Christmas is in full swing in my household, and I couldn’t wait to read Abby Clements’ new book, especially after enjoying her book that was released earlier this year, ‘The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop’. The cover is gorgeous, wintery with the glowing lights and snow giving it that festive touch.
Once inside the book you are given a prologue of Hazel and Lila from childhood to the current day. It is poetic and beautiful, explaining their relationship and the connection that Hazel feels to her twin, Lila, which is why she is taking Lila moving out harder than normal. The writing is inviting, and I know I’m not the only one who has read this in very few sittings and it is easy to see why.
Hazel has such a wonderful sounding job of being a set designer for television, well at least that’s the goal. She’s been recently promised a promotion to her dream job, and she sounds so talented at it, really Creative and organised, which lends itself perfectly to organising her sisters wedding. It sounds like she does an amazing job, and I just thought to myself ‘God, I wish I had a Hazel to sort my wedding’. The set pieces she builds in miniature also sounds fascinating and adorable.
I loved Amber, at first I thought she was going to be a villainous character and create a lot of issues for the lovely Hazel, but actually she was the exact opposite. Kind and friendly, she was perfect for Hazel’s new flatmate and I enjoyed their scenes together, it was just part of the charm to this book. I would like to find more about Amber, there was one thread of her story I either missed the ending of or was left open and I find myself wondering what happened there.
The men in the book were mostly adorable. Whether it was the Hazel’s best friend at work, Josh who doted on his girlfriend, Sarah, or her sister’s husband-to-be Ollie, they are just the dream men who seemed perfectly romantic.
When Lila broke the news about her engagement to Hazel, it made me smile, she had the same colour haribo stand-in ring that I did (though I confess, I ate mine after wearing it for about two minutes, how Lila lasted overnight is beyond me, who can resist haribo?!) and it was a similar proposal over a nice meal. Actually I think Lila’s may have been more traditionally romantic, Simon technically never asked me to marry him, more poked the ring towards me (it was wrapped around a haribo heart) and said ‘so will you?’, thank goodness for the ring, otherwise I’d have thought he was asking if I’d pay for the meal. I had to ask ‘Really?’, ‘Are you Joking?’ a few times before I believed it was happening (12 years plus, I thought a proposal was never coming). Though that is exactly how Simon is, and I love him all the more for it.
This book is incredibly addictive, I’d been struggling to choose what to read, and I’m so glad I chose this one. While it’s not as festive as I thought it would be (ok, this is purely based on the glowy lights and snowy cover) until towards the end of the book, it doesn’t matter as everything throughout it fills your heart with warmth, which still gets you in the christmas spirit, with the warm glow you feel when listening to classic christmas songs sung by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the like. Definitely one to add to your shelves as soon as you can, preferably moved to the top of your TBR, because you will be missing out if you don’t read this soon!
Published by: Simon and Schuster UK
Gratefully received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.