From Shetland, With Love at Christmas – Erin Green

Published By: Headline
Pages: 416
Released On: 11/11/2021

Verity is embarking on a better-late-than-never gap year now that her sons have flown the nest, and dreams of turning a lifetime’s hobby of knitting and crocheting into a profitable new enterprise at Lerwick Manor’s Gallery.

Nessie has returned to Shetland after two years spent retraining as a blacksmith on the Scottish mainland. She is determined to do whatever it takes to reignite the traditional craft and prove that gender is no obstacle to taking on her family’s heritage.

Isla is fresh out of catering college, but she is desperate to prove she has what it takes to run Lerwick Manor’s artisan cafe. Focussed on perfecting her grandmother’s traditional recipes, Isla has no time for anything else – especially her pesky ex.

With the island’s Yule Day celebration fast approaching, it’s the ideal moment for their crafts to shine. But they can’t do it alone – and their friendship might turn out to be their greatest creation yet.

*****

Thanks to Headline for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I’m sorry, but you’ve given me a book that is set on a magical Scottish island, features cooking and baking, homemade crafting, friendship, family and new love, all during the build up to the best time of the year, and you expect me to give it anything other than a 5 star review? Not a chance. It had me won over before I’d even opened the first page.

What I loved is, whilst I know it’s only October, I read this whilst in my newly purchased tartan winter pyjamas (I’ll give you a moment to get that sexy image out your head), with Christmas music on the radio, tucked up under a big blanket with the only the dog for company. It was simply idyllic, and this book made it even more so.

What struck me about this book, is whilst it is that typical happily-ever-after type festive book, and it’s about people living their dreams with their own handmade businesses, and the magic of Christmas on an isolated island etc, it is so very human. Each of our main characters – and some of our background ones too – have their flaws. They’re not perfect, like every person reading it (sorry if that’s you, but we’re not perfect). They have insecurities, either about themselves physically or their talents or the future; they’re worried and scared, they say the wrong things, they go after the wrong people and push the right ones away. But they try their best, they work hard and they do their upmost to achieve their goals, overcoming small and big obstacles on the way. There’s light and love and life and happiness, but there’s sadness and grief and inner troubles.

Now, I don’t live in a small community. I live in a nice neighbourhood, with lovely neighbours, situated in a very busy town 20 minutes outside of London, so I don’t know what it’s like to live on a sparsely populated island with a small close-knit community. But Erin writes it in such a way that I don’t doubt that every nuance she writes about is absolutely perfect, and whilst I do like the company of others, the idea of doing what one of her protagonists does, and run away for an adult gap year in a far-flung place, with no-one but me to answer to, working on myself and my passions – and falling in love along the way, hopefully – sounds idyllic.

And now, if you don’t mind, I must go and book the next flight to the Shetland islands.

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