Before I write this review I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year! I thought what better way to end this joyous day than with a small review of a festive book called Coming Home for Christmas written by Julia Williams.
Coming Home for Christmas is the first ‘Christmassy’ book that I’ve read and I must say I was extremely pleased! It is a fun-filled, warm and comforting story that emphasises the importance of residing in a close-knit community alongside loving family and friends who bring out the best of Christmas for you. It was only after reading the book that I found out that it was the third one in a series written by Williams in the same town and on the same characters. However, when I was reading the book I didn’t have the slightest inkling that I was missing out on things that perhaps the previous books had covered. So kudos to Williams for writing in such a manner that each book is able to stand alone defiantly.
Coming Home for Christmas covers the lives of Cat, Pippa and Marianne over the span of a year which initiates from Christmas day. All three friends live in the small town of Hope Christmas and are facing different battles of their own. Pippa is in an emotional turmoil regarding her broken marriage and the possibility of moving on with someone new whilst considering ways to save her family farm. Marianne is struggling to keep a hold over her steady household while her husband’s ex wife comes down to stay with them for a while and Cat is struggling to balance her work-life with her boisterous and evergreen family life (which includes an unexpected yet loving granddaughter who takes up most of her time).
Including the three characters, their families and other vital characters from the community, William’s book is loaded with a huge cast of characters with different personalities and different walks of life that really help bring the story together.
Williams takes her readers on a journey from Christmas day while paving a way for the next one through vital events that shape and mould the lives of central characters. There are a lot of ongoing themes within this book which I feel Williams covers with utmost care such as; depression, mental health, disability, teenage pregnancies and so on.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the book but it didn’t satisfy the level of festivity that I was expecting. I presumed (because of the flashy cover, title and blurb) that the story would be a little more Christmassy and was disappointed when the actual celebration was over within the first few pages.
Williams writes extremely well and she is well-apt in being able to cover a wide range of stories within just one, however, the level of empathy induced through her words was also less than what I had expected. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting as I’ve never really read a Christmas-themed book before. But, if I were to ground it on a familiar feeling them I’d base it on the Christmas movies that I watch. Comparatively, I was hoping for something that made me feel giddy with warmth and excited for Christmas. This one didn’t manage to do that completely.
Nevertheless, it was a good read and was entertaining all the same so I would give it a 3/5.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas everyone and a happy new year!
Until next week,