Keeping a Christmas Promise – Jo Thomas

Published By: Random House
Pages: 368
Released On: 22/09/2022

Four friends
Twenty-five years ago, Freya and her three best friends created a bucket list. The future seemed bright, full of hope and most importantly guaranteed . . .

One promise
Now they are travelling to Iceland in memory of the friend they’ve lost, determined to fulfil her dream of seeing the Northern Lights at Christmas.

A life-changing adventure
They didn’t count on an avalanche leaving them stranded! Handsome local, Pétur, comes to the rescue, showing them how the community survives the hard winter. With Christmas approaching, Freya and her friends throw themselves into the festivities, decorating and cooking for the villagers using delicious local ingredients.

But will the Northern Lights appear so they can honour their friend’s wish? And can Freya’s own dreams come true, this Christmas?


Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

As said before, I adore Christmas books and I adore Jo Thomas books, but sadly this didn’t hit the heights for me. I so wanted to love it. It sounded absolutely gorgeous, but it fell flat for me.

The characters didn’t really gel for me like I expected. I think Jo Thomas is particularly good at creating well-rounded and interesting characters, but for me they didn’t hit that usual mark. And that’s not necessarily a bad comment on her writing at all, they’re well written. I just don’t think the characters were my kind of people, which is a completely personal opinion; they may be exactly what other readers want.

I also found it slightly repetitive. People explaining the same thing again and again, like our main protagonist’s cooking dream. I understand that within the story, things have to be repeated to different groups of people, but for a reader it was getting slightly tiresome.

I feel some of the plot points could have been developed slightly more. I’d love to have read more about the community, about some of the secondary characters, and about our main women, their feelings and their motives, as well as our dashing hero’s background.

I will definitely be reading Jo Thomas’ future books as generally speaking I thoroughly enjoy her work, but this one fell a little short for me, but still enjoyable and pleasant to read.

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