The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon

The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy DillonJust to be a complete literary snob for a second, The Secret of Happy Ever After is not the type of book I normally buy.  I’m more than happy to read “chick-lit” (although I do hate that title) if someone’s recommended a particular book and lent it to me, but I don’t normally seek it out.

So why did I buy this one?  Firstly, the fairy tale sound of the title drew me in enough to pull the book off the shelf.  Then the picture of the Dalmatian on the front cover (I can’t resist a story about animals) persuaded me to read the blurb.  Finally, once I’d discovered that the story was set in a bookshop, I was sold!



New year, new books, new way of reading…

Happy new year!  I hope all of you who find joy in such things were all given a big pile of books to unwrap and discover this Christmas.  For me, it’s usually the main reason to get excited about Christmas and birthdays, but this year I was forced to give strict instructions to everyone not to buy me any books.  I’ve picked up so many over the year that I genuinely don’t have space for more right now.  So guess what I got instead?  A Kindle!

What’s that?  Do I hear booing and hissing?  A cry of “traitor”?


Book Review: The Gift by Cecilia Ahern

The Gift by Cecilia AhernIf you were to stroll down the candy-cane façade of a suburban housing estate early on Christmas morning, you couldn’t help but observe how the houses in all their tinselled glory are akin to the wrapped parcels that lie beneath the Christmas trees within.  For each holds their secrets inside…

This was a good book to read just before Christmas.  In essence it’s about giving and receiving gifts: material or otherwise.  The novel opens on Christmas Day itself; then, in a story within a story, we flash back to the week leading up to Christmas.

If you are a Christmassy person, you should love all the festive references jumping out from the pages.  There’s a lovely scene where a Christmas market and its accompanying ice-rink, Santa’s Grotto and fairground are described in all their glorious, colourful detail, rendering a wide-eyed five-year-old speechless.

Unfortunately, for me at least, the book also brought to life the stress and anxiety which the run-up to Christmas can bring More