Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Guest Book Review: Sheila Roberts - The Snow Globe

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

When Kiley Gray discovers an enchanting snow globe in an antique shop, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. For years, the snow globe has passed from generation to generation, somehow always landing in the hands of a person in special need of a Christmas miracle. 

Kiley could use a miracle herself. This year, all she wants for Christmas is someone to love. A hopeful shake leads her on an adventure that makes a believer out of her. When Kiley shares the story of the snow globe with her best friends-two women with problems of their own-they don't believe it. But they're about to discover that at Christmastime, sometimes the impossible becomes possible and miracles really do come true.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

This year thanks to Sharon I have been introduced to many great new authors and despite one or two slight reservations Sheila Roberts is now one to add to the list. With a beautiful yet simple cover The Snow Globe is a short novella at just over 160 pages long which is perfect to read between longer books but at the same it helps to get you in the festive mood. Novellas can be hard to review without giving too much away but they must also be challenging for an author to write in order to convey the message in such a short space whilst ultimately satisfying the reader. Sheila Roberts managed to keep me hooked up until the halfway point but after this The Snow Globe seemed to run out of energy in spite of such a promising wonderful start.

This short story focuses on three women Kiley Gray, Suzanne Stowe and Alison Wright – all with problems in their lives which they wish could just be magically sorted. While on a girls weekend away Kiley is drawn to an antique shop where a snow globe seems to be calling her. She learns of the history of the snow globe from the shop owner and decides to buy it on the strength of its apparent magic capabilities. The story the antique dealer told was just pure magic and it would be wonderful to think that if you shook the snow globe you would see something in it that would give a hint as to your future and how to go about achieving it. You do have to suspend some disbelief that you would see the man of your dreams in a snow globe but I suppose they do say it’s all in the magic of Christmas if you believe. So once I got over that issue it was fun to read how Kiley - unemployed and practically penniless searches for the man of her dreams having been dumped recently by her boyfriend in favour of someone quite close to her. Kiley is at a turning point in her life and needs change and to forgive and forget she hopes ultimately the snow globe will help her.

We then move on to Suzanne who is given the snow globe by Kiley, she is overworked, stressed and tired and nearly at breaking point and trying to achieve the perfect personal and professional balance. Under constant pressure from her daughter Brynn for a puppy for Christmas and at the same time aiming to keep her husband happy. It takes something which literally stops her in her tracks to re-evaluate what’s dear to her and what’s important all with the help of the snow globe. Alison also takes possession of the snow globe she has not been happy since her grandmother died and having seen the Christmas miracles the snow globe has worked for both Kiley and Suzanne she hopes the same will happen for her.

Kiley’s story was the most developed if a little far-fetched at times and I did enjoy reading how the snow globe helped transform her life. But after that it seems as if the author just literally ran out of steam and time. Suzanne got a bit more air time but her story was rushed and it came across as if all mothers should feel guilty for having to say no to their children and why should she not be allowed to work as much as she could to provide a good stable life for her family? Alison’s story was hardly worthy of a mention it was like the author knew this was a novella and she had to get it written in a certain amount of pages. I was left feeling what was the point of Alison being in the story as her outcome was a bit flat and unsatisfactory.

After an engaging, promising start The Snow Globe left me slightly disappointed, there is room here for a full novel which maybe the author should have written as the characters and their stories had plenty more scope for exploration. This said I would like to try another Sheila Roberts book as her forte may just be in a full proper novel.

I'd like to thank Clara at Little Brown for sending this book to me and Emma for her review.

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