Working for a department store where Christmas arrives in August, Eve prefers her own festivities to be low key with nothing more complicated than an oven ready turkey and frozen peas while she spends the day in her pyjamas. Unfortunately, this year her husband has invited his best friend to visit, the glamorous and sophisticated Abby, and Eve reluctantly decides that she needs to inject a little sparkle into their laid back and slightly shabby Christmas. So the celebrations are upgraded to include champagne and canapes along with homemade gravy and organic turkey and plans are made for a Christmas that looks as though it has emerged from the pages of a glossy magazine.
But even the best laid plans can go wrong and as Eve struggles with her mini Yorkshire puddings and an interfering cat, she is suddenly faced with an unexpected guest and an explosive secret that threatens to put her vision of a perfect Christmas in jeopardy.
This is a delightful, funny novel but also acts as a cautionary tale about getting too would up about Christmas, and also the dangers of keeping up with the Joneses. It’s far better to be true to yourself and not put on an act. But that’s hard to stick to when the pressure’s on.
Eve is a fabulous character – warm, loving and loyal. Her daughter Alice is a lovely reminder that not all teens are moody and unhelpful!
There’s everything you expect from a family Christmas, that will never go as smoothly as hoped, and that’s even less likely when there’s an unexpected and generally unwelcome guest. This adds tension, misunderstandings and posturing. It becomes an emotional maelstrom!
The writing is deft and clever, and the novel is wonderfully entertaining and festive.
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About the author
Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!