Fantastically festive story


This week I'm recommending Darcie Boleyn's Wish Upon a Christmas Cake to anyone looking for a festive fancy. I think it's important that I start by saying that I am the last person on earth I ever thought would buy a Christmas themed novel, let alone actually read it, never mind read it over a weekend when I also worked all day on the Saturday and bought, set up and decorated the family Christmas tree on the Sunday - but, dear readers, so it came to pass. I saw the book on Twitter and it was lovely and snowy (I don't even like snow, what the hell is happening to me?) and sparkly so I went to Amazon, purchased said title, downloaded it to my kindle and, in so doing, broke the habit of a lifetime. I should add to the fact that I hate snow that I also really can't abide Christmas. Not for nothing am I known as Scrooge in my social circle. All the expenditure and excess and extravagance irks me, plus I have a severe problem with enforced jollity. I'll choose when to be happy and when to be miserable, thanks very much - I don't need a date in a calendar to dictate my moods!

But sometimes strange things can happen to one, especially when it's nearly the end of the longest teaching term ever - it will be 16 weeks and one day, including half-term, since the end of the summer holidays when I finally break up on Friday 23rd December. I need to read as it's the only thing that relaxes me but right now it's got to be something light and easy and comforting, like cold Pinot Grigio served in a water rather than a wine glass. As such, Wish Upon a Christmas Cake proved perfect. I was entertained but did not have to remember a never-ending cast list of characters and plot machinations that in some books mean that I have to read the same pages twice or more to work out what the hell is going on. There was a charming inevitability to what was going to happen which is just what I need right now, plus the book did make me cry at the end in a most satisfying way. Overall, it's a book that will whisk you along in its wake and leave you happily smiling. It did me, anyway.

My only query, which is to do with books in general not just this book, is why so many current novels centred around female characters have them running cafes and cake shops? Not sure I get it, but maybe that's because, alongside snow and Christmas, I'm not much of a cake fan....

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