Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.
As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.
Hence, Christmas is cancelled.
So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.
But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…
Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?
I eagerly anticipated reading this book and it proved to be the perfect early Christmas present. Full of charming sentiment, realistic life stories and characters so authentic, you expect them to be sitting in the room with you.
Belle is an engaging and courageous child, who becomes an outwardly strong woman; hiding her guilt, lack of self esteem and vulnerability, even from those closest to her. When we first meet her she is on the cusp of a happy ever after and that worried me slightly. Surely nothing could top the hopeful beginning but I was wrong. There are plenty more romantic moments to come, interwoven with despair, goodness, humour and sadness, in this heartfelt, provoking tale, of an individual’s importance in the world.
Belle’s vulnerability is not unexpected, as a foster child she experiences loss and uncertainty. I won’t spoil the story for potential readers but be prepared to experience, the full spectrum of emotions when you read this. The writing is sensitive. Even in its darkest moments you can see glimmers of light and these keep you turning the pages.
This story draws you into its world; the ending is as enchanting, as its characters.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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