Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Book Review - It's A Wonderful Life by Julia Williams - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title:  It's A Wonderful Life 
Author: Julia Williams
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 3rd November 2016
Rating: 4 Stars

A sparkling new Christmas novel from Julia Williams.

Christmas with the family. Cosy, relaxing…and a total nightmare?

Driving home for Christmas, Beth has everything she wants. The kids and the house, the career and the husband. So why is it that when the New Year comes, she can’t stop thinking about her old college boyfriend?

Her husband Daniel is tasked with bringing a struggling school up to scratch, but when family life catches up to him, can he be a good father and a good teacher at the same time?

Beth’s sister Lou has just been dumped…again. Single and childless, she can’t help but be jealous of her sibling’s success. But is the grass really always greener?

It’s a Wonderful Life is a heart-warming novel about the lives that could have been, and what happens when you start to question the choices you made…

Despite the Christmas tree on the front cover, I'd say this is, but isn't a Christmas book. In some respects it definitely could be classed as one, the book starts at Christmas time, however  the bulk of the story if the following year in its entirety.  But yet it is also a Christmas book, due to Beth. 

Beth writes and illustrates picture books for kids, and her latest one is based on the nativity story, with a little angel, and she has got blocked on her creativity for it, with her new editor, so interspersed with the main story we get excerpts from the Christmas story and also the comments from her publisher's. 

Although it isn't the main story it does add some light relief over what is a difficult year in the life of the starring family. The narrative is split into three key viewpoints, Beth, her husband Daniel and her younger sister Lou. Between them they tell the story of all manner of relationships, with the inherent ups and downs of them. 

I felt as thought I really got to know Beth's family, and although I didn't always like all the members, or their decisions I think there were certainly redeeming qualities and for a change in a book I didn't outright hate anyone. Beth has two teenage children, who both cause the sorts of worries you would expect, and with Daniel being the new head teacher at the local school, he is stressed with OFSTED worries. 

The first Christmas in the story provides the first surprises and really sets the tone for the whole story, as it sets Beth, Lou and Ged (their brother) reeling. 

I really did enjoy It's A Wonderful Life and its always a pleasure to read a new book from Julia Williams. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Avon for my copy of this book. This was my honest opinion. 

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