Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas at the Crescent

Christmas at the Crescent by Veronica Henry
E-Book, 83 pages

Published 7th November 2013 by Hachette

adult-fiction, arc-or-review, books-i-own, chick-lit, christmas-books, read, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction, short-stories
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

Behind the gorgeous Georgian sweep of Pelham Crescent, Bath, everyone's getting ready for Christmas...

At Number 14, Josie Ballard is up to her ears in brandy, raisins and cherries as she battles to make forty Christmas puddings to sell at Bath Christmas Market. Ever since Giles walked out the day their baby was born, Josie has had to work twice as hard to make ends meet. Sacrificing a career as a chef, her famous steamed puddings keep her and her gorgeous baby boy Titus afloat. Almost. So when, in the middle of Stir Up Sunday, a new neighbour in the Crescent complains about the noise that Titus is making, Josie gives him a basinful...

Giles, meanwhile, is finding life in the fast-lane with his uber-glamorous new girlfriend Rebecca rather draining. With one party blurring into another, he's now wondering if he hasn't made a terrible mistake in abandoning Josie and his child. Isn't it time he grew up, his mother asks, and Giles is starting to agree. So when he discovers Josie has a handsome new neighbour, Giles decides it's time to step up to his parental duties...

Christmas just got complicated.

I am not one that usually reads eBooks, but even I couldn't resist a copy of a Christmas read! As you will all know by now, I love seasonal reading and thought that a short story would be a great way to slowly ease myself into the festive spirit! Christmas at the Crescent was a great choice as, though it would be nice to read any time of year, it had just the right amount of festivity.

Christmas at the Crescent is the first book I've read by Veronica Henry and I'm sure it won't be the last. For the most part, I enjoyed the writing and I think that she managed to create some solid characters and a vivid setting very well in such a short story. The pace was leisurely and pleasantly constant meaning that the story held my attention throughout. Although it was very easy to read and understand, at some points I felt as though some of the words that were used were a little grandiloquent and unneeded, losing the fluidity of the writing.

The story introduces to a flat in Pelham Crescent, home to Josie, a single mother devoted to her child, Titus, and baking. Josie is still slightly struggling with coming to terms with living alone since her ex-partner (Giles) left her on their child's birthday to live with the more outgoing and charismatic Rebecca. During this 'noella', we get to explore Josie's relationship with herself, her child, Giles and the man that has been living in the flat above her, Harry the script writer. I really enjoyed reading about all of the characters and exploring the chemistry between them.

Our protagonist, Josie, was a pleasure to get to know. Josie is one of those characters that is simply lovely, she seemed so authentic and I loved her down to earth personality. She is definitely a character that's both easy to sympathise with and to relate to. I wholeheartedly wished her well and was hoping the best for her.

I also had a real soft spot for Harry. I found him to be really interesting - I would have loved to have been able to read more about him and get some proper closure from his character at the end. On the other hand, I realise that this slight mystery is what made him an attractive character and this was a short story, so maybe I'm just being a bit greedy!

Overall, Christmas at the Crescent was the perfect start to my 2013 festive reading. This book is heartwarming, fun and atmospheric. If you're a fan of festive fiction or haven't tried any at all, this would be the perfect introduction. Though I'm sure that this read would be enjoyable all year round, it had that fantastic festive edge and is sure to get you into the Christmas spirit if you read it this December!


  1. Oh, I want to read this!! thanks so much for this lovely review, sounds like just the thing I need.

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