Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Book Review - Coming Home For Christmas by Patricia Scanlan - Paperback Summer

Amazon UK
Title: Coming Home For Christmas
Author: Patricia Scanlan
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Competition Win
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 20th November 2014
Rating: 3 Stars

Two sisters ...two very different lives. Alison's American dream is in tatters. Her highflying career is on the skids and her Upper East Side apartment is now way beyond her means. But pride prevents her from telling her family back home just how bad things are. Olivia is fraught trying to juggle family, career, preparations for Christmas and organize a surprise party for their mother's seventieth birthday. How she envies, and sometimes resents, her sister Alison and her life of excitement and affluence in New York. Coming home for the holidays is the last thing Alison wants to do, especially now that she's met a rather attractive neighbour. But family ties are strong. Alison and Olivia must sort their differences, throw a party and Christmas might just bring changes for Alison that she could never have imagined ...

I absolutely love Christmas books, so have been looking forward to reading this one for a while. Despite the word Christmas in the title, I did not feel remotely festive reading this. I was a lovely story about family and friendship, but although it takes place over Christmas, I didn't remotely feel like the magic of the festive period was present in this book. 

This is a relatively short book at only 260 pages of the story, so nowhere near the size of a typical Patricia Scanlan. It does contain the sort of story that is usual of the author, with an extended family in Ireland, but ultimately I feel it could have been so much more. It does show great promise as a story, but never really gets going properly. 

I loved the budding friendship between Alison and JJ her Irish neighbour in New York, and when Alison does return to Ireland, the strengthening of family relationships building throughout her stay, especially with her 3 wonderful nieces. I loved the three little girls, as well as Uncle Leo who was a marginally eccentric relative but with a heart of gold. 

There are various topics that are touched upon, but none of them in enough depth. I will admit though towards the end of the book there were tears pricking my eyes, so I was definitely involved with the story, even if I didn't think it was fabulous. 

Coming Home For Christmas, is an enjoyable story, but nowhere near Patricia Scanlan's usual standards (which are incredibly high). 

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