Review: 'When Christmas Bells Ring' by Katie Flynn (2015)
It’s Christmas in the Courts, and single mother Rosheen Clarke and her mischievous twin daughters April and May have no idea of the cataclysmic events which will soon overtake them.
When war is declared, April and May are evacuated to the countryside and Rosheen joins the WAAF where she befriends fellow Liverpudlian Cassie Valentine.
While Rosheen worries about what trouble the twins will cause next, Cassie is fighting her love for her childhood friend Andy. Because ever since he joined the RAF, he has become arrogant and remote.
Will he change back to the old Andy when it’s all over? Or will their love be another casualty of war?
Cassie and Rosheen support each other as best they can, but it will be many years before the Christmas bells ring out again.
Katie Flynn is a household name within the world of UK women's fiction, which is no wonder since she has written and released over 50 novels already (wow!). Since I started blogging a few years ago I've had the pleasure of reading several of her books and they're always feel-good and enjoyable reads. Last year I read and reviewed one of Katie's holiday books, 'A Christmas to Remember', and was pleasantly surprised when I found a new festive read on my doormat this year, namely 'When Christmas Bells Ring', which was released by Arrow on October 22nd 2015. I looked forward to sitting down with another trustworthy Katie Flynn novel, already guessing I would end up enjoying it!
Liverpool, 1938: Rosheen Clarke is a single mother, building a life for herself while taking care of her strong-willed twin daughters April and May. While the girls are looking forward to Christmas, none of them have any idea of what is waiting for them in the upcoming years. Not soon after, the war breaks out and April and May are evacuated to the countryside while Rosheen joins the WAAF. While Rosheen worries about her daughters, her new best friend Cassie Valentine has her own problems to deal with in the form of her love/hate feelings for her childhood best friend Andy. Neither Rosheen nor Carrie knows what the war will bring to them and their loved ones and what it is the future has in hold for them.
As expected this is another wonderful and warm story by best-selling author Katie Flynn. 'When Christmas Bells Ring' is set during the World War 2 years and focuses on main characters Rosheen Clarke (and her twin daughters April and May) and Cassie Valentine. Both Rosheen and Cassie were easy to warm to and I thought both of their stories were interesting and managed to hold my attention throughout the entire novel. I loved the switch between the different storylines, giving the reader something to be curious about and it resulted in me wanting to continue reading and find out what would happen next.
Katie's writing style is comfortable to read, enough detail is provided on both the characters and the scene setting, and it fits the genre really well. I wish perhaps a bit more attention could have been paid to Rosheen and Cassie's friendship, especially since this friendship is also specifically mentioned in the book description as an important part of the novel. I wasn't really surprised by the book and its ending, but sometimes it's great to pick up a book and know beforehand what you're going to get; an enjoyable read. While I wouldn't necessarily call this a Christmas read, 'When Christmas Bells Ring' is another warm-hearted, family-orientated and enjoyable novel by author Katie Flynn; I personally quite enjoyed it and am sure many other readers will as well!