Although Christmas is done for another year, Jenny Colgan's 'The Christmas Surprise' is a great read that'll leave you wanting Christmas back all over again.
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?
The third book in Jenny Colgan’s Rosie Hopkins series, like the first two, is very enjoyable. It opens with Rosie still running her sweet shop in the Derbyshire village of Lipton and still engaged to the hunky but kindly Stephen. But once she realises she’s pregnant, a year of change lies ahead.
And a year of change is what we get—although not in the ways we might expect. By the time the whole cast gathers for their next Christmas dinner in the local old folks’ home, Rosie and Stephen have together faced down an impressive range of crises—and the nearest things to villains that Lipton has to offer—with the help of their village chums.
Yet, while there’s no denying Colgan’s reliance on chick-lit conventions, there’s no resisting them either: partly because she so clearly enjoys them herself; but partly, too, because she juggles them far more deftly than most. She also writes with real verve and a keen eye for comedy. At one point, we meet a counsellor who has “the right mix of sharpness and calm kindness”—a claim that could be made for Colgan herself.
James writes and presents the BBC Radio 4 literary quiz The Write Stuff.
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