Review: 'Coming Home for Christmas' by Julia Williams (2014)
Cat needs to get off the ‘has-been’ heap and rescue her flagging TV career but the demands of her extended family are reaching fever pitch and she barely has time to breathe. Meanwhile, Pippa has got too many balls to juggle as a struggling single mum trying to hang on to her family farm. And Marianne’s marriage is looking distinctly rocky now her beloved husband’s ex is back on the scene.
Happy Christmas? Forget it.
But Christmas is a time for miracles, and when the villagers learn they must fight for what they love, it becomes clear that there is festive magic in the air.
Suddenly for Cat, Pippa and Marianne, it’s looking like it might just be a Christmas to remember…
I love Christmas novels and when it's this time of year, I prefer to only read festive stories in order to get really into the whole warm and sparkling Christmas atmosphere! This is also one of the reasons why I decided to make December a month filled with only Christmas-related blog posts, so be sure to visit the blog every day for a nice dose of literary Christmas cheer! :) Today, I'm really excited to share my review of Julia Williams's novel 'Coming Home for Christmas' with all of you. The book was released in November 2014 by Avon and as soon as the pretty paperback version landed on my doorstep, I couldn't wait to sit down with it!
'Coming Home for Christmas' is set in the small village of Hope Christmas where three close friends all have their own issues to deal with this Christmas. Cat is a TV-chef who is starting to worry she's becoming too old for TV. She is keeping her fingers crossed she will still be able to host her festive cooking show, but at the same time she's busy taking care of her granddaughter Lou Lou. Marianne is the mother of twins, which is already cause for quite hectic days. Things only get worse when her father gets ill and her husband's ex-wife suddenly comes back into their lives in an unexpected way. Pippa knows her marriage to Dan is over, but somehow she can't seem to let go. Not even her new boyfriend Richard is able to make her forget about her happy marriage, until Dan files for divorce. While the three friends have their own issues to deal with, their beloved village is in danger when developer LK Holdings plans to use certain parts of land for a luxurious hotel and spa. Will they be able to handle it all and have the merry Christmas they've hoped for...?
This book is actually the third part of a series, but I had no idea this was the case when I started reading it. Even though the characters have been through a lot and I sometimes had to read certain passages twice to really understand everything that had happened to the different characters, the book can definitely be read as a stand-alone. It only made me more curious about the other books! The novel has a great and well-drawn cast of characters at its core; I loved the switch from the points of view of Cat, Marianne and Pippa, and I couldn't get enough of each of their stories. They were different women, each with their own background and dreams and goals, and I simply loved reading about all three of them.
The story has a wonderful setting, namely the villege of Hope Christmas. I loved the idea of this small village where everyone knows each other and where everyone works together to protect their home. Even though the novel is not as festive as I'd hoped it would be, it did manage to get me in a bit of a Christmas mood and longing for the holidays! The author, Julia Williams, has a quick-paced, warm and detailed writing style which I personally really enjoyed. Overall, 'Coming Home for Christmas' is a wonderful holiday read filled to the brim with a thoroughly enjoyable story; the perfect gift to treat yourself to this December!