Thursday, 3 January 2013

Books Read: Jane Green, Jennifer Coburn & Liz Ireland - The Holiday

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.

Jane Green and her friends are delighted to bring you this enchanting trio of tales for the holiday - stories about falling headlong in love and the miracle of second chances.

When I saw that Jane Green had a new book coming out I was really looking forward to reading it as I've really enjoyed the previous couple of books that I've read of hers.  But what I didn't realise was that this festive trio of short stories, The Holiday, was actually a re-release of a collaboration with authors Jennifer Coburn and Liz Ireland that I'd previously read.

Jane's story, Holiday, is about a young married couple, Sarah and Eddie, whose marriage has gone stale and looks on the brink of collapse.  Sarah resents the fact that Eddie goes out drinking and comes home late whilst she's stuck at home looking after the kids, and when he is home he doesn't help out.  Whereas Eddie is sick of the constant nagging from Sarah which makes him want to come home even less. 

So when Eddie is given a temporary transfer to Chicago for work it gives them both the breathing space to consider their relationship and whether they can resolve their issues to keep their marriage afloat.

I have to confess I didn't really enjoy the second story, The Second Wife of Reilly, at all and actually found myself skim reading it to try and get through it quicker.  We meet Sarah who's recently married a lovely guy called Reilly but she's worried that his ex-wife Prudence might decide that she wants him back so she decides that she's going to try and find Prudence a partner!  A completely bizarre idea for a Christmas themed short story!

For me the best story of the three was Mistletoe and Holly from Liz Ireland.   Normally when Holly goes home for Christmas she is the odd one out as she's the only one without a partner but this year it will be different as she's bringing home her new boyfriend Jason.  For Jason it's the chance to be part of a proper family Christmas as having spent most of his childhood in foster homes, it's not something he's had the chance to enjoy before and something he's looking forward to. 

But when she gets home and finds her parents missing and her brother drunk, she realises that this Christmas is going to be a little different...

Other than them all being set around Christmastime the common theme for the three stories was family dramas and that we should be thankful for what we've got as things are not always as they seem.

I'd like to thank the girls at Penguin for sending me a proof copy of this book to review.

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