Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements
Paperback, 320 pages

Published 25th October 2013 by Quercus

Shelves: 
adult-fiction, books-i-own, chick-lit, christmas-books, mum-has, read, read-in-2013, realistic-fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description via Goodreads:

Childhood friends Laurie and Rachel's lives have taken very different paths since they picked up their A-level results together. Laurie is living in London and dedicated to her career, keeping track of her friends on Facebook. Rachel is seemingly living the family idyll in a cottage in Yorkshire - except she worries her marriage is starting to show cracks. When Rachel's mother in law falls ill and needs treatment in London, and Laurie decides she needs to get away for a break, a house swap falls into place. Soon Rachel is braving the mean streets of London while trying to keep her family together, while Laurie tries to figure out how to work an Aga and befriend the locals - and forget the man who seems intent on breaking her heart. Will their relationships survive this test? And will they make it home in time for Christmas?


After reading Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream this year, when I found out that the author, Abby Clements, had written a Christmas-themed book, I put it straight on my must-read list for this year's festive season. I bought the book a few months ago, but as soon as the calendar announced that it was December, I couldn't resist picking it up and reading it! This story leads up to Christmas day and certainly has the right amount of Christmas spirit! 

I really enjoyed the build up of the holiday excitement that this book created and the festive atmosphere that it conjured - it is a really good book to get you into the Christmas mood. This book doesn't drown you in Christmas though, so I think that it would be a fantastic read at any time of the year. 

Abby Clements has such a lovely way of writing. Her writing is simple, fluid and so easy to read, it's a page turner and very easy to lose track of time when you're reading. However, despite the simplicity, the book is not missing anything, nothing feels inadequate - there is just the right amount of substance and enough detail to make the characters seem authentic and the settings realistic. There are surprisingly quite a few different issues with different characters in this book, but it really is well balanced and well paced so that there is no risk of becoming bored. Another positive in to this book was that it was refreshingly unpredictable - there were a couple of twists to the story that I really was not expecting!

I can honestly say that I liked all of the characters in this novel. Laurie and Rachel were our main characters and two very different people, lifestyle wise, but it was obvious to see why they made such a great pair of friends. Though they have different personalities, it was very easy to warm to them both and I felt like I was making new friends alongside the other characters in the book. It wasn't just Laurie and Rachel that impressed me though, all of the supporting characters were as equally well formed as our protagonists. Clements managed to create a surprisingly fun, older rural Yorkshire community and a very colourful and warm spirited community in urban London. The chemistry of the characters was interesting to watch and read about. I liked seeing the different characters help each other with their own individual thoughts and skills. 

One of the issues that the characters faced was Milly, Rachel's teenage daughter, who became interested in a guy she met in their village pub. I thought Clements handled the subject amazingly well, in such a realistic way, despite the complications. I particularly enjoyed reading about Rachel's family relationships, seeing how they all pulled together throughout a difficult time. 

Overall this book has confirmed what I already thought, Abby Clements is a very talented writer and her stories are just so easy to devour - I can't believe that this book was actually her debut novel, as she writes just as well, if not better, than many chick-lit authors with many years experience. I will definitely be keeping my eye on this author and check out whatever else she has to offer, it would only be a bonus if she wrote something else that was so festive! A top read for the winter months.


4 comments:

  1. This cover is too cute! I like that this is a great holiday read with interesting and easy to like characters. Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays! Enjoy your break. :)
    ~Jess

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