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19 December 2013

Review: 'Christmas Carol' by Michele Gorman (2013)

One winter wedding, two happy couples, three ex-boyfriends. And a very uncomfortable weekend.

Carol hates Christmas. Being recently dumped, she’s not crazy about weddings either. So her sister Marley’s nuptials, over the Christmas weekend, are making her positively Scrooge-like. When she arrives at the stately home in rural Scotland to find her three ex-boyfriends in attendance, Carol has no choice but to face her ghosts to discover what really happened in those relationships, learning a lot about herself in the process. As the snow falls outside and the fire crackles in the hearth, might one of the wedding guests become the harbinger of Christmases to come?

I wasn’t familiar with author Michele Gorman's work, so when I received a review copy of her latest novella, 'Chistmas Carol', from publisher Notting Hill Press, I was quite excited about this chance to discover more about her writing. I loved the sound of another Christmas tale to get me into a festive mood before the holidays, and sometimes a short novella is just perfect reading material for a long train ride or a couple of hours to spare!

Carol is a successful business-woman who lives for her work, doesn't want anything to do with men after several relationships gone wrong, and hates Christmas. So, when her sister Marley decides to get married over the Christmas weekend at an estate in rural Scotland where her Blackberry can't possibly get any reception, Carol isn't excited, to say the least. Add three ex-boyfriends to this festive winter mix, who are all attending the wedding, and it can undoubtedly be said that this will be a Christmas Carol will remember for quite some time to come.

Charles Dickens' novel 'A Christmas Carol' has to be one of my favourite Christmas stories of all time. Over the years, the tale of Scrooge has been retold many times in numerous different ways and Michele Gorman has given it her own personal touch in this novella. Carol is a modern female version of Scrooge, and just like the original Scrooge, as a reader I slowly but steadily learned to love her with every page I turned. I really liked how the author turned this classic tale in a thoroughly enjoyable modern-day version. I loved the idea of the winter wedding, the confrontations between Carol and her past boyfriends, and the setting (Craighorn Hall, a manor in rural Scotland) sounds absolutely stunning.

One of the downsides of novellas is that they aren’t as long as a regular novel which can result in a lack of detail and not being able to get to know the characters of the story as a reader. However, both of those things didn’t play a role in this particular novella. Michele Gorman gives the reader plenty of background information and I had no trouble getting to know the main character Carol. If you are looking for a quick festive read to get you into the holiday spirit, look no further! ‘Christmas Carol’ is a fast-paced and enjoyable holiday read, and a lovely retelling of the ultimate classic Christmas story most of us can’t get enough of round this time of year.


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