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on 21 December 2012
With Love at Christmas is a heartwarming novel from one of my favourite authors - Carole Matthews.

It follows the life of Juliet Joyce as she prepares for Christmas. Juliet's family life is anything but straightforward and seems to be getting more complicated as Christmas draws closer. Her mother's behaviour is becoming stranger and more erratic by the day. Her father has his own tragedy to deal with and her daughter, Chloe, is expecting her second baby but has moved home without her partner. When Juliet's husband Rick starts acting strangely she wonders if he has some secrets of his own.

I loved all of the descriptions of getting ready for Christmas and the preparation of buying presents and food. Matthews really brings the Joyce family to life and there are lots of storylines woven into the plot that make an addictive read.

This is another lovely novel from Carole Matthews. There are lots of hilarious moments, but also quite a few heartbreaking ones too. The perfect book to get you in the mood for Christmas!
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on 9 January 2013
I read this book over Xmas and really enjoyed it. I live quite close to where the book is set, so could relate to it well, and actually found myself checking out the places mentioned in it. The characters are believable, stroppy girl, moody boy, busy Mum and Dad, mad grandparents etc...if you have a family like this you'll be sure to enjoy this book.
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on 15 January 2013
I enjoy Carole Matthews books and especially this one. Very easy to read and I found it hard to put down.
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on 18 January 2013
I've read most of Carole Matthews books and on a whole, have found them warm, witty and engaging. This book however, I did just not enjoy. It was neither Christmassy or a page turner. Its actually too descriptive too, too detailed with the every day banal stuff, which I have enough of in my own life to want to read about in someone else's (albeit fictional). For example, I think I must've read several times with the mother saying she wanted to make her own Christmas pudding or mince pies! This is dull, and I got it the first time.

I also couldn't engage with the characters - her children are spoiled and need a good slap, the parents need to become more assertive and less wimpy. I just didn't find the family dynamics realistic. All in all, this is a let down with the normally good stuff Carole churns out. I struggled to reach the end.
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on 18 November 2012
I was really looking forward to a nice bit of Christmas fluff but found most of the characters so obnoxious that I had to give up as I couldn't have cared less what happened to ANY of them. The only ones who were remotely likeable had a big tragedy affect them just a few chapters in, which also put me off.
The daughter and son in this book could have come from an article entitled What Is All Wrong With This Country. Jobless and refusing to look for work, expecting someone else to pay their way, look after the children (both physically and financially,) continuing to produce children with no stable relationship or means of support, sleeping with complete strangers. It wasn't as if they were loving towards their parents to balance out their behaviour. When I got to the part where the daughter ruined their first holiday in years and they came home to find their son in THEIR bed with a stranger (and their response was to go and meekly sleep on the sofa) - well I gave up.
I don't find it interesting to read about total doormats, who put up with absolutely foul relations because " it's faaamily".
Ugh.
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on 25 February 2013
This book has a real feel good factor & is tied together nicely with the Christmas theme.
Not standard Christmas chick lit but an amusing look at hectic family life during the festive season & culminating in the big day itself.
OK, some of the characters are not exactly endearing especially the spoilt grown up children but then again, whose family is perfect?
The main "stars" are husband & wife,Juliet & Rick & it's nice to have an older couple taking centre stage in a novel.
They have been together for about 27 years but still try to find time to keep their love life on track. The descriptions of Juliet trying to seduce Rick after her work's Christmas party were hilarious!
This is a great light hearted read & I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I was not reading it during the Christmas season.
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on 1 January 2013
I hated this book I found it totally infuriating especially the way Juliet's mum's condition was almost ignored, the Joyce chidren were awful and Juliet a complete doormat, I could not finish it . Sorry Carole I loved some of your earlier novels.
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on 29 December 2012
Read all of Carole Matthews books so far and this one wont disappoint her followers.Nice easy read and very seasonal as it came out christmas time.You can also join her fan club which tells you when her latest books are due out.
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on 8 January 2013
I buy all the Carole Matthews books for my mother who absolutely adores reading every one of them. She always phones me to say how much she enjoys Carole Matthews novels and enjoyed With Love At Christmas very much.
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on 31 December 2012
Ignore all the negative reviews - this was a thoroughly enjoyable read during the festive season. Familiar observations made funny, rich characters and a lovely tale - I couldn't put it down.
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