Saturday, 10 November 2012

Review - With Love At Christmas by Carole Matthews

A festively fun read!

Carole Matthews is another of my all time favourite authors in the world having read every book she ever brought out.  Good job I’d read Milly Johnson’s A Winter Flame in a day so I could stick my beak into With Love At Christmas immediately.  

Juliet is many things to many people.  Firstly she’s mom of a lazy son who doesn’t want to work and treats the house like a hotel, and a daughter who already has one young child and another on the way, but who has taken the easy option and moved back in with in with Mom and Dad.

Then she’s wife of Rick, and daughter of her father Frank who is now living with the love of his life, and also of her mother Rita, who seems to be getting worse at knowing what day of the week or year it is let alone who everyone is. 

She’s also mother hen and chief cook and bottle washer at the estate agency that she works at lending a listening ear and advice to anyone who needs some help. 

The thing that Juliet loves most after her family, who she always puts first no matter how much they put on her, is Christmas.   And Christmas is getting closer and closer in this household and the preparations are well under way but what on earth will Christmas bring?  The book starts at the beginning of Juliet's preparations and ends on the evening of Christmas Day.

In true Carole Matthews style, this is yet another feel-good, romantic yet real, story of an adorable and wonderful lady whose life is her family.  A Mom that you want to put your arms around and give a great big hug to and know that if you are upset about something, she’ll do everything in her power to help you.  She really was the most wonderful character.  A character who is familiar, warm, hospitable, loving and inspirational.  Just how I feel that a Mom should be!  I think I recognised all the qualities that my lovely Mom had too! It’s no wonder that I miss her with all my heart! L  

As usual for Carole, there were hilariously funny instances all the way through the book and moments when you want to shout at Juliet not to let people take advantage and also shout at those others to pull themselves together and not to put on her. 

I loved the relationship between her and her hubby, trying to find snatched moments while chaos rained around them.   I also loved the way that the book tackled some really serious issues such as marriage, relationships, sexuality, illness, deceit and death.  I particularly thought that the way Carole wrote about the fact that Juliet’s mother might be ill was excellent.  It explored a light-hearted but serious possibility of having to accept the inevitable.

I could honestly believe that I lived in this mad-house, felt that I was sat around the table on Christmas Day while all hell let loose and that I was part of this completely bonkers but totally loveable family.  It also reminded me just how much I miss my Mom and the family Christmasses that she hosted!

This was a really entertaining, funny, warm, emotional and really, really adorable, fantastically festive read that has really got me in the Christmas mood.  Can’t believe it’s only November!  Come on Christmas – hurry up please!

Carole Matthews is the Sunday Times best selling author of 18 previous novels which have been translated into many languages and sold to Hollywood. When she entered a short story competition in Writing Magazine, she couldn't believe that she had won a thousand pounds! She spent this money on a writing course (much to everyone's surprise!). The tutor on the course liked what she was writing and recommended an agent who took her on straight away. She sold her first book, which became Let’s Meet on Platform 8 (a fabulous read and one of my most favourite ever books by the way!) a week later.


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Anonymous said...

I have this book in a pile by my bed. Really loving Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson books right now.

CJ x

Chelsey said...

I just finished this book and I absolutely loved it! Great blog!

New follower :)

Chelsey@Charming Chelsey's