15 Dec 2015


The second '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'.

TOGETHER FOR CHRISTMAS by CAROL RIVERS. (Enter your name and email to get a copy of Carol Rivers' 'Charlie's Christmas Promise' here).

INNER FRONT COVER BLURB: August 1914, London. Britain has just declared war on Germany, and the whole country seems to be in uproar. Flora, Hilda and Will, who grew up together in St Boniface orphanage sit in the sunshine in Hyde Park on a rare day off, discussing the impending war and the changes it will bring to their lives. Will means to go off to fight, Hilda hopes to better her current lot in life as a maid at the charitable institute, Hailing House, but Flora is content with her job as assistant to the Isle of Dogs' kindly Doctor Tapper. Taking a vow, they pledge to always be there for each other, come what may. 

It soon becomes clear that the war will not be over by Christmas, as so many thought, and the first zeppelin raids bring casualties flooding into the surgery where Flora works. Tragedy strikes in the trenches, too, and Will returns home with physical and mental wounds too deep for Flora to be able to nurse back to health. 

In the meantime, Hilda has taken herself away from London to work as a maid at the sumptuous house of Adelphi. But it is not long before she finds herself out of her depth. And the consequences of her choices will lead to a shocking discovery that will change the course of the three orphans lives forever.

~ Contains spoilers. Scroll over to reveal text should you so wish ~

FIRST SENTENCE {Prologue}: August 1914

Flora Shine smiled at her watery double shimmering on the surface of the Serpentine in London's Hyde Park.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 165}: The kitchen shelves were decorated with sprigs of holly and the moist air smelled of spices and ale. Flora knew Mrs Bell had been baking Christmas pudding: generous helpings were given to the poor and destitute on Christmas week.

MY THOUGHTS: Fairly low on the Christmas element, non too graphic scenes of warfare, a sweet romance. As a 'Christmas' novel set in war time Together For Christmas is in many ways typical of its genre.

An enjoyable enough read of three young people who were brought up together in an orphanage run by nuns. Of the three it is Flora, a doctor's aid come unofficial nurse (and all at the tender age of fifteen) that we really get to know. A shame really as of the three it is her story that I found the most predictable and least interesting.

A mostly upbeat tale, one of those reads in which you just know there will be a happy ending. However I was also deeply saddened by certain aspects - a nation at war, poverty rife, suspicion and violence towards those perceived as 'foreigners' and thus the enemy - which left me wondering when we'll ever learn.

As I say typical of its genre. A bit like slipping into an old, comfortable pair of slippers, if you have read any amount of these books this will be feel reassuringly familiar.


Mary (Bookfan) said...

I'd probably like this one!

Kelly said...

Well I see now that you're working your way to a higher level in the challenge rather than having completed it entirely.

I'm glad this was a more satisfying read than some of your previous choices, even it if was a bit predictable. It sounds like it would be a nice diversion for this busy time of year.

Anonymous said...

I know we shouldn't judge a book by its cover ..... but looking at that cover doesn't make me want to read the book!!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing! Sorry it didn't have as MUCH Christmas as you might expect.


Literary Feline said...

Even though it was low on the Christmas element, it sounds like you enjoyed this one, Tracy. It does sound good. I will have to look for it.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

This sounds like one of the better Christmas themed books you have written about. I am intrigued by the time period, and the story sounds like a quick read. Great to hear your thoughts!

Karen Alderman said...

I'm surprised it's upbeat - it sounds kind of sad.

I love these kinds of stories over the holidays though.

Karen @For What It's Worth

Suko said...


This one does sound good. I like older stories about the holidays. I'm glad you're enjoying the Christmas Spirit challenge.

Gingi Freeman said...

Great review my friend! And merry Christmas! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Melliane said...

it's been a while since I haven't read a book like that but I used to love them, I really shold go back to them

Brian Joseph said...

It is interesting that though these books sound like they follow a particular formula, unlike other works that are often read for comfort, they do illustrate some of the dark sides to humanity. It is sad that art needs to do this, but it is reflective of existence.