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4.6 out of 5 stars546
4.6 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 December 2013
I can't believe I've had this so long on my Kindle ...

Cassie, living rurally in Scotland, is celebrating 10 years of marriage. We get to know the background of Cassie's friendship with Kelly (living in NY), Anouk (living in Paris) and Suzy (in London). Cassie overhears a telephone conversation and is subsequently whisked away on a plane with Kelly. Cassie is in no state to make any decisions for herself and so her friends decide that she will spend four months with each of them. And so Cassie's journey begins to discover who she really is and what she wants from life instead of living in husband Gil's shadow.

In NY and Paris Cassie lives the life of her friends, including an image change along with the lifestyle. In both places she meets someone special (although not both in a romantic way). She also finds out something about one of her friends that causes a rift between the four friends.

Loved the lists that Suzy's brother Henry gives to Cassie to complete in each city! Oh and the seeds too ... Venice was very interesting!

I found myself becoming really involved in this story. In fact I found myself having a sarcastic conversation with Selena one morning while I was getting ready for work! Despite working out the `one' for Cassie, I thought the author very skilfully wove this into the story and I loved the intrigue.

I loved being in each city, the people that Cassie met and the experiences that she had. I cringed at her huge mistake and wanted to smack Luke in the face about the photos.

There was as moment of uncertainty near the end... but I was glad it was the ending I predicted and perfect!
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2011
I have to admit, when I picked this up, I was expecting a generic 'easy read' of the regular woman's fiction genre, but boy - was I taken for a pleasant ride with this one! Karen Swan has presented us with every woman's secret dream - to move away to a foreign city and 'recreate' yourself in a bid to find who you really are - and that's just what Cassie does in Christmas At Tiffanys. Having found out that her long-term marraige was not what she thought it was, she ups from the wilds of countryside to magical New York, romantic Paris and bustling London, each time to stay with one of her three closest friends. There, each take their turns to remake her, involve her in their very different worlds, and, show her just how adaptable she really is.

This was no easy read; there were twists I never imagined coming. Descriptions of places I haven't been to, but now, after reading this, know will stick in my mind whenever I do go to these cities - she reminded me very much of Belinda Jones in the way the sheer passion of sharing these cities with the reader shone out, especially the captivating lesser-known areas, not so much tourists spots.

Love, laughter, sorrow, death, tears, happiness, friendship, desire - are but a snippet of the emotions and experiences ranging through Christmas at Tiffanys. Four best friends; each so very different and yet so very close. An estranged husband, too-attractive boyfriend, intriuging new friendhips and enigmatic blast from the past make Christmas at Tiffanys definitely one for the must reads list this year - although don't be fooled, not much of the book is actually set at Christmas time.

Five stars leaves me longing for another book like this from Karen Swan - let's hope it doesn't take too long to deliver!
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
I jumped at the chance to read this book because let's face it - I'm a sucker for a Christmas book. However, now I've finished the book, I have to say I felt a little robbed because it wasn't really a festive book at all, BUT it was a really enjoyable story, perhaps just marketed a little wrongly! I found Karen Swan's writing very easy to read and despite it being a fairly long book, I found it very consuming and I really loved the cast of characters within. I think my favourite thing about this book is that you really don't know how its all going to end up, there are clues throughout but nothing to spoil it for the reader, and I loved that!

The book is based on Cassie, and the mess that is her life. Cassie's marriage has recently fallen apart following a shocking revelation about her marriage to Gil, but her 3 girl friends are ready to step up to the plate and help her out, by Cassie spending 4 months with each of them at 3 "exotic" locations... well they are for the girl who has never left Scotland anyway! I felt really sorry for Cassie, her life has been turned upside down by her husband, and she is totally lost. She was very likeable and I think she works well as a main character for the book. First up is New York, and her friend Kelly. I really liked Kelly, she was a fun girl who worked hard and played hard, and it made a real lifestyle change for Cassie and a good way to kick start the book. New York seems to be an ever popular location in chick lit these days, but I felt Swan did a good job in portraying the city, especially through the eyes of the naive Cassie, who hasn't got a clue about places like this!

I found the other characters to be good, especially Suzy, who lives in London. Her life is perhaps the most realistic of the three friends to be honest. She's a wedding planner, and a pretty good one at that. She's also happily married, the only one of the group who is settled down. It's her brother Henry who suddenly and surprisingly befriends Cassie and sends her on some fun runarounds courtesy of his well-travelled self, and lists he creates for Cassie to follow as she travels the world with her friends. The last friend was Anouk, a well-cultured French lady living in Paris, and working in fashion, as suits her very well! I have to say I warmed to Anouk the least, she was quite cold and stand-offish, especially compared to the bubbly Kelly and homely Susy, but it made a nice contrast, although I did want Cassie to wise up to her behaviour and attitude a bit more, as she was a bit too slow on the uptake! However, I really did love seeing Cassie grow throughout the year, and you really feel her go through every emotion, it's very well written.

I did think there was a good cast of characters in the book, my favourite being Henry, the traveller who helped Cassie out on her travels, he was fun and I really liked him. I do have to make a comment about the title, and the fact I find it a little mis-leading though. Although there is a scene at Tiffany's at Christmas, it takes place in the middle of the book, for just a few pages, and that's it. In fact, Christmas is barely mentioned during the whole book, so I think those expecting a festive read will be disappointed with this book. I think the publishers seem to have jumped on the festive fiction bandwagon a bit here, which is a shame as this is a really great book that I got really into as the story about Cassie and her reinvention happens. Yes, that story is nothing new - girl gets dumped, reinvents self in amazing way and is happy ever after, but I enjoyed the journey it took to get there, and I found Swan has really well researched the places that Cassie went to as they came to life in my head as I was reading them, and that was really great. I think this is a really great book, but certainly not the festive read you may expect from the cover and title! Do give it a chance though, this is a fab read that I loved and it certainly makes me want to look out for more of Karen Swan's books!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2013
I read the Perfect Present and thought the writing was highly polished, and the characters and plot slightly less so. Still, I bought Christmas At Tiffanys, thinking it would describe some amazing places, especially New York and bring them alive. I am so disappointed. Cassie herself is a one-dimensional character who seems hell bent on becoming well-dressed and changing her hair colour to get over the breakdown of her marriage. Her group of friends are self-obsessed and for some reason think that she'd be better off living their lives instead. The Tiffanys scene- my absolute must-do moment was ruined by the presence of Cassie's "boyfriend", for want of a better word. The whole story is ridiculous and I've been forcing myself to read it since Christmas, I think it's time to give up now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2011
I chose this book because it was December and I wanted a Christmas read, and the cover and title of this book seemed to fit my requirements. However, this book is not in the least bit christmassy, or even wintery at all, so I was very disappointed. Fortunately though, the story was good and it was strong enough to keep me turning the pages, despite my initial disappointment.

The story focuses on Cassie and her three friends, Kelly, Anouk and Suzy. Deciding to spend the year with three friends in their home countries, the story takes Cassie to New York, Paris and London. I enjoyed the story the most when it was set in New York as I felt that it was where the characters were the most interesting and where the story progressed the most. I personally found Cassie's length of time in Paris quite dull and thought it only heated up at the end of the section where there was a revelation. Cassie's spell in London was enjoyable and eventful and far more interesting to read.

Overall, this is a good read, but don't be fooled by the Christmassy cover and title which are very misleading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2012
Christmas at Tiffany's is not as festive at it may sound, so don't let that put you off. It is a brilliant read, especially if your a romantic or adore or/have ever been to any of the 3 cities featured.

Right, New York Cassie arrives here is the mist of heart break, but you do think Kelly's going to let her sit around and cry, no she turns Cassie into an uber-modern America girl with a highflying job in the fashion industry, I wouldn't say no either. Not to mention the great friends, fashion shows and mysteriously charming photographer! The thing I love about this book is you even get to know the New York City as a character and having been; I have now fallen in love with the City even more.

Bonjour! We're in Paris with Anouk, I really didn't like Anouks' character all that much, and found it very hard to remember she is one of Cassie's friends. Another city, yet more disasters, either with hot men, a new cuisine, lying friends or new French fashion faux-pars. I have to admit the French section of the book didn't grab me plot wise, but I was interested at Karen's insight into a city I know and love.

Now to Suzy in London, sorry, but we will be detouring, spending most of this chapter somewhere else in England, unfortunately growing up near London, I was quite looking forward to Karen's take on it. However we are there for a rather important occasion, which could possibly bring Cassie full circle.But will she return to her old ways or follow her heart and the man she was always meant to love?

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
Once I became aware of Karen Swan's latest novel, Christmas At Tiffany's it automatically became a must-read book. The cover is beautiful and the title really enticed me into wanting to read the book straight away. As soon as Christmas At Tiffany's arrived I curled up on the sofa with a steaming mug of hot chocolate ready to delve into Cassie's journey.

While the idea for the story was nothing unique or original, I have to admit that the idea of Cassie being cheated on then spending the next year exploring exotic locations and finding herself at the same time, really appealed to me. After all, I'm sure many of us would love to be able to start anew with our lives and be able to figure out exactly what we want to do. I really enjoyed reading about Cassie's adventures in New York, Paris and London, which had me instantly wanting to be able to do the same journey myself. My favourite city to read about had to be New York, which is focuses on most throughout the book, Karen Swan's witty humour had me laughing and then the next moment the intensity of Cassie's emotion had me on the verge of tears

All of the characters are such fun women that I found myself instantly wishing I knew. Kelly and Anouk are such stylish, sophisticated women, who seem to have everything that they could ever want. My favourite of the friends has to be Suzy, whose life is the most realistic of the three women, being happily married with a child on the way. While Cassie was a little naive at times, with her being new to each city, I did find myself feeling compassion for her throughout. I really felt for the way in which her husband has cheated on her and the emotions that she is put through as a result. Even though I loved all three women, my favourite character in the book was Henry, Suzy's brother. He was witty, adventurous and most importantly down to earth in comparison with many of the other characters

Christmas At Tiffany's has been marketed as a Christmas themed book, while there are a couple of Christmas elements within the story, I found the Christmas aspect to be a little lacking. I do enjoy spending the month of Decemeber reading every Christmas themed chick lit book I can get my hands on, so I have to admit I was a little disappointed. While this was a downside, it does mean that this book can be read at any time of the year. The prose was a little misleading and jumpy, at times I would turn the page expecting the chapter to continue, only to find that it had ended abruptly, without any warning. This left me feeling as though the novel did not flow quite as well as I would have liked.

While the Christmas title is a little misleading, I would still highly reccomend Christmas At Tiffany's. Karen Swan's writing is beautiful and the way in which she delves into female friendships and the depth of these bonds is unparalled in chick lit. While her the descriptive way she brought the destinations of New York, Paris and London to life were so well done I found myself transported to each location instantly. I will be looking out for more from Karen Swan in the future.

Chick Litaholic
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2012
This was on my wish list and on one hand can understand other readers comments about it not being a christmasbook, 2 significant bits of the story happen at christmas so not disappointing.

The story follows Cassie, who married young (20) and on what is supposed to be a celebration of her and her husband Gil's 10th anniversary she finds out he has been a cheat and liar. Her 3 best friends Kelly, anouk and Suzy come to her rescue and vow to fix her. cassie then has to spend 4 months with each friend in their city.

In New York with Kelly, Cassie is treated like a doll, dressed up and polished. New York provides exciting opportunities for Cassie and the inevitable rebound fling. Paris with Anouk enables Cassie to learn about herself more and again be modelled by Anouk-who is an awful character. I hated her and her coldness. Finally Suzy (the nicest one) lets Cassie be and it is here that she sorts herself out. Henry, Suzy's brother who has been in the story throughout, bumping into Cassie (literally) in New York and visiting her in Paris is also in London. You know Henry loves her from the to do lists he sends her and the seeds he gets her to grow. What a man-i loved him.

The ending has a few twists and i knew what would happen, just a few momnets of panic when it nearly didnt. A good read, but sad in places too. It made me feel so it was a good book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 December 2012
On the night of her tenth wedding anniversary Carrie is devastated to find her friend has been having a long term affair with her husband and her friends son is also her husband's child from that relationship. Torn apart she leaves and hands herself ver to her 3 best friends Kelly, Annouk and Suzy agreeing to spend 4 months with them in New York, Paris then London trying to get over her failed marriage.

The reinvention her friends put her through and the journey of self discovery is a joy to read however it's the character of Suzy's brother Henry who brings the book to it's real meaning as he helps Carrie heal by providing her with a list of things she must see and do in each city she lives. Through these tasks she truly finds herself and begins to move on but is it in the wrong direction and towards someone who is already half way down the aisle.

A wonderful book - billed as a Christmas read I wouldn't agree I found it so but it was a joy to read and a nice fuzzy story for this time of year for us mum's needing a break from all the Santa preperation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2012
I picked this book up in early December thinking it would be a nice festive read. The cover is really pretty and the blurb on the back appealed to me. The main character is Cassie who at the start of the book discovers that her husband of 10 years has been cheating on her with her best friend. Absolutely shattered by this devastating news she flees from their quiet life in rural Scotland and decides to spend 4 months with each of her best friends in the 3 fabulous cities they live in - New York, Paris and London.
She lives and works in each city for 4 months and with each move reinvents herself to blend in with the city in question. Of course she finds a fabulous job, meets fabous people and has a fabulous time in each city but something is still missing & she needs to discover who is the real Cassie it and where she belongs.
This was an enjoyable book. I think it was incorrectly marketed as a Christmas story as it actually covers a whole year in Cassies life so do not let this put you off if you are looking for a nice read anytime of the year.
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