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A Proper Family Christmas Paperback – 6 Nov 2014
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Praise for Chrissie Manby (:)
Deliciously funny (Heat)
Hilarious . . . I loved it. Six stars, hurrah! (Daily Mail)
This sassy and addictive read will make you laugh - a lot! (Closer)
Manby's novels are made for holidays. (Glamour)
Nothing short of brilliant (Marie Claire)
A gloriously delicious read! . . . Packed with warm characters and hilarious situations (www.handwrittengirl.com)
The perfect festive stocking-filler: a heartwarming and funny novel by bestselling author Chrissie Manby.See all Product description
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The book is an easy read and told from the perspective of the different characters involved, there are some humorous moments and Annabel is a real snob, but given that her perfect family is heading for melt down ,she shows herself to be a strong character when it's needed.the characters in the book are well portrayed and the storyline well written
Having looked at the product review -I wondered if the person who wrote it actually read this book or another Chrissie Manby book? Hilarious was not a word I would use , it has humour, but its not a funny book . The Christmas title which will attract many readers is a bit misleading as the majority of the story does not happen at Christmas - on the other hand the Christmas spirit message of generosity and giving to others runs through the book.
I would recommend the book to anyone who has a connection with adoptees / adopting as a thoughtful and interesting but would say if you are are looking for a Christmas story you might find it short on the tinsel and Yule
As I mentioned it's the second in a series. The first book is about the Benson-Edwards family. There's matriarch Jackie, married to her husband Bob, and the pair have 2 daughters, Ronnie and Chelsea. Ronnie has 2 children, Sophie and Jack, and lives with her partner. Chelsea is single but going through some troubles of her own. The family were rocked when it was revealed on holiday that Jackie had a baby girl before Ronnie, whom she adopted out, called Daisy. Little do they know that Daisy is going to make a shocking reappearance back in their lives, wanting perhaps more than Jackie and her family are willing to give. Daisy, or Annabel as she's now called is having her own family crisis, and needs to return to her roots for the support her daughter Isabelle desperately needs.
This story was wonderful in so many ways. It tackles quite a few key issues, but it is done so brilliantly by Manby. The main issue is of course adoption, and the effects it has not only on the parents at the time of the adoption, but the ramifications it can have later on in life too. The story flits between the tales of Annabel and her family, and Jackie and her family, and eventually becomes more mixed as the story goes on. I found Annabel to be quite a dislikeable character, a bit snobby and mean, and I didn't like the reason that she finally got in touch with her biological family for. However, it was essential for the story development, and it definitely makes you think about what you would do if you were in Annabel's situation - I dare say I would probably do the same but it makes for tough reading at times.
I did feel incredibly sorry for Jackie and her family though. Jackie is clearly over the moon to be reunited with her daughter again, even though it doesn't seem entirely reciprocated. Ronnie on the other hand is more aware that things aren't all rosy, and is a bit more hesitant in forming relationships with her new sister. The constantly changing family dynamic was interesting to read, and I was always wondering what was going to happen to throw a spanner in the works next. I really enjoyed reading the stories of the younger characters actually - teenagers Issy and Sophie were a breath of fresh air, and certainly change your perception of teenage girls in a way, I really liked them, especially Issy and what she was going through. Young Jack is the comedy character of the bunch, and Manby writes him so realistically, he's just perfect for the story!
As well as the issue of adoption, the book looks at eating disorders, dementia, and drug abuse amongst others, and they're handled delicately but brilliantly within the story. You really feel for the characters, their problems and the state they have got themselves in, and that's due to the brilliant writing. I could really get absorbed into the story, into the lives of these characters and I didn't want to put it down. The festive element of this book came right at the end, personally I was hoping for more due to the title of the book but it was a very emotional and sweet ending, it definitely left me with a big soppy smile on my face, and happy to end there. I'm thrilled that there is a third book starring the Benson-Edwards family, and hopefully Annabel and her family will make an appearance too! Everything about this book was brilliant, it's the best book I have read by Manby and I can't wait for more. Excellent, and a must-read from me!
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