Today, as part of the Festive Reads feature, I have a review of A Christmas Wish by Erin Green, a feel good story of self discovery.
The Official Book Blurb
Flora Phillips has an excuse for every disaster in her life; she was abandoned as a new-born on a doorstep one cold autumn night, wrapped in nothing but a towel. Her philosophy is simple: if your mother doesn’t want you – who will?
Now a thirty-year-old, without a boyfriend, a career or home she figures she might as well tackle the biggest question of them all – who is she? So, whilst everyone else enjoys their Christmas Eve traditions, Flora escapes the masses and drives to the village of Pooley to seek a specific doorstep. Her doorstep.
But in Pooley she finds more than her life story. She finds friends, laughter, and perhaps even a love to last a lifetime. Because once you know where you come from, it’s so much easier to know where you’re going.
A story of redemption and love, romance and Christmas dreams-come-true, the perfect novel to snuggle up with this festive season.
Imagine knowing since you were seven years old that you were special, different. Not the usual kind of special that every kind parents tells their children they are, but a ‘you were left on a doorstop as a baby’ kind of special. Wouldn’t you want to seek out answers? Wouldn’t you want to see where is was you were abandoned and perhaps to trace the parents that you never knew? This is exactly the decision that Flora comes to in A Christmas Wish, a decision which sees her on a journey that there will be no turning away from, and one which will change her life forever.
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.
A Christmas Wish is available now from the following retailers: