Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Book 46 of 2014: Stories for Christmas by Katie Flynn, Dilly Court & Debbie Macomber

Here in search of today's A to Z Challenge post? Click here to view it.

You're probably wondering why I'm posting Christmas book reviews in the middle of April. I feel like I should explain that I did actually read this at the beginning of November last year, it's just that I'm only posting one book review a week and sometimes I read considerably more during that time. Hence being somewhat behind.

Look at it this way, I'm giving you ideas for books you could pick up now and add to your reading list for reading material in eight months time.

This is a collection of three extracts from longer works by popular authors Katie Flynn, Dilly Court and Debbie Macomber. I'm aware of the first and last of those authors though I've only ever read anything by Debbie Macomber. I picked up a free ebook copy of this on Amazon purely because it was Christmas-themed (and I need Christmas-themed books in the run up to Christmas) but also because I recognised Debbie Macomber's name. Anyone who writes books about knitting is a good person as far as I'm concerned.

In this short ebook each of the authors has an extract from one of their novels which are implied to have a Christmas feel to them. I have to admit that none of them felt particularly Christmassy, with the only one that came close was 'A Sixpenny Christmas' (Katie Flynn's offering) which has it right there in the title and all. Debbie Macomber's 'Angels at the Table' was set during New Year and as far as I remember there was no mention of it during 'The Lady's Maid' (written by Dilly Court).

As I said above, it was Debbie Macomber's name on the cover that prompted me to pick it up, but her's was actually my least favourite contribution to the collection. It was the opening to the second in a series of stories following the antics of a group of angels who have decided to play matchmaker at New Year's Eve. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

I've got a funny feeling that Katie Flynn's story would be about two babies who have been switched at birth. I feel more tempted to track down a copy of that book purely to see if my gut feeling from the story is correct and to find out how it ends, even though it's really not the sort of story I would usually pick up to read.

Of the three, 'The Lady's Maid' was the one I enjoyed the most. It reminded me a little of Coram Boy which I read (though didn't like very much) for my Children's Literature Open University course. There's two babies who are given up/orphaned at birth, one illegitimate the other of unknown origin, who are adopted into different families (one wealthy, the other poor) and who grow up to be friends. I don't know much more about it than that but it definitely appealed to me.

My one complaint with this collection was that the stories were advertised as being 'for Christmas' which was emphasised by that Christmassy cover, and yet there was very little worth mentioning in the actual stories. I don't mind books that act as samplers for other books (which is what some people complained about in their reviews) but for me, if a book says that it's Christmassy, then I expect people celebrating Christmas to help get me into the festive spirit!

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