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18 December 2013

Review: 'Driving Home for Christmas' by Emma Hannigan (2013)

Christmas at Huntersbrook House has always been a family tradition - log fires, long walks through the snowy fields and evenings spent in the local pub. And this year the three grown-up Craig children are looking forward to the holidays more than ever. Pippa to escape her partying lifestyle and mounting debts in Dublin; Joey the demands of his gorgeous girlfriend who seems intent on coming between him and his family; and Lainey to forget about her controlling ex and his recent engagement to another woman.

But with the family livery yard in financial trouble, this Christmas could be the Craig family's last at Huntersbrook as they face the prospect of selling the ancestral house.

As the holiday season gets underway, the family need to come up with a way to save their home, and face the problems they've been running away from in Dublin. And what better place to figure things out than around the fire at Huntersbrook House?

There are so many things to get excited about around this time of year: sparkly Christmas decorations, the scent of pine trees in the air, gorgeous coloured lights in the dark, lots of yummy treats... But the holiday season wouldn’t be the same without some brilliant holiday chick lit reads to get us into the right mood! I saved all of my Christmas reads for December, so they would really help me to look forward to the holidays even more (and secretly start hoping for snow!). The first book on my list this year was Emma Hannigan’s ‘Driving Home for Christmas.’ I hadn’t read anything by Emma Hannigan before, but I couldn’t wait to get stuck in!

Every year the Craig family comes together to celebrate Christmas at their family home in Wicklow, Huntersbrook House. However, even though Holly and Paddy Craig love the house more than anything, financial troubles are causing them to think about selling, so Holly wants to do anything she can to make this last Christmas at Huntersbrook House one to remember. At the same time, the three Craig children, Pippa, Joey and Lainey, are dealing with their own troubles. Pippa might have been using her credit cards a bit too easily, Joey is trying to save his relationship with his selfish girlfriend, and Lainey is trying to forget the break-up with her ex-boyfriend and start a new life for herself. They are all looking forward to spending their Christmas days at the warm and lovely family home, not knowing it might be the very last time...

The gorgeous cover of this novel fits the story that is inside perfectly; they both definitely managed to get me into the holiday spirit! Huntersbrook House sounds like a wonderful home and it’s the perfect setting for a Christmas story like this one. I could easily imagine all the Christmas decorations and the family sitting in front of the log fire. Family is to me one of the most important parts of the holiday season, and I loved this story about the Craig family struggling with their own individual troubles, but also finding one another during Christmas time. The story is told from different perspectives, giving the reader the chance to get to know each of them and their specific storyline. I loved all three of the Craig children; Pippa, Joey and Lainey each have their own troubles to overcome. However, the same goes for Holly and Paddy, who are trying to think of solutions to not have to sell their beloved family home. 

There’s a splendid mix of loveable characters, and Emma Hannigan’s writing includes a good dose of humour combined with several slightly serious topics, with family at its centre. From the first few pages I was absorbed by this book, and whenever I looked up I was disappointed I wasn’t in the snow at Huntersbrook House myself! ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ is a wonderful and heart-warming Christmas read which will make you want to snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate, ready for whatever the holiday season will bring!


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