* Prices may differ from that shown
Christmas is the time of festive cheer - or is it? As Christmas approaches, three young women view it in very different ways. Bea, Olivia and Chloe all have good reasons to view the oncoming festivities with trepidation but, you never know, this could just turn out to be the best Christmas ever!
In Amy Silver's 'All I Want for Christmas', the reader meets three very different women. Bea, who runs the local delicatessen, The Honey Pot, is facing Christmas alone with her young son Luca but is determined to make it as good as she possibly can. Olivia has somewhat rashly offered to host all of her fiancé's family from Ireland and it looks like it will be chaotic. On the other hand, Chloe will be celebrating alone, as her boyfriend will be sitting down to Christmas dinner with his wife and family. Although on the surface, the three women appear to have little in common, as Christmas approaches they start to form a bond that is likely to last well beyond the festive season.
It did take me a while to get in to this book but I am glad that I stuck with it because, by the end, I loved it. I loved the way that the characters developed over the course of the book and by the end I decided that they were all very likeable. (I did not think this about them all at the start). I really enjoyed the way the three women each had their own individual story line and how these were inter weaved throughout the book. The contrasting stories really complemented each other extremely well too.
The book started on the 14th December and went up to the end of Christmas Day so it only spans a short amount of time. The book was divided into twelve chapters each covering a different day and each of these was split up to cover what was happening to all three women. I liked the way it was set out like this and it felt that the story really gained momentum as Christmas Day drew nearer.
The characters were very believable and as I got to know them I really wanted things to turn out well for them. There were enough differences between the three women to make them interesting and entertaining for the reader, and with a varied assortment of minor characters Amy Silver managed to build a wonderful cast.
This was the first book I had read by Amy Silver and I did really enjoy it - so much so that I will definitely look out for other books from her. Unfortunately, at the moment she appears to have only written one other - Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista - but hopefully there will be lots more to come!
All I Want for Christmas is a light and enjoyable read. It won't stretch you too much as a reader, but in the run up to Christmas, with so much else going on, it was perfect reading material.
The paperback version of All I Want for Christmas is currently available on Amazon for only £4.49 (January 2011).
This review has previously appeared under my name at www.thebookbag.co.uk
When I first started reading this I thought it was the usual chick lit where it would be heart warming but predictable, I was wrong! It actually had serious issues in it such as alcoholism and dealing with grief, but still managed to stay heartwarming and positive and to have a happy ending.
One novel aspect I really did like was the recipes inside the story, although my diet didn't thank them as I was hungry every time I read one, it gave me the urge to get in the kitchen afterwards and try to create some of them myself. The characters were also easy to relate to, as unlike in some books I've read recently they weren't 'perfect' they all had their flaws but I found myself liking them in some instances because of these flaws rather than in spite of them.
It really was the perfect book to curl up with on a chilly day, and I read it in one day as I couldn't put it down, and I'm definitely planning to read more by the same author.
Don't usually read this sort of lighthearted book, but I must say I enjoyed it. It was very predictable, but still pleasing. I liked Chloe, she's bitchy & feisty and takes no nonsense from anyone. Olivia is a bit too sweet for me. My only complaint is that whoever proof read this before printing needs new specs. My copy is littered with spelling, grammar & punctuation mistakes. One or two wouldn't bother me, but there were so many it tended to distract me from the story. Overall, I liked the story & the characters, but disliked the mistakes.
Bea is about to spend her first Christmas with her baby son Luca, but it's going be a bittersweet Christmas for the pair of them. Bea's Italian café The Honey Pot and is as usual doing a booming business, and she loves the characters she meets along the way. Outside, with just 12 days to go until Christmas, Olivia ends up on the pavement after nearly being run over. She's taken inside The Honey Pot by Bea and is taken care of, but is she running away from the pressure of hosting her fiancé's entire family for Christmas? Then there's Chloe whose relationship with Michael seems to be falling apart at the special time of year. She's lonely, she wants to enjoy her man but hates that he has to go back to his family every night instead of being with her.With just 12 days to go until Christmas, will the lives of Bea, Olivia and Chloe be sorted out and will they all get their Merry Christmas?
I read and adored Amy Silver's debut novel Confessions of a Reluctant Recessionista last winter, so when I heard Amy was back this winter, this time with a festive themed book, I was really excited to get my hands on a copy as soon as possible! I think the cover is absolutely gorgeous, the publishers have really hit the nail on the head with this one! It suits the book perfectly, it matches the story, it looks festive, and it's just gorgeous to look at! It did seem that this book was going to be totally different from her first, but I love when authors do something different, so I excitedly began this book, and just couldn't put it down, it's fabulous.
The book is centred around the character of Bea, a single woman who owns The Honey Pot cafe, a small cafe in London. Bea is very lonely - she has her young son to keep her company, but she really finds solace in her workplace, making new recipes and cooking for everyone else whilst letting her social life fall apart around her. After a chance meeting with customers Chloe and Olivia, she begins to realise that the cafe isn't everything, and she needs company around her too. Bea is the perfect lead character, she is so warm, you can't help but love her. We know there is something traumatic in her past, but Silver chooses to unravel this slowly throughout the book instead of divulging it straight away at the beginning, and I think this was a great idea because it really kept my interest and I was desperate to know what happened in Bea's past to make her so sad, especially at Christmas.
The other 2 main characters of the book were extremely well written as well, and enjoyable to read about. Chloe is a very successful banker, but her personal life is a mess. She is having an affair with a married man, unashamedly so but hates having to lose him to his family. After finding out she has to spend Christmas alone once more, Chloe begins to question everything about her life from her relationship to her job, and the fact she doesn't have friends. When Olivia and Bea start to talk to Chloe, is she going to let the women in or is she going to push them away again? Olivia is the other lady in the book, and one I found slightly harder to warm to. Olivia is happily settled with her boyfriend, but seems to be getting cold feet about everything. Olivia had a really negative attitude about everything, I only liked her when she was around Bea because she seemed to come out of herself then.
This book is a great book, and being set around Christmas time makes it all the more special. The fact Bea works at a cafe allows for plenty of interaction between the characters who otherwise wouldn't know each other, and it shows us how we can meet someone special when we least expect it if we are nice to people. The Christmas feel runs right through the book, with each of the characters preparing for it in a 12 day run up to Christmas which is how the book is divided up - each chapter is part of the countdown i.e. Chapter 1 is 12 days to go. I really loved how Bea's story is revealed slowly through the book, I thought I had guessed it but when it was revealed, it was very emotional and definitely choked me up, probably because I felt so much for Bea reading her story. The stories are very emotional for all 3 characters, but especially Bea.
I really cannot recommend this book enough to fans of Christmas themed books because you will absolutely love it! The writing is so easy to read, and the first person narrative for Bea, and third person narrative for Olivia and Chloe allow the reader to really get involved with Bea yet observe Chloe and Olivia enough to know their stories and care about them. I found the switch in narration very easy to read and I loved the different viewpoints it therefore offered. You feel the spirit of Christmas coming through, and there is a sweet message at the heart of this about being kind to strangers and finding friends where you least expect them, and Bea's story is the most touching of all, and very, very heart-warming. Adorable, and a wonderful read. I loved it!
ISBN: 978-0099553229. Published by Arrow in November 2010. Pages: 336. RRP: £6.99.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitreviews.com
Thank you for reading.