What's it all about...
Jonathan Jones has written a novel. Losing his job a few days before Christmas means the pressure is on for his book to become a bestseller, but when his partner drops her own bombshell, the festive holiday looks set to be a disaster.
When he’s bequeathed a failing bookshop in their seaside town, it seems that some of his prayers have been answered, but his publishing company turn out to be not what they seem, and when his ex-wife suddenly declares her romantic intent, another Christmas looks set to be complicated.
Is everything lost, or can the true meaning of words, a dog called Frodo, and the sheer magic of Christmas be enough to save Jonathan’s book, and his skin?
My thoughts about it...
Sometimes we need to make changes in our lives before we can move forward, and for Jonathan Jones giving up his job just before Christmas will give him, he thinks, just the jolt he needs to finish off writing and promoting his novel. However, he finds out, to his cost, that the publishing world can be fraught with difficulties and not every book to hit the book shelves has 'best seller' written all over it.
What then follows is a delightful seasonal story which looks at the vagaries of the publishing world alongside Jonathan's journey of self discovery. The North Wales setting, is as always, lovingly recreated by this author who knows the area well, and who writes about the small seaside town of Rhos-on Sea with such wonderful attention to detail that I felt as if I was strolling down the main street, with the tang of sea salt and the harsh cry of seagulls resonating in my head.
As you would expect of a novella of just over a hundred or so pages, the story moves along quickly, as there is much to pack into a small space, and yet, the story never feels rushed or incomplete. I'm not going to say any more about the story as you would do well to read it for yourself, but there were some lovely observations of the book world, and reviewers, which as a reader and a book blogger made me smile and laugh out loud in places. I loved the whole concept of Beachside Books, in my opinion, every town should have one, and when I am next in this small corner of North Wales, I am sure I will be keeping an eye open for Frodo as he encourages customers into the book shop to peruse the shelves and drink the excellent Colombian coffee.
I was completely charmed by Away for Christmas, from the beauty of its stunning cover, to the bookish world which is so lovingly recreated by an author who writes, not just for herself and her readers, but also to bring alive this beautiful area of North Wales, a place which she calls home.
If, in the busy rush towards Christmas, you only have time to squeeze in one short story, then let it be this one. Feed your e-reader, brew your coffee, turn off your phone and, courtesy of this talented author go Away for Christmas.
Jan Ruth writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic with a generous helping of humour, horses and dogs. Her books blend the serenities of rural life with the headaches of city business, exploring the endless complexities of relationships.
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