As the anticipation of Christmas builds in the Nielsen family’s cosy farmhouse, Jo, Magnus and their grown-up children begin to congregate for a hybrid Danish-Jersey festive season, each with a surprise of their own – though the surprise that arrives over Christmas is the most life-changing of all.
Fifty years earlier, in 1969, Susan Jones finds herself being pursued by Mr Jenners, her former English teacher, and at the age of seventeen is packed off to a Home for Unmarried Mothers in London by her uncompromising father. As Christmas approaches, all she can do is desperately hope to be rescued, but will anyone be able to reach her in time?
The two timelines of this festive story gradually weave together in a tale that examines whether love and hope can eventually triumph over even the deepest sadness.
Rebecca Boxall is the award-nominated author of five bestselling novels – Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Jo’s ideal Christmas is at her lovely farmhouse, full of the people she loves. Christmas 2019 is full of secrets and surprises. A festive insight into family, in all its diversity and true Christmas spirit. Another historical tale plays out in 1969, one of naivety, narcissism and terrible betrayal and loss. The contrast is evident, but what is the connection?
This is a poignant relatable story which takes you on an emotional journey with all its highs and lows. The characters are believably flawed, and you care what happens to them. The festive customs add authenticity and the final revelations are heartwarming and uplifting.
Rebecca Boxall was born in 1977 in East Sussex, where she grew up in a vicarage always filled with family, friends and parishioners. She now lives by the sea in Jersey with her husband, three children and Rodney the cat. She read English at the University of Warwick before training as a lawyer and also studied Creative Writing with The Writer’s Bureau. She is the bestselling author of Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse and was nominated for the Romantic Novelist Association Awards in 2020.