Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Book review: How To Stuff Up Christmas - Rosie Blake

'Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you've found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance's phone... 

Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve's boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen. 

But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve's best friend Daisy know that she isn't telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve's boat? 

My opinion.
One of the key ingredients to a successful chick-lit or woman's fiction story is an easy-to-relate-to main character, and it's a compliment (too?) easily given. Rosie Blake's heroine, however, was more than a familiar "best friend" sort of character. For some reason I just "clicked" with Eve. Maybe it's the way she decided to just up and leave for a little while. I loved how she made a brave decision like that. And starting up a completely new hobby, just because she can... Loved it! And it actually sounded really tempting - even the houseboat! Who would have thought...But it wasn't just Eve that felt so wonderfully familiar and "comfortable". Her relationship with Daisy, Greg or her sister felt just as easy and real. Rosie introduced some fun and interesting secondary characters. I'm not a fan of those characters taking away from the main story, but in this case I actually felt like they could have had a bit more of the limelight. (So maybe this book was a hundred pages too short for me, Rosie ;-) )
Even though this story is about a young woman recovering from a horrible break-up, Rosie managed to make this a fun, light and relaxing read. I laughed out loud quite a few times and finished the book with a smile on my face. Wonderful read - Christmastime or not.


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