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    Light In The Darkness

    This is a strangely dispiriting read when compared to much of the Christmas fare published in this genre. It is my first festive read of the 2018 season and, to be honest, I couldn't have picked a better one to start with. Set against the forced jollity peddled to us on the television this is the story of 3 women who each have their own problems to deal with this Christmastime and sees them face up to them admirably. This is my second Amy Silver book and what stands out for me is the realism and individuality of the characters. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the three women and even though the chapter heading tells us who is "speaking" the voices are so distinct that you automatically know once you have settled in to the book and got everyone straight in your head: Bea - Clearly suffering with depression but doing her best for her infant son and trying to keep her business afloat as well. The mystery of her husband is solved about halfway through the book and I was relieved to know I had guessed the reason for her isolation correctly - not for Bea but for my own personal satisfaction you understand. Chloe - Career focussed and in a dangerous relationship with an unattainable man. She wants everything to be perfect but seems to be losing herself along the way. After a drunken Work's Christmas Party she begins to reevaluate her life and her behaviour towards others. Olivia - Very happy in her relationship but his whole family descending for Christmas makes her feel trapped and unsure if accepting his proposal was the right thing for her. After chance meetings with each other at Bea's Cafe, The Honey Pot, the three women soon begin to form a tentative support network for each other. It is through this that we learn all about the characters as they slowly peel their personalities apart to admit things to each other that nobody else knows. To be honest this would have been 5 stars but the ending with everyone getting a renewed chance at happiness felt a little off to me. Yes, I know it is a Christmas Story and, as such, a happy ending is to be not only expected but assured but it just left me all a little flat - possibly because I am the eternal pessimist who knows. The plot pacing is excellent throughout and I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone - even if this is normally a genre you steer clear of.

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