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A CHRISTMAS WISH Paperback – 1 Aug 2017
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About the Author
Erin was born and raised in Warwickshire, where she resides with her husband. She writes contemporary novels focusing on love, life and laughter. An ideal day for Erin involves writing, people watching and copious amounts of tea. Erin was delighted to be awarded The Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017 and previously, Love Stories 'New Talent Award' in 2015.
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From the very beginning you get a really good picture of Flora. Having abandoned her friends at a club in Christmas eve, she sets off up the country in search of her past. From this very action you can see she is a determined young woman, and the more we get to know her, you get to see her head-strong and stubborn streak, as well as her kind nature and apprehension over what she is going to find. And she really does go on an emotional journey, torn between her love for her adoptive parents and her need to discover the truth about herself and her birth mother. Perhaps it is her age, or the fact that she is coming off the back of a failed relationship with no ties and no family to call her own, but whatever the reason, now it seems is the perfect time to head to Pooley to try to find the truth.
Now it doesn’t take long for the humorous side of the book to show itself. An accidental altercation with a Police Officer on her very first night sees Flora very nearly spend Christmas day in custody. And it is this gentle humour and the subsequent development of the friendship between Flora and Joel, which comes to inform the tone of the whole story. You can see that there is an immediate chemistry between the two, which isn’t just the painkillers Joel is taking following his first introduction to Flora. It really is a beautiful thing to watch blossom, beset with misunderstandings and plagued by those who would see to sabotage their relationship before it even begins.
There are some wonderfully diverse characters in the book, everyone from Landlady Annie, who becomes like a surrogate mother to Flora while she stays in Pooley, to the more eccentric characters such as Darren, the boy who discovered young Flora all those years before. Each one captures a certain element of village life, bringing a sense of authenticity to the story itself, especially the setting. And then there is Veronica. Joel’s ex. Well she’s certainly a character. I’ll say no more about her – perhaps best you read for yourself. There are so many people who have reason to keep secrets, that it really could be any of a number of residents who know the truth and yet no one seems to come forward. With many a clue being left for Flora in her comments book, how much of it she can rely on remains to be seen.
The story is told from the points of view of many characters, so I did have to concentrate a little as to who it was we were following in which chapter. It is easy enough to do, with the voices unique enough to tell apart and the narrative making it clear who was who. It is the first time I’ve come across quite so many voices being used, as we have not only Flora and Joel, but Annie, Flora’s adoptive mother, Janet, the Dr whose doorstep Flora was left on, Veronica and a mystery narrator all adding their voices to the mix, it is quite a lot to keep track of. If you don’t like multi-narrator stories, then this may well see you crack. It didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story, but took a little getting used to.
Overall, this is a very heart-warming and uplifting read, just perfect for Christmas.
I have made it a habit, a joy of life to follow debut authors from the Romantic Novelists Association and it was with great joy that I came across this young lady’s’ first release. Getting published is a very difficult thing to accomplish, believe me, I know, however when you come across a story of this quality you know that all the hard effort that the author has put in is worth it as we, the reader, get to enjoy the fruits of her labour.
Briefly, this is a ‘Christmas’ story with a difference as despite the title, the story actually begins on Christmas Eve as our protagonist, Flora, is drawn back to the town in which she was abandoned as a new-born and the story is of her quest to find her mother. Aided by local copper, Joel, she finds more than she’d bargained for, and ultimately, the price she pays emotionally for the truth is more than made up for by what she gains from her spur-of-the-moment decision to leave a party to make the journey into the unknown.
For a debut author, I am very impressed by the skilful way this author weaves a tale of multiple characters, all with interlocking stories and motives that you swiftly get used to. It’s an unusual way of telling a story, though by no means less enjoyable for it and I’d be happy if I had half the skill to tell a tale so well. We switch from Flora, to Joel, to ex’s, landladies, doctors and well, you name it, we get it.
I’m very pleased to report that each character is well written, you can feel the love the author brings to each of her creations and this is a very, very accomplished first outing. I shall leave you with one final thought – keep an eye out for this author because after you have finished reading ‘A Christmas Wish’, the first thought that will go through your mind is when will her next book be out?
That aside, I was mostly irritated by the continuous incorrect use of to/too, your/you're etc - it really interrupts the flow of reading when it's so poorly proofed. It grates that the editor/publishing team didn't think their readers worthy of correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.
It may be 'romcon' season (I read all genres) but that doesn't mean your readers aren't educated.
Apologies to the author, but it seemed rushed towards the ending too, as if a looming deadline caused the ideas to be truncated. A little more tlc would've done the original idea justice.
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