The No-Hopers Christmas Club by Geraldine Ryan

The No-Hopers Christmas Club

As warming as a mince pie and a glass of sherry, these eighteen festive-themed shorts are just waiting to be unwrapped.

  • A lonely dog shelter volunteer battles to find new homes for her long-time canine residents while realising her own future is just as uncertain. As the new year approaches, can a fellow animal lover give her the fresh start she so wants for her dogs.
  • A widowed grandmother prepares to reunite with her forbidden first love, only to discover the grand country pile from where he’s sent her a Christmas card isn’t quite what it seems.
  • A single woman finally meets a man to couple up with over the festive season, but will the eccentric mistress of her late father destroy her plans?
  • An ambitious 20-something attends a lavish Christmas party with only one aim – to bag a rich husband. But her plans are derailed when a troubling connection with the aristocrat she’s set her sights on is revealed.

Geraldine Ryan is a prolific short-story writer whose work has appeared in Woman’s Weekly and Take a Break’s Fiction Feast magazines. This yuletide collection follows hot on the heels of her first published anthology Riding Pillion with George Clooney. While Christmas comes but once a year, these moving and humorous tales will stay with you for a lifetime.


My review

This is a collection of modern, meaningful, utterly riveting short stories.

Short stories are an underestimated literary form. Familiarity with them, as we come across them so often in magazines, has bred contempt and we tend to dismiss them as no big deal. However, to craft one that creates an adequate sense of place, that presents us rounded and convincing characters, that tells us enough of a story to keep us entertained and also keep us guessing takes a lot of talent.

Geraldine Ryan is an expert short-story teller. We dip in and out of so many lives in the course of these eighteen varied stories. The reader runs the full gamut of emotions, everything from happiness to suitably seasonal gentle sadness whilst encountering suspense, mystery, romance, family tensions, scheming and loyalty, to give just a few hints! Every tale has its festive element too.

This is women’s fiction through and through, presenting us with fabulous, relatable heroines and reflecting women’s issues.

And don’t be daunted by the title – there’s always hope, especially at Christmas!


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Author bio

Geraldine Ryan is a proud Northerner who has spent most of her life in Cambridge – the one with the punts. She holds a degree in Scandinavian Studies, but these days only puts it to use when identifying which language is being spoken among the characters of whatever Scandi drama is currently showing on TV. For many years, she worked as a teacher of English and of English as a second or foreign language, in combination with rearing her four children, all of whom are now grown-up, responsible citizens. Her first published story appeared in My Weekly in 1993. Since then, her stories have appeared in Take a Break, Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly, as well as in women’s magazines abroad. She has also written two young adult novels – Model Behaviour (published by Scholastic) and The Lies and Loves of Finn (Channel 4 Books.) She plans for Riding Pillion with George Clooney to be the first of several short story anthologies.

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