- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2824 KB
- Print Length: 240 pages
- Publisher: Carina; 1 edition (15 Oct. 2015)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00XAFSXFG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 57 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,986 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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My Big Fat Christmas Wedding: A Funny And Heartwarming Christmas Romance Kindle Edition
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Another wonderful read from Samantha and this time she deals with surprising ease and sensitivity the refugee crisis engulfing the island of Kos, interweaving it in the story to make it one of the key dramatic events of the book. I loved the return of all the characters in the first book and in a way it felt like I was returning home giving me quite a warming feeling in the process.
The thing I liked the most about this book was the way I could completely relate to the way Pippa was feeling firstly when Henrik appears and then when she works out what she really wants. I felt myself going through the same feelings as her while reading, the attraction to Henrik, the nostalgia and yearning for the bright lights and then discovering what is most important in life. This made a really nice change from some books from other authors I have read where inside I am fighting and disagreeing with everything the main protagonist is feeling and doing. That can sometimes get quite frustrating but there was none of that here.
This book is Samantha's most mature venture yet but handled with amazing ease and filled with warmth, humour and love! Oh and I mustn't forget the Scones which is really the answer to all of life's problems! :)
What I thought was great about this story was that it was set just four months after we last left Pippa. It really felt like we just had a little holiday from the characters and now the reader was easily able to pick where we had left off. This was a refreshing change as often sequels carry on two or three years later. Having such a close time frame meant the characters and storylines were fresh in my mind. Pippa is now happily running the quaint Taxos teashop of her dreams bringing a small piece of England and its traditions to a tiny Greek village. The man of her dreams since childhood is now her soon to be husband and her life seems to be going down the right path for once. Her glamorous, fast paced life as a banker in London using her mathematical abilities is left firmly in the past. Or is it?
With her wedding just around the corner and a Christmas fair to plan Pippa couldn't be busier but events on the island and a former flame may be just about to upset the apple cart and make Pippa question everything she thought was solid and secure. Pippa's former fiancée Henrik (former makes Pippa sound like she has had numerous fiancées and that she drops them at the drop of a hat but that is not the case) arrives back on the island to check his business interests and to announce that he is now engaged to charity worker Olivia (he really wasn't that long in moving on from Pippa in my opinion). I still can't make Henrik out after two books, I am firmly split down the middle with him as I never really know the true meaning behind his intentions. One minute he seems genuine and nice and the next he is up to something to further his career or personal life. When Pippa and Nico are issued with an invitation to Henrik's engagement party back in England, Pippa jumps at the chance to return but Nico has his reservations. Are they justified? How can Taxos compete with London and secure a place in Pippa's heart?
As well as the Pippa, Nico, Henrik triangle we had another storyline running concurrently and I have to say well done Samantha Tonge, little did I know on first glance at the wonderfully colourful, festive cover you would bring to light such serious issues such as the economy crisis in Greece and how it is affecting the everyday lives of the islanders and also the plight of refugees escaping from Syria and other neighbouring countries. In fact I was surprised when I began to read this in the book but it really did work and was woven seamlessly throughout the story and it was apt how the issues fired up the character of Pippa and allowed her generous, inspiring spirit to come to the fore. Chick-lit books are lovely easy reads but don't often deal with topical relevant issues but this is what made this book what it was. It could have been to focused on the romance aspect and forget what was and is going on in Greece at the moment but Samantha was brave enough not to do this. Instead we had a fine balance between the two.
The fortunes of Taxos need to be turned around and Pippa and the villagers are the people to do it, everybody is struggling under the pressures and strains the economy finds itself in. Yes the summer season selling scones and the hoards of tourists that visit were excellent but it's the long winter months that the villagers need to think about. Samantha tells us how dogs now roam the streets as people can no longer afford to keep them. There is malnutrition in children and adults and people are being forced from their homes unable to pay the rents due to unemployment. Every industry is struggling including the Manos family who run the lcoal butchers as people can no longer afford meat everyday of the week. The Manos family's story was expertly told and highlighted the issues mentioned above which we hear of on the news everyday but just think oh poor them sure there is nothing we can do they are in another country. Pippa can't let the village and people she calls family go up in ruins so she decides to organise a Christmas Fair in the hopes of beginning to turn the outlook of the village around. I loved Pippa for this, she a wedding to plan but put everybody else first as she knew Nico and the villagers held a very special place in her heart.
It was nice to have a small section of the book set in London just before Christmas as we felt the atmosphere, the cold, the snow and all the festive sights, smells and sounds. In this section I will readily admit Pippa really did annoy me. I'll go as far to say she angered me with her actions. Poor Nico was treated badly when all he had at the centre of his heart and mind was providing Pippa with the life she deserves and although his financial situation at the moment mightn't allow that you knew he would always do his best for her. Events at the party put doubts in Pippa's head and to me she just came across as selfish. For god's sake she had her dream man, the dream job on a fabulous island and here she was questioning everything. She was hearing warning bells rather than wedding bells and I didn't like it one bit. Why long for her old life when she wasn't happy with it in the first place or even truly happy with Henrik? Is she destined to be the girl who had it all - a life a lot of people can only fantasise about only to give it all up on a whim? Foolishly in my opinion. Pippa was torn but I know I wouldn't be and I think that is what made me angry with her. I for one had to keep reading to find out? From then on the book really picked up pace and I was dying to find out the outcome for both the villagers and Nico and Pippa.
The road to the big fat Christmas Wedding may not have the smoothest of paths but all the ups and downs are what make this book. It was like reuniting with old friends and catching up on all that I had missed. Samantha has created a superb cast of characters that compliment Pippa and Nico and their own little stories add that special something to the book. I'll admit Pippa's wobble in London made me turn against her but when she stops, takes stock and re-evaluates I could see her thinking and reasoning and I was just hoping she would do the right thing and that the villagers future would be secured too. We saw two sides to Pippa but I love her ultimate qualities of being a good friend, being caring, kind and reliable and above all else loyal.
I suppose I shouldn't forget to mention that Samantha has once again done a stellar job with creating all the scone flavours and combinations for Christmas. The descriptions were salivating and mouth watering and reminded me what was so enjoyable about the first book. This book wasn't totally overloaded with Christmas glitz and glamour, we got just the right amount to go alongside the serious aspects of the story and it did get me in the festive mood.
The only issue I have is that when reading this on the Kindle the book ended at 84%, yes I understand the story was over but when you think there is 16% to go and then it ends it is a bit annoying. Mentally I was prepared for more so just be warned that is when it does end and then we have three teaser chapters from a previous release Mistletoe Mansion. Samantha mentioned on the net this is the Game of Scones series so maybe there is more to come from Pippa and co? I feel there is definitely one more book there that would continue and wrap up this story nicely. In the meantime My Big Fat Christmas wedding should have pride of place on your Christmas wish-list this year.
My Big Fat Christmas Wedding is a standalone sequel to Game of Scones. I haven't yet read Game of Scones, but I still felt right at home with all those delightful characters and quickly find my way through the story without being confused about " the who is who" game.
Pippa Pattison, the former city high flyer, is enjoying her new love in rustic simplicity, running a quaint teashop on a sleepy Greek island with her fiance, Niko. But it has been a rather quick change to slow living, and you can't blame a girl for wondering, "how did I get here?"
Pippa is very excited about her Greek wedding, but a quick trip to snowy England for her ex's engagement party makes her wonder about a few important things. So what is it going to be for Pippa - a glamorous woman with a city lifestyle or a wife of a fisherman?
I can honestly relate to Pippa. She is a leading lady with a determined personality and high intellect who happened to find the love of her life in a charming yet sleepy Greek village. Although I am not in an exactly same position as Pippa, I understand how hard it must have been for her to give up her city lifestyle and relocate to a different country where she had to adapt to a different set of rules. I delighted in watching Pippa being smitten with not only Niko's family but with so many other residents of the small Taxos community. Although Pippa had a history within the island and had known Niko's family since her own family holidayed there every year when she was a young girl this time she was also determined to make it her permanent home.
There were few misunderstandings between Pippa and Niko throughout the story. I think the slight language barrier and their different upbringing and outlook on life made them both question their decisions. It was lovely to go on a journey with Pippa and Niko and see how they both managed to solve their issues despite life throwing them a curveball I, as a reader, could clearly see how much they adored and respected each other.
A whole array of other characters that were popping out of the pages and welcoming me with their open arms. I absolutely adored Sophia, Gorgios, and Grandma Sotiropoulos. Niko's family were such a down-to-earth, friendly and incredible people as well as Pandora and the rest of the thousands of cousins and uncles and aunties that lived on the island. There was such a strong sense of family values, beliefs, and belonging
In My Big Fat Christmas Wedding, Samatha cleverly managed to blend a serious aspect of the country's economic downturn and refugee crises and the tremendous life struggle for many Greek families with a swift flowing romantic plotline full of sympathetic and realistic characters.
A heartwarming and very enjoyable Christmas read.
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