20 Dec 2015

THE CHRISTMAS SURPRISE (A ROSIE HOPKINS NOVEL).

The third 'adult' book read for this years Christmas Spirit challenge which brings me one step closer to the 4 books needed to obtain the level of 'Mistletoe'.


THE CHRISTMAS SURPRISE by JENNY COLGAN.

BACK COVER BLURB: I love Christmas. It's always so full of hope (or at least that's what I think).

And that's what this book is about too. Well, okay, it's about Rosie, who has a very rough time of it, and then discovers, like the best Christmas presents, that joy can arrive in unexpected ways. But really it's about hope. And food - there's a ton of food in it. But that's Christmas for you.

So if you are buying it as a gift, buy it for someone who likes a) joy, b) hope and c) food.

And if its for you, I so very much hope you enjoy it, and that you have a wonderful Christmas.

Jenny xxx

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One}: Christmas was over.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 378}: Lilian had bagsied the best table, between the windows looking out on to the snow-covered gardens and the crackling fire, simply by putting a cardigan on the back of each chair and giving a deep snarl to anyone who came over and considered complaining.

MY THOUGHTS: With a back cover blurb that tells you next to nothing about the book let me share this book description courtesy of amazon.com ...


Rosie Hopkins, newly engaged, is looking forward to an exciting year in the little sweetshop she owns and runs. But when fate strikes Rosie and her boyfriend, Stephen, a terrible blow, threatening everything they hold dear, it's going to take all their strength and the support of their families and their Lipton friends to hold them together.

After all, don't they say it takes a village to raise a child?

A Christmas Surprise?

Hmm, beginning with the words 'Christmas was over' the biggest surprise about this book was how little about Christmas it actually was. OK, so the last chapter, all six pages of it is given over to Christmas day but for the best part the book chronicles a year in the life of main characters, Rosie and Stephen, that sees them travel from their Derbyshire country home to an African village that I believe featured in one of the previous two Rosie Hopkins novels.

Yes, the third book in the series. Not that I'd let that put you off as the author kindly provides a seven page introduction introducing the major players with some of their background story - ideal for newcomers to the books as well as those just needing a refresher of the previous novels.

But I digress.

A quick, easy read. Perhaps at times a bit more gritty than you might expect and certainly with more 'bad language' than in my experience is usual but overall typical so called chick-lit fare. 

I'm afraid I didn't connect with any of the characters, finding some of them, the secondary ones in particular, caricatures. 

And as for the plot? 

I don't think I'm giving too much away when I say as is typical of this genre all ended well. Something that didn't sit altogether well with me as whilst its lovely to have a nice bit of escapism, to visit a place where the commoner gets her prince without kissing too many frogs and all of that, this one was lacking too much realism for my personal taste. 

10 comments:

Brandi Kosiner said...

Quick and easy sounds great for this one

Kelly said...

I enjoyed your review even if one moment you had me thinking "yes", then the next minute "no". Bottom line, I doubt I seek this out.

I'm glad it put you one step closer to your goal.

Sandra Cox said...

Ah, mistletoe level....I like it.
Are you getting burnt out on Christmas stories or still enjoying them? I go through phases on reading Christmas stories. Sometimes I can't get enough other times I'm just not in the mood.

Tracy Terry said...

I just wish I could find a good Christmas story about Christmas rather than a Christmas' story that despite all appearances only briefly featured Christmas.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing! Sorry it had a bit too much realism for you. I do wish I could find more Christmas books that focus MORE on the holiday and all that it entails.

Literary Feline said...

This sounds like the type of book I would call brain candy. It's too bad this one wasn't better for you. Sometimes the lack of realism can make me take points off for my enjoyment of a book too.

Suko said...

Thanks for your honest review, Tracy. Congrats on reaching the Mistletoe level!

Brian Joseph said...

Having most of the narrative not take place during Christmas and also the African local make this one sound a little different. Too bad that there were so many other short comings to ht story.

So many books, so little time said...

I like the sound of this one, can't believe it is the 23rd and I haven't read a Christmas book yet. My next one is though, may keep a wee eye out for this one.

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Gina R said...

Aw shucks. I've liked what I've read of her work so far...might have to give it a go anyway. Thanks for the share!