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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Cornucopia
Christmas is an important time in the village of Middlemoss, in fact they spend a great part of the year organising it starting in August with the Christmas Pudding Circle. Locals gather together to plan, the puddings they will make for the hampers for the senior citizens, as well as the annual Mystery Play which is held, ideas for flavours of ice cream, things to do with...
Published on 10 Oct. 2011 by Jo D'Arcy

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Magic of Christmas.
Very slow story line and not particularly about Christmas. Not one of her best but a reasonable bedtime read.The cover was the most exciting aspect of this book.
Published on 13 Dec. 2012 by Mrs Janet.M Martin


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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Cornucopia, 10 Oct. 2011
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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Christmas is an important time in the village of Middlemoss, in fact they spend a great part of the year organising it starting in August with the Christmas Pudding Circle. Locals gather together to plan, the puddings they will make for the hampers for the senior citizens, as well as the annual Mystery Play which is held, ideas for flavours of ice cream, things to do with mincemeat, a glut of apples plus all the local gossip. A real village community project.

The circle is made up of the Postmistress and her husband, a local farmers wife, a infant school teacher, the retired vicars daughter and the main protagonist of this book Lizzy who in fact as well as being related to distantly through marriage to the locals in the `big house' scrapes a living my writing her on chronicles about real life in a cottage, in a little village and all the cooking and the goings on of the residents. In fact these chronicles form the opening of each chapter.

And so Trisha Ashley sets the scene as she does in previous novels. But this by no means twee, add into the Christmas mixture, a son going off to university, the new rather shy young vicar, a husband who seems to be a permanent surf bum and flits from women to women, without many of them knowing about each other, the dotty aunt at the `big house' owned by the Pharamonds, a pet sitting business, disappearing squirrels, a marriage, plenty of flirtations and lots of delicious sounding food that makes you want to start baking straight away. That complete mix gives you The Magic of Christmas by Trisha Ashley.

Fans of her books will perhaps recognise some of the characters, as this is loosely based on an earlier novel Sweet Nothings but has been reworked and with a lot more additional material. As I have not read this I cannot comment, though would be interested to see what others say. However this is a good book to start with if you have never read any Trisha Ashley before because it has romance, family arguments, disputes and skeletons. It has pathos but it also has humour and Ashley manages to combine all of these that you feel the characters come off the page and you would certainly be welcome in any of their homes to eat whatever they cook. My only criticism if it can be called one is I was slightly confused about how Lizzy and her husband Tom, fitted into the Pharamond family tree, I did try and make sense of it, but in the end just went with the flow and enjoyed the book.

Great for all Ashley fans and for those who perhaps have never read any of her novels or for those who fancy a bit of Christmas reading. Delicious!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical book, 18 Mar. 2012
By 
Mary Chipping "MC" (Dorset, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Magic of Christmas (Paperback)
I never read books that look as though they are romances but having been introduced to Trisha Ashley via another Christmas book (read prior to Christmas to 'get in the mood') I am hooked. This one has the romance but without the over the top sloppiness. It has a good story with laugh out loud moments. Not a book to change your life but a great 'feel good' easy read that will send you looking for others by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Need a mug of hot chocolate!!, 30 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Magic of Christmas (Paperback)
As my title says a mug of hot chocolate along with a log fire is all that is needed to complete the snuggly warm glow I got from reading this. I just love her way of writing its easy reading that you can't put down.It goes on my list of things to make me feel Chrismassy along with "A wonderful life" film,cheesy Wham video of Last Christmas and the wonderful smell of cinammon/spiced apple scented candles!Excellent thank you Trisha.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Magic of Christmas., 13 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Magic of Christmas (Paperback)
Very slow story line and not particularly about Christmas. Not one of her best but a reasonable bedtime read.The cover was the most exciting aspect of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt put the book down!!!!, 10 Dec. 2011
By 
This review is from: The Magic of Christmas (Paperback)
This book is absolutely perfect read for around winter/Christmas time! it was a great read from beginning to end and to also read a story that is about Lancashire was great made me feel very homely :) i would recommend anybody to buy this and read it because you wont be let down at all! was very happy with the ending..was totally not expected and cant wait for her next book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not magical enough to entrance me...., 20 Dec. 2011
This review is from: The Magic of Christmas (Paperback)
I'm sorry to say that I struggled with this book. The cover is so festive and named 'The Magic of Christmas' I really thought this was going to be the ultimate festive read. Most of the book isn't set a Christmas time, but reference is made to the Christmas Pudding Club. It gets vaguely Christmassy towards the end, but for me it just wasn't all that festive.

I didn't love it, and I have to say that I struggled to concentrate (something that I don't usually have a problem with when it comes to reading for fun!). I found it a bit too much like hard work, and having finished it, I just don't feel any love for the characters. Throughout reading, I felt disconnected - I didn't love anyone, I wasn't rooting for anyone and I didn't really seem to care what happened.

I also found parts of the storyline frustrating, as I felt the main character would have reacted far more than she actually did. There are also quite a lot of characters to get your head around, and if you don't feel that connection, sometimes it is a little difficult to remember who is who. There's a fair amount of background information too - I wasn't engrossed enough to feel this was necessary and often found my eyes flicking over it to get to the more interesting bits!

On the plus side, it isn't just your standard chick-lit. This book does deal with domestic violence, unhappy marriages, death and empty-nest syndrome. I certainly wouldn't say Trisha Ashley is a bad writer, I'd be interested in checking out her other books, which are highly praised, this one just wasn't for me - Sorry Trisha!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone Should Read this, 30 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Magic of Christmas (Paperback)
I could not but this book down. Trisha Ashley writes the amazing books that make you feel part of the story her characters are people you feel like you know and can make you laugh out loud and cry all at the same time. i love this book it gives you warm fuzzy feeling inside when something good happens and i for one can't wait for Christmas now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot of words with not much said, 12 Dec. 2012
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I did the wrong thing and judged by the cover, which I thought was lovely. A lot of words and without there being much point to the whole plot. Hate to admit it as I always finish books but could not persevere with this any longer and put it down after about two thirds in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 6 Dec. 2011
By 
Amazon Customer "Soodee" (Barnsley, Sth Yorks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I am a great fan of Trisha Ashley and really looked forward to reading this book. It didn't disappoint. Lovely to read at any time of the year but especially enjoyable as Christmas approaches and you need something to take your mind off the madness around you. The characters are as usual, believable and endearing - with the bonus of being down to earth enough to identify with. I can't cope with Superwomen who live in spotless houses and have vast amounts of disposable income!! Give me Trisha's (almost) reality any time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS (In Poem Mode), 31 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Magic of Christmas (Paperback)
THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS

It's Christmas Eve, the baking's
done
And the fire is glowing red,
The presents wrapped, the trees
trimmed up,
The children are long in bed.

I'll sit awhile, by firelight
Until they're fast asleep.
Then, suddenly, my memory
Back o'er the years will leap.

Back to those far - off childhood
days,
How bright the memory gleams,
Those lean, and often hungry,
days -
Oh, how long ago it seems.

And there am I, a child again,
On Christmas Eve, in bed,
Together with my brothers,
Waiting Santa's hearty tread.

I see six stockings hanging
From the bedpost, and am
thrilled,
To know that soon those
stockings
With treasure will be filled.

We snuggle down and whisper
As we all try to share,
The sense of Christmas magic,
That we feel is in the air.

At last we sleep, until one wakes,
And eyes strain through the gloom,
Espying unfamiliar shapes,
'Mongst the shadows of the room.

The stockings bulge in silhouette,
As dawn palely lights the scene,
So, wake the others with a shake
And excited cry - "He's been!"

Someone lights a candle,
And by its flickering glow,
With eager hands, the mysteries
Of our stockings seek to know.

An apple, a few monkey nuts,
An orange and some sweets,
Two bright new shining pennies
And other little treats.

A Woolworth's "tanner"
flashlight,
A clockwork motorcar,
A sheet of gaudy transfers,
A ha'penny chocolate bar.

A rolled - up magic painting
book,
A pack of coloured chalks,
A little wind - up penguin
That flaps its wings and talks.

When we've emptied all our
stockings
And compared each other's
store,
We seek our presents proper
In SIX piles, there on the floor.

The wrapping paper's torn
aside
And there we see displayed
The presents we've been hoping
for,
Our fears at last allayed.

Ludo, Snakes and Ladders,
And, a book of magic tricks,
A smoker's set, in chocolate,
And a box of building bricks.

Someone gets a drawing set
With lots of coloured pencils,
Another has a paint - box
With painting book and stencils.

A little magic lantern
With lamp and lantern slides,
A jigsaw and some dominoes -
And not much else besides.

It doesn't seem a lot, for six,
But we were well content,
These simple gifts, given with
love,
To us were heaven sent

BY
DARRYL ASHTON
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The Magic of Christmas
The Magic of Christmas by Trisha Ashley (Paperback - 27 Oct. 2011)
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