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I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day By Milly Johnson

I Wish It Could Be Christmas EverydayIf there’s one book that will get you into the spirit of Christmas this year, it’s Milly Johnson’s latest festive offering.

Six people all going to different places are forced to hole up in a small inn on the North Yorkshire Moors. Bridge is meeting her soon to be ex-husband Luke to sign a piece of paper that will officially begin the end of their marriage. She wanted to see him for five minutes tops, because she can’t stand the sight of him. Or is she just afraid to be in his presence for any longer than that because what she feels isn’t the hate she pretends to have for him? Luke is meeting his soon to be ex-wife Bridge for the shortest of meetings. He has moved on from his disastrous marriage to her and the last thing he needs is to be trapped with her for four full days when dangerous old feelings could resurface. Industry boss Jack is on his way to a meeting with a Japanese client who cancels at the last minute. It’s a dratted inconvenience having to spend Christmas with a bunch of strangers. But is it really – for someone who is lonely and craving company? Mary has been in love with her boss Jack for four years and this was her big chance to show him she was flesh and blood not the mere useful equivalent of an office stapler. Now she has four days to show him that he needs her in his personal life… but has that chance come too late? Charlie and Robin are going to Aviemore for a snow-filled, luxury Christmas with all the bells and whistles they can muster. Having to spend it with a group of strangers instead, cooking their own dinner would be a complete and disastrous let down to them… wouldn’t it? Six people – some at peace with themselves, some work in progresses, some lost… all take and give from each other in this festive fun-filled feast. A story packed with broccoli, snowmen, carols, paper chains, mince pies, plum tomatoes and cherries… kindness, wisdom and above all hope.

The story is seen through the perspective of 6 people who are all travelling on a snowy winter’s night. The weather is so torrential that they all pull over in a hotel called Figgy Hollow Inn, that is lying vacant but is completely prepared for Christmas. The 6 people are all at crossroads in their lives but during the 23- 27th December, they become firm friends and come to some realisations about themselves.

Outspoken Bridge is meeting her ex-husband Luke to finally sign their divorce papers, married couple Robin and Charlie were off to Scotland for their Christmas celebrations, whilst businessman Jack and his PA Mary were on their way to an important business trip.

As usual, Milly has produced another book that will literally have you feeling warm and glowing inside. With the magical setting of the Figgy Hollow Inn, it’s festive and welcoming setting as well as the wealth of indulgent food on offer that literally has the reader salivating with each page.

I loved the characters so much and had a connection with each one. Bridge and Luke are a complex couple, after years of arguing and moving on, they’ve finally decided to sign the papers but whilst in Figgy Hollow, they remember the good times when money was less but they still loved each other. These parts make for poignant and warm reading as the couple reflect on old times. Robin and Charlie bicker like a old couple, but there’s a deep love between them even though there’s quite an age age between them. Charlie was the gentleman of the story, exuding charm and wisdom to the party with his gentle nature. Whereas Mary has been in love with her boss for years, but Jack has never seen her in this light, but it seems the magic of Figgy Hollow is making him look at his PA in a new way. The magical setting of Figgy Hollow is making everyone reevaluate their lives as well as the importance of friendship at this time of year.

‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ is another charming story from Milly, delivered with her trademark tenderness, love and wit and is story of hope, magic and new friendships. This book is Christmas wrapped up with a festive bow.

You can buy ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Book News – The Break By Marian Keyes

Marian Keyes

I am absolutely delighted to see that Marian Keyes will be returning to our bookshelves with a new book in September called ‘The Break’.

Not much has been revealed about Marian thirteenth novel, only that it tells the story of a relationship that “everyone thought was forever and which is now in danger of being for never”. The news was announced on The Bookseller website and according to her publisher, Michael Joseph, it is about discovering that you can’t take anyone or anything in life for granted.

“It is Marian Keyes at her hilarious and insightful best,” the publisher said.

Louise Moore, manager director of Michael Joseph, added: “Michael Joseph has the great privilege of publishing Marian’s thirteenth novel, ‘The Break’. It is Marian at her funniest and most insightful; she is a writer who encapsulates perfectly the complications – both painful and wonderful – of love.”

Back in 2016, Marian celebrated 21 years with Penguin Random House since her first novel ‘Watermelon’ was published in 1995.

With no cover to reveal as off yet, ‘The Break’ is most definitely one of the books I will look forward to reading in 2017. Roll on September!

You can pre-order The Break from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th September 2017.

The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes By Anna McPartlin

The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ is the latest book by Anna McPartlin.

Here is a truth that can’t be escaped: for Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes, life is coming to an end…Rabbit Hayes loves her life, ordinary as it is, and the extraordinary people in it. She loves her spirited daughter, Juliet; her colourful, unruly family; the only man in her big heart, Johnny Faye. But it turns out the world has other plans for Rabbit, and she’s OK with that. Because she has plans for the world too, and only a handful of days left to make them happen. Here is a truth that won’t be forgotten: this is a story about laughing through life’s surprises and finding the joy in every moment.

I met Anna McPartlin at a Penguin Ireland event a few years ago and I really warmed to her, I loved her sharp wit and her cynical view towards life. ‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ was the first book that I read by her and as I thought when I read the synopsis of the story, I was heartbroken and in bits at the end.

The story starts with Rabbit being left at the hospice with her mother, Molly. After years of battling cancer, the illness has taken over her body and the hospice is there to make her last remaining days as comfortable as possible. The story is seen through the narrative of all the characters, Rabbit, her parents Molly and Jack, her 12 year old daughter Juliet, Rabbit’s brother and sister, Grace and Davy and Rabbit’s childhood best friend Majorie. Together, they all have to deal with the Rabbit’s impending death and the void that the bubbly and outspoken woman will leave behind as well as who will take over the duty of becoming Juliet’s guardian.

Each chapter contains perspectives of the various characters as they struggled with the realisation that they are about to loose someone who means the world to them. Molly and Jack refuse to give up on the Rabbit and Molly believes through her faith, they will find a cure for her and neither Jack or Molly can live with the thought that they outlive their daughter. Davy and Grace, Rabbit’s older siblings and they are amongst the people, who want to take on Juliet, but the 12 year old is unaware of the extent of her mothers illness, she thinks that she can care for Rabbit just like she did with previous times. A lovely inclusion in the story is the character Johnny, who was Davy’s best friend and was Rabbit’s first love. From a young age, she idolised the young musician and with the chapter he is featured in, we see Rabbit develop and mature from a gawky little girl into a strong and dynamic young woman who is admired by many.

This book is a heartbreaking story that will tug at the hardest of hearts, just as the title says, the book is indeed about the last days of Rabbit Hayes and as I got closer to the end, I found myself slowing down so I could enjoy the wit of the Hayes family as well prolong the sheer heartbreak that would be Rabbit’s death. Anna has been described as the female equivalent of Roddy Doyle and I could almost certainly agree with this statement, as with very sad moment there is a sharp witty comment there to soften the blow. One scene in particular that is quite tender, is when Rabbit asks for the family and her friend Majorie to be present so that she can talk about her funeral, this is a heartbreaking scene, as everyone has to face up to the fact that Rabbit will die soon, but in this sad scene, Anna has included funny dialogue and wit, that through the tears of it, I found myself giggling along.

Beautifully written from the very start, this book is an emotional roller-coaster story, filled with touching and poignant moments and the welcome inclusion of humour to lighten the dark scenes. ‘The Last Days Of Rabbit Hayes’ is a touching book about family love, treasuring each moment and I won’t forget it for a long time, I laughed, I cried and I fell in love with this book.

You can buy The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.