Each year Rebecca Boxall pens a wonderful Christmas story. I was fortunate to be invited to read this one and participate in this blog tour by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Scroll down for my review of this wonderful Christmas drama.
Published October 24th 2020 by Wild Fox Press
Genre: Cosy, feel-good drama
Can peace be made with the past this Christmas?
As the anticipation of Christmas builds in the Nielsen family’s cosy farmhouse, Jo, Magnus and their grown-up children begin to congregate for a hybrid Danish-Jersey festive season, each with a surprise of their own – though the surprise that arrives on Christmas Day is something nobody could have predicted.
Fifty years earlier, in 1969, Susan finds herself being pursued by Mr Jenners, her former English teacher, and at the age of seventeen is packed off to a Home for Unmarried Mothers in London by her uncompromising father. As Christmas approaches, all she can do is desperately hope to be rescued, but will anyone be able to reach her in time?
The two timelines of this festive story gradually weave together in a tale that examines whether love and hope can eventually triumph over even the deepest sadness.
Rebecca Boxall is the award-nominated author of five bestselling novels – Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse.
This is a dual-timeline story set in both 1969 and then 50 years later at Christmas time 2019. Seventeen year old Susan gets pregnant in 1969 and as an underage daughter of a tyrant father, she is forced to move to a home for unwed mothers. Upon her child’s birth, the baby is whisked away at her father’s direction and she never sees her baby again. In alternating chapters we meet Jo and her husband Magnus. Parents of four and grandparents of four, they are a large, loving family. As the reader gets to know them, I realized that there is a bit of dysfunction in every family, but they loved each other, forgave each other and supported one another.
You know there is a connection between these two stories and when it is all revealed, it was wonderful. I enjoyed this sweet Christmas story. It is not without it’s sadness; Susan’s story is terrible, although true to the time period. I appreciated the research that Rebecca Boxall did into the Mother and Baby Homes as well as the movement for an adoption apology by the British Government. She lists some references at the back for further reading if you wish. This was an uplifting story as there is a reunion and a lot of happiness, forgiveness, second chances and family love all packed into this relatively short novel. A wonderful Christmas read. I was gifted a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Rebecca Boxall was born in 1977 in East Sussex, where she grew up in a vicarage always filled with family, friends and parishioners. She now lives by the sea in Jersey with her husband, three children and Rodney the cat. She read English at the University of Warwick before training as a lawyer and also studied Creative Writing with The Writer’s Bureau. She is the bestselling author of Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse and was nominated for the Romantic Novelist Association Awards in 2020.