Christmas is a wonderful time of year, of course, but a busy one, and if you’re an avid reader like me, you can end up feeling a little bereft come the New Year: what happened to the time to yourself you dreamt of when you would curl up and get lost in a romance novel? This short-story collection is the perfect answer – offering quick-grab romance stories on a Christmas theme.
The author suggests in her foreword:
‘[T]he point of A Christmas Feast is that it’s full of little treats – stories you might have time to read while you’re waiting for the mince pies to brown or for the bath to run.’
Of course, I’ve devoured this ‘feast’ pre-Christmas, but I do think the book would lend itself well to offering a little escape here and there over the holiday season. The style is easy to read, and the stories easy to dip in and out of. Some are longer; some are like a magazine story.
I really like the feel of the writing: it’s not frivolous and silly, but warm and witty with the odd touch of poignancy. The stories just the right picks for the season. I especially enjoyed one that is centred on two strangers getting snowed in together in the wilds of Scotland. There’s quite a cast of characters through the collection, but I liked them all. I was intrigued by the professions the author incorporates – the publisher’s PR girl trying to handle a difficult author; the charity-shop worker dealing with what on first glance seems to be a very grumpy man; the newspaper reporter working undercover in a hotel kitchen. My absolute favourite story involves a rather uptight woman learning from a passionate Italian man how one should really eat – cue mouth-watering descriptions!
For me, the most wonderful part of the book is the theming. The stories have been pulled together to offer a Christmas feast to the reader, and so they are organised as courses:
Champagne and canapés
Coffee and chocolate truffles
That alone feels delightfully indulgent.
A lovely book to pick up as a gift for a female friend or relative this Christmas – or, better yet, a gift to yourself. Think of it as your sanity saver for the holidays!
A Christmas Feast is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.