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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 19 star ratings
2 reviews

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4.3 out of 5
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    Simple and full of warmth and love. Enjoyed the story this Christmas season !
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    Photographs and Shepherds Pie

    To be fair this book could have been set at any time of the year, the seasonality did feel tacked on to the story rather than Christmas being an integral part of the story. To be fair that didn't really detract from the story itself, it all felt a little lacklustre if I'm being honest. There are some interesting sections - Lily's communication with the mother who abandoned her when she was 2, her desire to be a chef and the almost crippling anxiety she feels about trying - but much of it left me feeling all a little blah. The characterisations are pretty good but apart from Lily they did have little depth. To be honest Lily's character put me in a bit of a quandry as she vacillated between the perfect doormat and this tough, sarcastic young woman and the disparity between the two felt forced on the page and without the nuance that real people have. I understand what the author was signalling to the reader with this disparity but it felt a little overblown There was an attempt to add depth to Josh's character but it was never really successful and the overriding image I came away with of him was that he was confident in his professional talents but rather mediocre as a person - not what we want from our hero. The plot actually saved this book for me as it meandered nicely and covered some lovely little side vignettes - I particularly liked the Marsha and Simon glimpses. The writing also has a good dose of wry humour, the kind that makes you smirk knowingly to yourself rather than belly laughing - I like a bit of snark. Overall a fairly solid book that entertains the reader but isn't unputdownable.

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