Christmas at the Farmhouse
As the anticipation of Christmas builds in the Nielsen family’s cosy farmhouse, Jo, Magnus and their grown-up children begin to congregate for a hybrid Danish-Jersey festive season, each with a surprise of their own – though the surprise that arrives over Christmas is the most life-changing of all.
Fifty years earlier, in 1969, Susan Jones finds herself being pursued by Mr Jenners, her former English teacher, and at the age of seventeen is packed off to a Home for Unmarried Mothers in London by her uncompromising father. As Christmas approaches, all she can do is desperately hope to be rescued, but will anyone be able to reach her in time?
The two timelines of this festive story gradually weave together in a tale that examines whether love and hope can eventually triumph over even the deepest sadness.
Rebecca Boxall is the award-nominated author of five bestselling novels – Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse.
This book isn’t as cosy as perhaps its title might suggest, but that’s not to say the Christmas spirit is not alive and well in it. It’s a challenging but enjoyable read, touching as it does on some major and serious issues.
There are two timelines, each with a Christmas, and the focus shifts onto different characters in each, so there’s quite a complex structure to the story. It’s very moving at times, but never mawkish, and generally there is optimism at its heart.
We meet a variety of likeable and unlikeable, mainly strong characters whose interactions can be constructive or deeply destructive.
Christmas at the Farmhouse is absorbing and thought-provoking, as well as festive and life-affirming.
Rebecca Boxall was born in 1977 in East Sussex, where she grew up in a vicarage always filled with family, friends and parishioners. She now lives by the sea in Jersey with her husband, three children and Rodney the cat. She read English at the University of Warwick before training as a lawyer and also studied Creative Writing with The Writer’s Bureau. She is the bestselling author of Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse and was nominated for the Romantic Novelist Association Awards in 2020.
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