Clara so I didn't care what happened to her anyway - why doesn't she just ask for some help? What a martyr as she alone slaves away over 2 christmas dinners and OMG... horror of horrors !...she forgot the Truffle for the vegetarians - someone hand her a spade quickly so she can take to the woods and let her dinner get even colder....
I disagree with reviews which say those of who didn't enjoy this don't have a sense of humour. The trouble is that the humour is either cringe-making or peurile - how I laughed at yet another piece of 'witty' dialogue on bodily functions (floaters, mouth-sick et al.) - haven't had such a laugh since first-year infants. There are tiny glimmers of a good novel trying to get out from deep within which is a shame... I did enjoy the opening section of last-minute Christmas shopping and thought this was nicely portrayed - why didn't it just continue like this? but for now I'm off to put some fuel on my winter fire so this should come in handy!