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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 38 star ratings
5 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
38
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

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    Perfect Christmas read

    Oh I do love a Trisha Ashley book, especially her Christmas ones, and this one was just as wonderful as her previous books. Meg is a portrait artist who is sort of hijacked into doing a couple of portraits for a client over the Christmas period. She's recovering from an illness though and the commission sounded a really nice, easy one in a friendly, family Christmas setting, so she accepts and ends up in a large house in a small village in Lancashire. She's hoping for a traditional Christmas as she's never had one, having grown up in a commune where they don't really celebrate Christmas. Once there though she runs into Lex, an old friend/colleague/crush from university who she had a bit of an awkward issue with that ended badly. Initially they avoid each other, but end up sorting things out eventually when Meg confronts the issue and clears up the confusion. It was hard for them to avoid one another as Lex was the nephew of Clara who was one half of the couple Meg was doing the portraits of - Clara (an epigrapher/novelist) and Henry (her poet husband), and spending Christmas in the same house. There are a few little mysteries running along in the background of the story about Meg's family and also a mystery involving the nasty character in the book, Piers, a sort of family 'friend'. Really lovely, quite quirky but very warm-hearted characters, in a snowy, Christmassy village setting, with a happy ending, what's not to like?! Perfect Christmas read.
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    Amusing and heartwarming

    Lovely story to read over the Christmas holidays. Heartwarming and feel good read.
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    The Christmas Invitation

    OMG! What a story. It's the most bizarre and intriguing book I've read. I loved every character, every setting of this book. I'm not going to mention any character in particular because it's a book that must be picked up and read. I am definitely recommend it. Well done Trisha Ashley. 😘
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    Great book

    One of my favourite Trisha Ashley books so far, highly recommend
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    Something Missing

    I normally adore Trisha Ashley's novels but there was something missing in this one and I can't quite put my finger on what. On the surface of things it has everything her other books have: Feisty and creative heroine with a disastrous long term relationship behind her. Wonderful rural North of England setting. Quirky older characters that go on to have an important role in the Heroine's life. Interspersing story chapters with diary/magazine/book extracts relevant to the central character in some way. Rough around the edges Love Interest that the Heroine has a "past" with. Yup, it's all there but something misses the mark with this story. It certainly isn't down to the marvellously named Clara Mayhem-Doome and maybe therein lies the problem. Clara is such a fun and intriguing character that I think I actively resented Meg taking over the story when all I really wanted was to spend time with Clara. She is such a bulldozer of a woman but one I think we would all like to know. Next to her Meg feels insipid and never really manages to shine in her own right. I also didn't like the back story between her and Lex, it was all so contrived and I found it hard to believe that the mythology of what happened that fateful ever got started. Then throw in the mystery of Meg's mother and the ensuing revelation of her ignominious beginnings that tied, quite unbelievably, to the Doomes and it all began to feel a little like two reasonably good ideas for a novel stitched together to make a moderately successful story. So, why give it four stars if that's how I feel? Simply, it is the warmth and the humour that lifts the story. Trisha Ashley knows how to write and how to engage her reader and this book exemplifies that. I may not have taken to the main character, I may have found the plot ludicrous but I still didn't want to put the book down! Just as an aside, shortly after I started this novel my husband was hospitalised with pneumonia - exactly what Meg was suffering from. At one point Meg states that the illness is not bacterial and is always viral. Sorry, pneumonia can be bacterial, viral or fungal. It is better to get the bacterial version as antibiotics are a boon and certainly helped my husband recover enough to be sent home after 5 days in hospital rather than the weeks and weeks Meg spent hospitalised. However, this leads me to also moan about how rapid her recovery on discharge from hospital is, not only is she standing for hours on end to paint but she is going on lengthy country side walks. Trust me this thing takes your legs from under you and the other half finds even simple tasks exhausting. As you can tell this irritated me no end but I have not let it colour my judgement of the novel itself.
38

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