Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Our heroine makes Nigella look like a domestic donkey, 4 Dec 2010
This review is from: Twelve Days of Christmas (Paperback)
This book is the paperback version of comfort food. Yes, we all know we should be eating pulses, wholegrains and boil-for-days beans but sometimes you just want to bunker down and eat marshmallow chic lit'. Fittingly I read this homage to all things Christmas - quietly gorgeous heroine called Holly gently plodding her way through hillocks of snow, mounds of food and mountains of eligible men while she is improbably holed-up in a rambling old hall - during the snowbound Nov/Dec 2010 period. Perfect.
It was lovely to curl up with Holly as she takes on a seemingly sterile house sitting job which sees her duties extend from looking after one house, one horse, one dog to becoming a brood mare to a rambling family and an unlikely quartet of hunks all seeingly vying for her attention...although you don't need waste a Christmas wish wondering which one of our fabulous foursome will triumph. The story is a bit short on surprises and twists and relies a bit too merrily on characters making unlikely assumptions - our hero Jude follows Holly around like a lap-dog for most of the latter stage of the book but we have to believe that Holly (a) doesn't notice (b) doesn't fancy him (c) is convinced he's a cad/her long-lost cousin/not her type etc etc.
But I didn't really care. Like most marshmallows, it's light, fluffy and heart-warming in a oh-so-cheesy way which is utterly fogiveable. The only unforgiveable element - as pointed out by another reviewer - is Holly's take on her professional chefing abilities. She has all the cooking prowess of Nigella Lawson at her cleavage-heaving best and is able to cook a Michelin-star meal out of the stuff most people would leave in the perma-forst of their freezer and yet she dismisses it as 'I was busy and only managed to whizz up home-made curry, pies, soup, cakes for lunch' in the way that someone wearing a expensive ball-gown makes that 'oh this old thing' when passed a compliment.
I also felt exceedingly cross at all those lazy 'friends, relatives and suitors and twelve year old niece' who seem to do nothing but sit on their bums watching movies while poor Holly prepares yet another amazing breakfast/lunch/high tea/dinner/mid night snack etc without anyone lifing a finger to help.....why were all these 'guests' so unhelpful....Holly reminds them time and time again that she's only getting paid to look after the house and the reason she waives her usual 'extortionate' fee for catering for house party is never really addressed...even if Holly does do this out of the kindness of her heart...surely her boss at the housesitting agency would have a thing or three to say about her working so hard for nothing for millionaire sculptor Jude. As Holly whips up yet another 'turkey souffle' or 'instant chocolate cake'...I found myself wanting to pelt the idle house guests with these foodstuffs on her behalf.
Listen up Holly, Nigella Lawson only does all that scampering about because she gets PAID hansomely and she gets to raid the fridge at midnight...you turned yourself into an unpaid domestic skivvy for no good reason.
Small wonder all the men were drooling...even the obligatory gay one. Sadly, if any fellas do stumble upon this delightful book, I have to remind you that Holly is the stuff of fiction. Try to treat a real woman like this and they'll quite rightly stuff their Heston Blumenthal's Xmas pud where the sun doesn't shine!
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