Christmas for Beth has always been a famiy affair. Beth, her husband Daniel, and teenage children Sam and Megan, and Beth’s siblings Lou and Ged always go their parents house for lunch and a game of charades. But this Christmas relationships fail, arguments ensue all of which have a devastating effect on the family.
Over the next year we follow Beth and her family in the fallout. Beth questions her role of mother, wife and daughter after meeting an old boyfriend, and wonders what life would have been like if she had married him. Daniel starts a new job as Head at a local school and is under pressure with an imminent OFSTED inspection, he may be able to help the children at his school but his realationship with his own children is more difficult. Beth’s sister Lou has a string of failed relationships behind her, but how can she tell her conservative family that she is gay. Emotions are high and changes are afoot, where will they be next Christmas?
The book is narrated by Beth, Daniel and Lou and through them we see the different dynamics of relationships within one family. The characters are very likeable and as the reader we feel invested in their future, we want them to be happy. I think many of us will relate to them in some way or another. The plot, similar to the film, works around the theme that the grass not always greener on the other side, and the importance of family. This is an emotional read in parts but still has its humour and feel good aspect that we have come to expect from a Christmas novel.
A good light read that will leave you warm and fuzzy for the festive season.