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Fairytale of New York - Miranda Dickinson

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Miranda Dickinson / Paperback / Book is published 2009-11-12 by AVON, a division of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

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      06.09.2014 12:14
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      Shocking excuse for a book

      Unfortunately the negative reviews that I have read of this book are pretty accurate. The writing is patchy and very weak, I simply could not relate to any of the characters in the book as they seemed very over dramatic and unrealistic. The plot was non-existent and very drawn out, I think that you could expect more from a GCSE english student.

      The main character is this book is called Rosie Duncan, a British florist working in New York. I found it very hard to relate to this character several times throughout the book she got on my nerves. I found her melodramatic and immature. The only thing that kept me reading the book was constant references to a 'Big Secret' that explains how Rosie came to New York in the first place. Without ruining the story the 'Big Secret' is pathetic-it is laughable. It's almost offensive when you realise how she has reacted following this 'secret' and appalling that a writer would justify such extreme behaviour following that event! The other characters behave just as ridiculously in response and to be honest after the secret was revealed I wanted to give up!! The ending is completely predictable and finished the story on a very dull note, however at this point I was very disillusioned anyway. The book is full of cliche anecdotes, stero types and 'sickly' sweet dialogue that just makes it feel quite immature!

      I have read many chick lit novels from various authors and always thought that I was a laid back reader able to pick up almost any book and enjoy it. I certainly would not even entertain the idea of reading anything else from this author and would encourage other readers to pick up something else.

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      08.03.2012 19:43
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      Not recommended!

      Fairytale of New York is a chick-lit book by Miranda Dickinson. The book was released in the United Kingdom in 2009. I bought my copy from The Works as part of a '2 books for £3' offer which I thought was excellent value for money.

      The Plot: Meet Rosie, a British florist who has moved to New York. She runs a florist. Before coming to New York, she was in Boston where she suffered a terrible heartbreak. Since then she has found it hard to move on? What will happen when she's reunited with her past? Read Fairytale of New York to find out!

      First of all, I am a very fast reader - I can get through a novel in a couple of days and so I was surprised to discover that it took me a few weeks to finish this book - I just did not have the 'urge' to pick up the book and read it. In fact picking up to read was actually a bit of a chore for me. I only continued reading it because I didn't want to 'give in' beings as I had started reading it.

      Don't be fooled by the cover!! It is such a pretty and girlie looking cover that I thought that the book was going to be perfect read. It turned out to be a really boring read, and one that I would not recommend.

      I thought that the plot was different, even though it kept along the lines of the typical chick-lit book. The plot was ok - I think it was the bits surrounding the plot that put me off. I didn't understand why the character couldn't have come straight from Britain, why she had to go to Boston first?

      The book was written in first person from the main character's perspective. This allowed us to get to know Rosie really well. The other characters I found were a bit dull; Ed seemed like a fussy old character, Marnie seemed in a world of her own, and Celia reminded me of someone not to trust (even though she was ok). I thought that Nate was going to be a nice guy; obviously not and I couldn't trust David either. So all in all, not a great bunch of characters.

      I did find the book to be quite annoying. The first and major thing which really annoyed me about the book was Rosie's 'big, massive, secret'. Throughout the book Rosie refers to the big secret which changed her life - I couldn't wait to find out what this big secret was and this was one of the only reasons I continued reading the book. Rosie also annoyed me at how 'affected' she was by the big event - quite spoilt in a way - 'oh my god I can't believe you just said that and you know what happened'. It got me thinking 'oh my god, what did happen?' and when I found out, how disappointed I was. All I could think was 'is that it?'.

      Rosie's brother makes an appearance in the book and for what reason I do not know. When I first started reading when he had come to visit, I thought 'ooh this is going to be something big to do with the story' - it wasn't and the part about what he did just sounded so stupid and over the top.

      Also, Rosie made such a big fuss of how she was worried about her brother, yet she soon forgot about him. Also, he didn't say goodbye, he just disappeared, and Rosie didn't even mention that he had gone or wondered where he was?

      Another annoying thing about the book; Rosie's overuse of 'mate'. I mean come on, who actually uses the word 'mate'. It seemed to be repeated over and over again to remind the reader that the character is British, but I mean who uses the word 'mate' here anyway, especially women?

      The main character is a florist and sometimes I found that the author went on and on just a bit too much about the colours of flowers a certain customer chose blah blah blah and I just thought 'get on with the story'. I don't know anything about flowers and so I didn't really care.

      This wasn't the kind of book I could read whilst relaxing. When I'm reading chick-lit books I like to just let the writing 'take me' and not have to think too much. However, I found I had to think a lot and really concentrate when reading this book. Some parts I had to re-read again because I had lost concentration which was annoying.

      The book is very predictable - I knew what was going to happen - apart from the 'big secret' and I predicted the ending long before the ending happened.
      Thanks for reading!
      March 2012
      Xdonzx / xd-o-n-z-x

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        30.12.2011 08:18

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        I bought this book a couple of months ago when I spotted it in the book chart in Asda. I have been to New York myself and I find that a lot of the books I have read over the last few years have been set in New York. Not sure why, but it is a nice City to read about through a book as well I feel.

        This book is mainly about a woman called Rosie. Rosie is english but she went to live in New York to work as a Florist and live out the perfect life (I wished I could just up and off like what most people in books seem to do). Rosie's Florist business seems to be doing really well and she is happy in the life that she is in. Things are working out great. Rosie is quite a private person when it comes to her feelings. She moved away from england for a reason and although you are kept guessing for a good while you find out a bit behind it. There is hints through the book, and since Rosie is single and not keen to commit to a man then you can kind of piece things together in that way. Rosie's friends are a bit different to her, but they support her choices and even they can't seem to get the truth of what made Rosie come to New York. Will her past follow her to New York? You will have to read the book and find out.

        I think I have read another book by this author but I can't think what it is called (doesn't sound memorable does it?). I liked the writing style of this author, but she isn't my favourite author out there. Although this definitely fits into the stereotypical chick lit bracket of book, I still do prefer the writing of authors like carmen Reid and Sophie Kinsella, but this was an enjoyable book nonetheless.

        I've read this once but don't feel the need to read it again which is nothing new when it comes to me and books - usually once is enough and there is only a few that I would read over and over again.

        I would recommend this if you like Belinda Jones and Jane Green books.

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        07.02.2010 18:00
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        An easy to read, absorbing story.

        Rosie Duncan is a British girl living in the city of New York. A talented florist taken under the wing of Mr Kowalski, she flourishes when he hands the business over to her. Alongside her friends and colleagues Marnie and Ed she makes the business into the most desirable florist in New York. However whilst her work life goes from strength to strength her personal life remains an area of upset and uncertainty. For Rosie carries around a secret which has locked itself around her heart and is now preventing anyone from getting in, even the friends she is supposedly so close to. In the midst of her business success will she have the courage to face up to the past and move on? Will she finally find the love she claims not to want or need or will her past continue to prevent her moving happily into her future?

        I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was a breezy read that I couldn't put down, ideal for reading on holiday.

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          05.02.2010 20:49
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          A Chic-lit with a bit of comedy, romance mixed together

          Fairytale Of New York is the first book I have read by Miranda Dickinson. If this book is anything to go by, I will be reading more of her books, as I could not put this book down. The book is your typical chic-lit style book but has been beautifully written. With a mixture of romance, drama


          **Characters**

          Rosie is the main character of the book. She is the boss of Kowalski flower shop but she has closed her heart not letting anyone get close because of her past in Boston.

          Ed is Rosie's co-designer at Kowalski and also one of Rosie's best friends always there to help her and fight her corner. He is a serial dater until he decides he has found his special someone.

          Marnie is the third worker at Kowalski who makes up the "Kowalski family". She seems to be unlucky in love and has a soft spot for the flower delivery guy but is sure he doesn't feel the same way

          Celia is Rosie's best friend the first friend she made when she came to New York and s the only one here who knows of Rosie's bad past. She is a journalist who has been single for a long time after her partner just up and left.

          Nate becomes one of Rosie's friends but is unsure of his feelings as he is pushed into an engagement which he is not sure he wants to be in.


          **Plot**


          After a bad event in Rosie's life in Boston she flees to New York to make a fresh start where nobody knows her. She soon makes friends with the lovely Celia. She lands a job at the Kowalski flower shop and makes a special bond with the owner Mr Kowalski who noticed her natural talent with flowers. When Mr Kowalski past away it was up to Rosie to take on the flower shop. With two co-workers Ed and Marnie who become special friends, alongside her she started to make a flourishing business.
          As they take on bigger functions new friendships are made with Nate. But a problem arises when Nate asks Rosie to do a function for a friend as her past comes back to haunt her.


          **My Opinion**


          I honestly could not put this book down. The way this book was written was beautiful. The way the characters are described you feel as if you are a part of the story and genuinely care what happens to the characters. The scene of the story is described well so you feel when the story comes back to the flower shop that you have returned home.
          This is a chic-lit book and contains your usual romance but I think everyone will be able to relate to this story as it has love and relationships in different situations from the serial dater to the scared to love again and unlucky in love which one are you.

          Right up until the last chapter you are still on the edge of your seat as you still have no idea which way the story is going to go and who will end up happy in the end.


          **Price**

          This book retails at £6.99, but I got it in WH Smiths as a buy one get one half price offer. I can tell you it is well worth every penny.

          I would highly recommend this book and will be looking forward to reading more of Miranda Dickinson books.

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            21.01.2010 10:55
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            Please read above this is an amazing book

            First of all I must thank the dooyoo review writers for suggesting to read this book because I have seen some good reviews about this when I saw it in Asda I just had to pick it up to see if it was really that good.

            This book is written Miranda Dickinson who is an English woman with a university degree. She has always wanted to write a book of her own and this is the first one that she has ever written.

            In the front of the book there is the normal thank you's to the people who made it possible for her to write the story and the people who influenced her into writing. The special thing about the thank you's in this book is that she starts by saying them to the readers you and me. I have never seen an author thank the purchaser for the book and this is a nice personal touch because we are the people that are making her the money after all.

            This is a story about a young woman that moves from England to America to live. She owns her own flower shop and has some wonderful people working with her. She has wonderful friends and finds new ones along her way. She is hiding a big secret that needs to unfold and her brother is hiding one too. She thinks moving to the states is the best decicion she has ever made will she get her happy ever after that she dreamt of? Is her dream life going to be shattered or will it all work out for the best?

            I really enjoyed this book for so many reasons and it only took me 2 days to read it which is amazing when having children but I found at 11 o clock at night I was struggling to put this book down. I really wanted to know what her secret was which kept me going, this is a really good aspect of Mirandas writing because she kept me gripped. Then their was the secret that her brother had got so this kept me reading too. The stories that her customers told her were amazing and this gave a nice insite into peoples lives and kept the book interesting a different throughout. Her friends lives were also highlighted in the story too and how they dealt with situations, it was like reading about 5 different peoples lives not just Rosies who is the main charactor.

            The way that Miranda caught the atmosphere of New York was brilliant it sounded magical and made me feel like I was there with her, the sights that she saw the places she visited, at one point I could smell the food and the coffee that she was describing. I have to say that coffee played a big part in this book it made me feel as if the whole of New York drank lots of fresh coffee. The coffee machines were mentioned in almost every page but this didn't seem a bad point to be honest.

            I think Miranda Dickinson is a wonderful writer that definately caught my attention and kept it with this book. I liked her English refrences in the book because it related to how we speak and how different we are to the Usa. The way she descibed Rosie with being positive all the time and that things work out eventually made me realise that I too am like that and aparently all English people are like that too. I like the way the problems that she faced were descibed. She didn't use too many long words it was written well but simply. This made it more of an enjoyable book for me to read because I could understand it much better.

            This is a Harper Collins book that was published in 2009. It is the very fist book that she has written. In the front if gives you som information about Miranda that she has always wanted to write a book that would make the heady hights of kingswinford library. She studdied a Performance Art degree then started writing when a friend gave her the slowest pc. She is also a singer-songwriter. You can find out more about her by visiting her web site www.miranda-dickinson.com.

            This book is amazing and highly recommended by me for all the women who love a good love story and a bit of drama. I found it moving and influential. I felt that it was a true life book rarther than a fictional one and get the feeling that Miranda has been to New York to be able to describe it so well. In the back of her book it gives you some pages from her next book that really does look interesting too. I can not wait to get her new book and only hope that it is a gripping and moving as the first. I love the magical sceen and feeling of the cover of the book too this has been a really big selling point for me I couldn't miss it on the shelf.

            This cost me 2 books for £7 in asda so it was a steal and well worth reading. Sorry if I have board you with this review and I hope I haven't given too much away. I advise for anyone who loves a love story to read this and hope they enjoy it as much as I did.

            Thank you for reading :-)

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              14.01.2010 04:23
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              Curl up with this in bed, it's the perfect book to induce sweet dreams!

              Have you ever dreamed of going to New York? If you haven't, I bet you know a girl who has! This book is set around the idea that all girls secretly want to go, and follows English rose Rosie Duncan. She has a successful florists, and some of the best friends a girl could want. So why doesn't she have a man?

              The truth is, Rosie ran away to Manhattan when her ex broke her heart, six years ago. Despite her friends, including the funny and hopeless in love Marnie, complete commitmentphobe Ed and scary Celia, demanding she stay, Rosie decides love isn't worth the pain, and disappears to start a new life. And it was going well, until she met the rather sexy Nate...

              Of course, no woman can stay emotionless forever, although Rosie certainly tries! As her old life begins to catch up with her, Rosie learns that she can't run away from her problems. Dickinson has a way with words, however, and rather then feeling like you are reading an unoriginal chick lit, it feels brand new. Rosie is charming, and the story sparkles with humour and wit, although at some points I did feel very sorry for Rosie, and at times, Nate.

              Her friends are perfect for injecting humour, and the book is full of a charming innocence which is missing from most modern chick lits. Rather then swearing off men and sleeping with hundreds, Rosie is the kind of character all girls will relate too, and that makes the book much more readable. There's no graphic sex scenes to worry about, which was a refreshing change, and romance is alive and well!

              This book is perfect for those nights when you want to curl up in bed and escape from the world.

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              12.01.2010 13:42
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              A great book and one which would be ideal as a holiday read.

              I received this book as a stocking filler for christmas and read it in 3 days flat which shows, I guess how much I enjoyed it, although I have to say this is in no way a challenging read at all.

              Plot
              ====

              Rosie Duncan is an English born woman living in New York with some major relationship hang ups and an evidently massive secret about her history and what led her to be living here in the first place. She runs a succesful and growing florists and is perfectly happy with her life as it is, content never to confront her demons or her past and carry on avoiding anything that may turn into a relationship.

              The story follows Rosie as she has a blast from the past, embarks on a potentially fruitful new relationship and is forced to deal with the problems she has been hiding from, all against a wonderful backdrop of New York parties, social events and business engagements.

              Characters
              ========

              Rosie Duncan - The protagonist, florist, English rose and secretive lady all round.

              Ed Steinberg - Rosie's co-designer at the florists and very close friend who has a reputation as a womaniser and has a different date for every night of the week. With Rosie he is very protective but does not know what the dark secret of her past is.

              Marnie - The vibrant young staff member at the florists who livens the place up and is consistently unlucky in love despite her best attempts. She is also quirky and fond of vintage clothes but a wise head on young shoulders.

              Celia - Rosie's best friend since arriving in NYC, Celia is a constant presence in her life, a loud and successful journalist who is a queen on the social scene and knows anyone who is anyone. Through her links she provides Rosie with some key business and personal contacts which lead to the major events in the story.

              Nate - Engaged to a well known New York socialite and heiress, Nate meets Rosie at one of Celia's parties and a friendship quickly strikes up. It becomes apparent that he is rather trapped in his relationship and the spark he has with Rosie begins to cause problems for them both.


              The Good
              ========

              This really is a very easy to read and enjoyable romp, one of those books which feel indulgent to read and where you could actually just read them in one sitting if you put your mind to it. The story is quite interesting and the outcome is heartwarming (if rather predictable!).

              I liked the background action being set in a family florists and all the history of it being handed down to Rosie by Mr Kowalski, the detail was nice and thorough and it really built a good picture of the shop and its vibrant staff and customers, as well as tangling in a good measure of lessons about life and love.

              The strength of Rosie's character is quite appealing as a woman, I loved the fact she was out there doing it on her own and not afraid to be so far from home and I liked to believe that it really is that easy to do so.


              The Bad
              ======

              I did find it incredibly predictable from about a third of the way in (although this did not stop me enjoying it) and could see certain things coming a mile off although I got the impression it was not supposed to be that transparent.

              The ending was also something I foresaw and hoped to be right on from about halfway through. Whilst this is a shame, I do think it did not stop the book from being heartwarming and a joy to read.

              Some of the events were a bit too twee for my liking and the whole 'being stalked by the press' section felt a bit too unbelievable.


              Overall
              ======

              For me this is a perfect holiday book but it is one that you will demolish very quickly. Totally enjoyable and generally very well written. There is just the right amount of key characters for you to warm to each and for them to be distinct and yet necessary to the story.

              A great first attempt at a novel, I can see Miranda Dickenson going far in the chick lit field.

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                03.01.2010 16:21
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                A sparkling and exciting read

                English girl Rosie Duncan carries the burden of a terrible secret, which caused her to uproot her life in Boston and flee to New York, to start a brand new life.

                In her new city, she changes career and begins working for Mr Kowalski as a florist, eventually taking over the shop as her own. And so her secret remains just that for six whole years.

                Supported by her eager assistants Ed and Marnie, life is sweet in the city that never sleeps, until a chance meeting means she has to face up to her past if she is ever to move on from her terrible ordeal.

                Notoriously private, Rosie confides in few people, with the exception of her best friend, Journalist Celia.
                Despite Ed's constant badgering, Rosie is unable to open up about her past as she is fearful of being judged and dredging up painful memories.

                Instead she spends the majority of her life concentrating on her career and enjoying the social side of living in one of the worlds most exciting cities.

                That is until she begins a new frienship with the charismatic Nate, who in turn brings David in to her life, and so the turmoil begins.

                This is a great book and is certainly a page turner. On first impressions the cover of this novel led me to believe it was a Christmas book, based on the depiction of a snowy scene. Its not really very Christmassy but is very easy to read.

                Told in the first person, through the eyes of the central character, it avoids becoming confusing, as can be the case when two many stories entertwine.

                Painting a beautiful picture of New York, this story makes me want to run away and live there myself! The author has excellent descriptive skills and goes into great detail describing the city, the flowers and of course the characters.

                Remaining focussed on the main themes of friendships and relationships, the only moments where it loses its momentum slightly are when Rosies brother James enters the plot. His story is not relevent and not really interesting enough, so need not really have been included.

                But thats just me being picky. All in all I really enjoyed reading this book over Christmas, and while Rosie's secret isnt really that shocking, its still easy to see why it has affected her so badly.

                The characters in this book are very realistic and believable, from the promiscuous Ed to Marnie the romantic, and back again to cautious Rosie and ambitious Celia.

                All in all, a great debut from a natural writer.

                Information;

                Paperback
                Publisher: AVON, a division of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (November 12, 2009)
                Language: English
                ISBN-10: 1847561659
                ISBN-13: 978-1847561657

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                  09.11.2009 17:56
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                  Really fantastic debut.

                  Rosie Duncan left England six-and-a-half years ago to live in Boston. A short while later something truly awful happened to Rosie which forced her to leave Boston and she ended up in New York. New York quickly captured Rosie's heart and she found a job at Kowalski's, a florists, before eventally taking over from Mr K. Along with Ed and Marnie, her assistants at work, and best friend Celia, can Rosie move on from the past or is it about to come crashing down on her?

                  When I first heard of Fairytale of New York I thought it sounded fab and when I saw the cover I fell even more in love. It truly is a beautiful cover and I'm actually going to buy the book because my ARC doesn't have the cover on it, it's that good. I thought Fairytale of New York sounded incredibly intriguing and I love any story set in New York. It's a place I want to visit myself eventually.

                  Fairytale of New York is told entirely in the first person which is my preferred choice when our main character eclipses all of the other characters so it works incredibly well in this instance with Rosie being our main focus. The book starts as Rosie is on her way to see best friend Celia, a regular fixtures of theirs and Rosie is immediately likeable. As soon as I heard a whisper of there being something amiss in Rosie's life I wanted to know what it was. Rosie's secret is perhaps not as bad as I first thought, but it was quite heartbreaking for her to have to go through, so I could see why it affected her so much. Above all else, Rosie seemed incredibly real to me. I loved her cheery optimism even after everything that happened to her. More people could benefit from being a bit more optimistic like Rosie. I liked Celia, too, even if she is a journalist! She always seemed to have Rosie's interests at heart and I loved her for that.

                  During the first chapter we learn more about Rosie's florist business, Kowalski's, and how she came to own it. We find out that when Rosie first came to New York, Mr Kowalski took her in and made her feel welcome; so much so that Rosie looked at him as a father figure and eventually, when Mr K. retired, Rosie took over the business with Ed & Marnie. Mr K. isn't a present character in the book but I felt like he was there throughout. Rosie was always recalling things Mr K. said and I could see he'd made such an impact on Rosie's life. Never has a deceased character been so present in a book and I felt like I knew Mr K. Ed and Marnie are Rosie's work colleagues and I loved them both immediately. Marnie was hilarious and sounded like a friend everyone should have, she just seemed so full of life. As for Ed I loved him from the minute he appeared in the book. As Rosie said, Ed was so difficult to not like. Right from the off I saw something between him and Rosie and I hoped it would come to fruition in the end. My quest for those two to be together was impaired by the arrival of Nate Amies, who Rosie meets at an authors lunch. Nate was nice, don't get me wrong, and I loved his and Rosie's weekly chats with Old F. (the cofffee machine - a character in his own right!) providing the coffee, but I wanted Ed and Rosie to be together and Nate was someone in the way of that, an obstacle to be overcome I suppose. Don't get me wrong he was immensely likeable but too laidback for my liking.

                  It's actually Nate who brings Rosie's past speeding back to the present, although not purposely, when he asks Rosie to do the flowers for his friends' wedding. His friend turns out to be David, the mysterious man from Rosie's past who somehow or another made sure Rosie would swear off men. As I said above Rosie's secret didn't shock me but I understood perfectly what David had done to her and how it had had such a big effect on her. I liked that Rosie could, eventually, come through the other side of that. The ending was fantastic and although I guessed who it was sending the mystery flowers I still loved it.

                  There's also a small plotline involving Rosie's brother, James, which I didn't fully understand I have to admit. I'm not all that hot on anything even remotely political and it all seems to just wash over me. However I got the main jist and that little storyline didn't take a long time to end.

                  The thing that made the book for me, though, were the descriptions of New York and the descriptions of floristry in general. New York sounds like a fantastic city and Miranda must have really done her research as she brings New York to life. The descriptions of Kowalski's were also fantastic, as well as the flower arrangements made by Rosie, Ed and Marnie and again, it must have taken a huge amount of research, unless of course Miranda was a florist in a previous life. I hear a lot of how authors' descriptions of places are poetic and here I can see what makes people say that, Miranda's writing flows so well and the descriptions are so descriptive. I could also imagine Kowalski's as a real place and I could practically smell the flowers. Never has anybody made floristry sound so enticing.

                  Fairytale of New York is a truly great read. It flows well and all of the characters are fantastic. Miranda's writing is outstanding and I'm so pleased HarperCollins' imprint Avon picked this up from Authonomy. I felt involved throughout the book and there was nothing I didn't like about it. The whole book just flows so well and I found it a pleasure to read. This is without a doubt one of the best debut novels I have ever read. A fairytale read... if you will.

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