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Christmas Magic
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 November 2011
This latest book by Cathy Kelly consists of nineteen short stories. A bunch of heartfelt tales pertaining to life, love, friendship and family. My only observation would be that a couple of the stories ended too abruptly, however that did not spoil the fact that it was an enjoyable read.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Another nice and easy read from an author who admits in the acknowledgements that she didn't like writing short stories! I didn't realise until I started reading this that it was a book of short stories. There are 19 stories ranging from about 20-40 pages so readers will speed through them in no time. The stories are normally just the right length as well, to give some depth to the characters, without making them seem insignificant and forgettable.

There are a couple of weak stories in my opinion, and The Gap Year sticks out as being the weakest in my opinion. There are a couple of others, but that one in particular, I didn't really like. Not sure what it was, it was a perfectly good story, there just seemed to be something missing.

Not all of the stories are Christmas themed either, but they all include some kind of magic. The ones that are Christmas-themed make you want to curl up in front of a roaring fire (which the blurb states you must do and I don't have one!) and feel all festive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 December 2011
This is a wonderful feel good read. I enjoyed all the short stories and yes I too bought it without realising that it wasn't a single novel but then I should have read the fly leaf. There's a warm sympathetic feel to all the stories and they are all different. I liked the fact that most were down-to-earth illustrations of situations many of us have either shared or seen in life but I would certainly like to meet the fortune teller/life guide who figured most colourfully in one tale!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2012
Because of the title of this novel i was expecting a lot of short stories with a Christmas flavour, but sadly this wasn't always the case. I struggled through the book & had Cathy Kelly been a lesser known author i wouldn't have even bothered finishing it. There were a few very good stories, but overall i am glad i have now got to the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Cathy Kelly brings us a wonderful collection of festive short stories to warm our hearts.

With 19 stories there really is something for everyone.
I personally absolutely loved `Cassandra' and `Lizzie's Fling' but every story brings you a feeling of family, friendship and love.

With the stories ranging from 20-40 pages Its a great book if you want to devour it whole or read a story a day, it really is a book that suits all readers.

`Christmas Magic' is a very appropriate title, all the stories have a magical feeling about them and once I'd finished the book I couldn't help but keep thinking about some of the stories I'd read.

My only criticism is that a few of the stories felt to me as though they didn't have a proper ending, I was waiting for something more.

Make yourself a cup of tea, grab some chocolates and settle down with `Christmas Magic' Christmas has come early!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2012
Unfortunately, in my opinion this anthology of short stories did not live up to Cathy Kelly's previous novels. I felt that some of them were rather contrived and unsatisfactory. That said, the book was a fairly enjoyable read.
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I tend not to read many short stories, it isn't because I don't like them exactly, it's because I find them too short and end up getting a little frustrated because I want to find out more, and inevitably we only get a few pages to read about the characters! I was however intrigued to read Cathy Kelly's new short story anthology entitled Christmas Magic which was originally released back in 2011, but has been released in paperback for this Christmas. I love the cover, although I don't think it's especially festive, which is must like the book if I can say that! Don't pick this up expecting a book packed with festive stories or you'll end up quite disappointed much like I was!

Please don't get me wrong, I did enjoy parts of this book, and there were quite a few short stories which I felt would make good full length novels and wished there was more about in the book. The stories range in length from the very short, to the slightly longer Letters from Chicago which was possibly my favourite story in the book. However, even this was too short for me and I just found it hard to get involved in them because I just wanted more from it. Kelly created the stories and characters very well, and I found it easy to flit between the stories, not getting confused at all because they were all so different.

As I mentioned though, there were not many festive stories in the book which was very disappointing for me. From the title of the book, you'd expect there to be a fair few, but there was only a couple that actually centred around Christmas. I wonder then if the title was a ploy to get people to buy the book for the festive season, because it really would have benefitted from having a more generic title that was more befitting for the content of the book. There were a couple of stories in there that I didn't like at all, and I found myself skipping those because they were only short stories, and I didn't really want to waste time on stories that didn't immediately hook me in, something I feel should happen quite quickly for a short story.

Overall, this was a nice enough short story anthology, but it just wasn't anything amazing and I don't think there was anything particularly memorable about it. I wish there had been more festive themed tales about it, because I really did enjoy these stories. There were a few that I would have loved to be a bit longer because I felt that there was enough in them to expand on them, but there were others that I didn't enjoy at all, so I am sure that means there is something in there for everyone. Christmas Magic unfortunately won't make it onto my Christmas keepers shelf, but that's because there isn't enough of the festive feeling in there for me, and I wasn't a huge fan of all of the stories. Cathy Kelly fans I am sure will enjoy this read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2011
this was not what I expected, short stories in a book called christmas magic, yet only a few had christmas themes. feel I was duped with this by the title and cover of the book, very festive, not!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2014
A collection f short stories based in Ireland some nicludign Christmas some not.

Predictable, boring and repetitive. None of the characters stayed with me, there was no grit, no emotion, just story after story of a hard done to woman who suddenly has an epiphany and then either gets the tall dark stranger or rights the wrongs that have been done to her over many many years.

Book Club gave it a 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2013
This is a collection of very predictable, sentimental stories. Almost all of them are about kind 'women who love too much', who find happiness in the end. There is nothing particularly exciting or original here. This collection made for a bit of easy reading before bed, but not much else. Also, as several other reviewers have pointed out, the title is misleading. Only a few of the stories have a Christmas theme.
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