Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Holiday

The Holiday by Jane Green, Jennifer Coburn, Liz Ireland

Paperback, 400 pages

Published 8th November 2012 by Penguin

My shelves: adult-fiction, arc-or-review, books-i-own, christmas-books, mum-has, read, read-in-2012, realistic-fiction, short-stories
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

Number one best-seller Jane Green - author of The Beach House and Spellbound - and her friends bring you this enchanting trio of tales for the holiday season.

If you had one wish this Christmas, what would it be?

Sarah wishes not to be lonely. She shouldn't be - not with Eddie, her husband, and their two children by her side ... but since Sarah waved farewell to the bright lights of the big city and moved to a picture perfect home in the country, her marriage is missing its usual sparkle. So when Eddie's job takes him away from home shortly before Christmas, the enforced break in their relationship - while tricky - probably couldn't have come at a better time.

But will his absence make her heart grow fonder? And if so, for whom? As seasonal cheer begins to flow, Sarah discovers rather a lot can happen in one holiday ... especially when it's Christmas.

I had only read one book written by Jane Green prior to this one, but it didn't stop me being very excited to pick this one up! I really enjoyed Green's fun and relaxed style of writing in Jemima J, and was even more impressed with her latest release, The Holiday. I was also impressed with the other two short stories, The Second Wife of Reilly by Jennifer Coburn and Mistletoe and Holly by Liz Ireland.

I am not usually completely taken by short stories, I prefer the depth of a longer novel, but I am happy to say that I enjoyed this book a lot. Admittedly, I enjoyed Holiday  and Mistletoe and Holly substantially more than The Second Wife of Reilly, but it was always a pleasure to pick up this book for some light festive reading. This is a very unchallenging book and with it's very tame content, suitable for both young adults and adults alike.

In Holiday, our main characters are Sarah and Eddie, a couple who used to be blissfully in love, but unfortunately are struggling - both seem to have stopped caring for themselves as much as they used to, and Sarah feels as though she's become a one-parent family. When Eddie is offered a job away from home, the couple decide on a temporary break so that they can assess both their relationship and themselves. I liked the authenticity of this story - it seemed the most realistic of the three and had a good amount of substance. The relationship was really well explored and I also loved the extra element that the children added to the book. This was a really warming, festive start to the book and I couldn't wait to see what the next story brought!

The Second Wife of Reilly was the second short story in the book. In this story, we are introduced to Sarah, wife to Reilly, a nice, trustworthy man - the only problem is that she's worried that Prudence, his ex-wife might try to get back with him. Sarah, along with a friend, decides to try and find a partner for Prudence by pretending to be her on the internet. To be honest, the story was very farfetched and utterly unrealistic, yet it still managed to be readable - I found whole thing silly, yet humorous. This isn't a story that you'll enjoy if you're seriously analysing or criticising it, but as an unchallenging work of fiction, it's decent.

The final story in the book was Mistletoe and Holly. Holly and her childhood friend, Isaac, are heading home for Christmas with one difference this year - Holly is taking her new boyfriend, Jason, to meet her family. Unfortunately, Jason doesn't turn out to be as perfect as he first seems. This story is very predictable, but it is also very, very sweet which definitely outweighs the predictability! Though this story was a little more uneven, or not as solid, as Holiday, I did find this the most enjoyable story of the three. It was probably the most 'Christmassy' feeling of the three too, which meant it was a lovely ending to the book.

I would recommend this book to those who like festive reads and to anyone who likes chick-lit. It's not a perfectly written book, but it is perfectly enjoyable! I would certainly like to read more books by Jane Green in the future and I'm also interested in checking out more of Liz Ireland's work after this book. 


  1. Aww, sounds like a really cute book1 Now I wanna read it :D

  2. I love Jane Green but had no idea she wrote a holiday book! Definitely adding this one to my list. :) Great review, Stephanie!

  3. It’s exhausting to search out knowledgeable folks on this topic, but you sound like you recognize what you’re speaking about! Thanks
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