Monday, 31 December 2012

The Magic of Christmas

The Magic of Christmas by Trisha Ashley

Paperback, 388 pages

Published 1st October 2011 by Avon Books

My shelves: books-i-own, title-appeal, realistic-fiction, read-in-2012, let-down, disliked, christmas-books, chick-lit 
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Luckily she has welcome distraction in the Christmas Pudding Circle, a group of friends swapping seasonal recipes – as well as a rivalry with local cookery writer Nick over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show…

Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember!

Previously published as Sweet Nothings, Trisha has extensively reworked the original novel with fabulous new extra material.

My favourite Christmas book that I've read (so far!) is Trisha Ashley's Twelve Days of Christmas and so when I heard about her latest Christmas offering, The Magic of Christmas, I had to try it! To be honest, I was still a little wary as I have also read her book Chocolate Wishes which disappointed me - so one book I loved, one I wasn't so keen on. It felt as though this book ranked midway between those two books, unfortunately swaying on the lower side of quality.

The main thing that bothered me about this book was that I felt both the cover and title were misleading. As the book is called The Magic of Christmas and the cover is wonderfully adorned with a glittery winter scene, you'd think that the book was based around Christmas time and would give you a Christmassy feeling whilst reading it. Unfortunately, the book is mostly set during the rest of the year, with December only featuring in the (small) last part of the book. There are references to a 'Christmas Pudding Club' (CPC) throughout, but they don't seem all that significant. Credit where it's due, the ending of the book is full of Christmas spirit, but I only wish that I could've said that for a larger portion of the book.

The story centres around main character Lizzy who lives in the idyllic village of Middlemoss. Before she has a chance to leave her husband, tragedy strikes and she is left to deal with the consequences. It appears that her husband was having several affairs and so Lizzy isn't all that disappointed by his untimely end! Lizzy carries on with her life, having support from her friends in the CPC, her son Jasper, Nick the cookery writer and Ritch the soap actor. It's pretty obvious that Lizzy is going to have a relationship with Nick or Ritch, and it's easy predict who she chooses. 

Though I didn't particularly connect with any character, I did think that the chemistry between the characters was written really well. Each character was well thought out, but the problem was that there was too many characters for my liking - because of this, it was difficult to focus on one character in depth. The whole book seemed a bit rushed, random things kept popping up and the plot seemed like it was all over the place. 

I seem to have complained about this book a lot, but really it's not disastrous and I am sure that it will appeal to others. As aforementioned, I enjoyed the chemistry between the characters and the progression of relationships and friendships. It felt like I was reading a soap opera - if you don't mind the farfetched and like a lot of drama, you will probably enjoy this. If you're a fan of cookery, even better - there are even some recipes included as an added extra after the story has ended, which is a bonus.

Overall, I was quite disappointed with this book, but it wasn't terrible - I never had to force myself to read it and at least something was always happening! Chick-lit lovers should still give this a try at any time of the year, however I would rather recommend Ashley's Twelve Days of Christmas which is on a completely different level to this one.


  1. It sounds like this book needed more Christmas but that it wasn't bad. I'm not that into Chick Lit anymore so I'll sit this one out.

  2. Oh that's too bad this didn't work out for you, Stephanie. It looks like you're reading another Christmas book so hopefully that one will be better. :)

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