Sunday, 6 January 2013

Books Read: Emma Hannigan - Driving Home for Christmas

Christmas at Huntersbrook House has always been a family tradition - log fires, long walks through the snowy fields and evenings spent in the local pub. And this year the three grown-up Craig children are looking forward to the holidays more than ever. Pippa to escape her partying lifestyle and mounting debts in Dublin; Joey the demands of his gorgeous girlfriend who seems intent on coming between him and his family; and Lainey to forget about her controlling ex and his recent engagement to another woman.

But with the family livery yard in financial trouble, this Christmas could be the Craig family's last at Huntersbrook as they face the prospect of selling the ancestral house.

As the holiday season gets underway, the family need to come up with a way to save their home, and face the problems they've been running away from in Dublin. And what better way to figure things out than around the fire at Huntersbrook House.

Every year I say that I'm going to stop buying new books and read the existing books I already own and every year I've failed.  But that has not stopped me from setting it as one of my book resolutions this year and although we're only 1 week into the year I've achieved it on both scores... I've not bought any books and I've just read one of the books I owned.  Now to keep it  up for the other 51 weeks of the year!

Driving Home for Christmas was one of the books at the top of my Christmas wishlist, as Emma Hannigan is not only a courageous woman in her battles with cancer but she's also a brilliant storyteller, so I was really excited to win a copy in a Twitter competition in November but I resisted the temptation to read it before Christmas.

The one thing that the Craig family all look forward to each year is spending Christmas together at the family farm in Wicklow but it looks like things will be a little more subdued than normal this year.

Mum Holly is normally the one full of the joys of Christmas but this year she's not really feeling it as she's other things on her mind like how to keep the family home over their heads as business is slacking due to the recession.  She's also missing her mother Maggie who she's not spoken to since she left to go and live in Australia with boyfriend Sid.  

Things are not going that great for any of her children either, Lainey, Joey and Pippaas they each have their own problems to overcome including relationship break-ups, accidents and money worries, so they could be bringing home their fair share of baggage as well.

But despite everything that's going on with everyone the most important thing that really matters is family, and the fact that they all want to celebrate Christmas together, which in turn proves to be one of the best Christmasses that they've ever spent together. 

I loved the sound of this family gathering where anyone was welcomed with open arms... the more the merrier... so add into the mix Jules Lainey's work colleague, Pippa's boyfriend Jay and flatmate Skye, housekeeper Sadie, farmhand Scott plus the neighbour's... and you've got the perfect recipe for a fun-filled day.

Although there were some pretty serious topics throughout the book, there was also plenty of humour included too especially the lovely hand-knitted jumpers for everyone, but the overriding theme was family and togetherness.  

I can't wait to read Emma's next book, Keeping Mum, when it comes out in paperback later this year so I might have to break my resolution to buy this one as soon as it's published.

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