The Little Christmas House – Tracy Rees

Published By: Bookouture
Pages: 234
Released On: 22/10/2021

Thirty-year-old Holly Hanwell’s life is almost perfect – she loves her cosy little house in Hopley Village with its yellow front door and cute window seat, and adores teaching at the village school. But she’s secretly nursing heartbreak after her boyfriend dropped the bombshell of a century. He’s having a baby with someone else. It’s over.

Edward is trying to hold it together for his eight-year-old daughter Eliza after his wife abandoned them three years ago. Determined to give Eliza a new start, Edward has moved them to Christmas House at the edge of pretty Hopley, but with the walls literally falling down around them, has he made a terrible mistake?

With the most wonderful time of the year approaching, neither Holly nor Edward really feel like celebrating. abut holiday magic works in mysterious ways when Holly bumps into the handsome but troubled-looking single father of her newest pupil one snowy afternoon. Sheltering from the weather in the warm village cafe, they bond over delicious mugs of hot chocolate. From then on, their paths seem to cross more frequently – Christmas shopping, the carol serve and the nativity show. A friendship starts to blossom and, when there’s a crisis at Christmas House, Holly is the first person Edward calls.

But when a figure from Edward’s past returns, will their promising new relationship be over before it has truly begun? And can Holly learn to open her heart again, before it’s too late?

*****

48 chapters can feel a little intimidating at first, but at just over 200 pages, you know they’ll be quick snappy chapters (my favourite kind) that you can plough through before bed.

It’s another judging-the-book-by-the-cover situation here, but I don’t care. The little house on the cover is so quaint and beautiful and I want to move in immediately.

I liked the chapters being from different points of view. It’s very easy to get sucked into the merriment of one or two people’s christmases, but it is another thing to see how it affects everyone else, which it inevitably does. It means it is a more 3D, more personable and more identifiable experience.

It is warming and cosy and magical, but real. It shows the stresses that comes with real life, and that doesn’t just stop for Christmas, as much as we would like it to. The three main characters of Edward, Holly and Eliza are all wonderful – Eliza especially is delightful. And the secondary characters all bring their own charm – and flaws – and humanity to make this such a relatable but joyful story.

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