Come back, one day. Come back to me, just once.
Jane thought she would be alone this Christmas, but is a surprising gift waiting beneath the mistletoe? A heart-warming, feel-good festive treat to curl up with this winter.
Heartbroken by a failed romance, journalist Jane Brook is sent to Norway to cover the Queen of the Forest, the Christmas tree given to the people of London every winter. A week of luxury hotels and festive celebrations awaits, all in the company of dashing adventurer Philip Donnelly. Perhaps this is what Jane needs to mend her aching heart?
But, deep in the heart of the snowy forest, Jane makes a startling discovery: long-hidden wartime letters between a young soldier and a mysterious girl. The last letter ends with a passionate plea that was never answered.
Now, only Jane can give this story of love and courage a perfect ending – and in doing so, she might just find her own happy ever after. . .
Expected publication: August 22nd 2019
*I was sent a kindle edition of this book in exchange for an honest review, thanks to NetGalley and Hachette UK! *
A Gift in December is an enjoyable and feel good story which will be sure to get you into the festive mood. The story focuses on journalist Jane Brook who has just had an incredible breakthrough story exposing a political scandal, but it has cost her relationship. Heartbroken and feeling a little lost, her boss sends Jane to cover a story about the Queen of the Forest tree ceremony in beautiful and scenic Norway. Along the way she meets a whole host of interesting characters, Ben a famous photographer from her office, Lucy, Lena and Freddie who are influencers and Philip Donnelly, a charming but disgraced TV star who is trying to make a comeback.
I read this book in a matter of hours, it was so cute and easy to follow. I love stories like this and on top of the rom com element, there was also a historical mystery / romance thrown in for good measure. On the trip, Jane becomes friends with an elderly man called Thomas who has deep ties with Norways history. After a little time, Thomas confides his greatest secret to Jane hoping she may be able to help him in finding his long lost love, Marit.
I absolutely loved the historical aspect of this book and I learnt so much about Norways part in World War II. It’s always cool when a book is both enjoyable and informative. I had no idea that the King at the time, Haakon VII refused to abdicate his throne to Nazi rule and fled to England until the war was over. Reading the way fact and fiction merges here is so fascinating as I have such a deep interest in history. Even if historical fiction isn’t your cup of tea, the way it’s written here is engaging and I think it will appeal to a variety of readers.
Thomas explains his role in aiding the king of Norway to escape Nazi persecution and shares all about Marit, who he had to regrettably leave behind. Marit wrote him a series of letters which eventually stopped, Thomas tasks Jane with finding these letters and in turn Marit. I really liked this element of the story and the wistful tone of his recollections, it was sad but realistic at the same time. I feel like there are probably so many people out there who have had experiences like this but have been unable to be with the person they love and it was quite moving.
On top of the historical elements and the long lost romance, I enjoyed the writing so much. Jenny Gladwell takes the reader on a luxury tour of Norway from the wild forests to the extravagant hotels and delicious sounding food. The descriptions of Norway were so lush and gorgeous and it has definitely made me want to visit in the future. Much like Jane, a reader will be truly captivated by it all.
Alongside the glitz and glamour of the trip, as well as Janes search for Marit, she is also finding herself and what she wants in life. The trip proves to be a transformative one for Jane and it was so satisfying seeing her get over her no good ex boyfriend and overcome her heartbreak. Not only does she realise her worth but finds some great friends along the way, I love fluffy stories like this and they’re so necessary. Life can be so heavy at times and novels like this offer a small escape from it all.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading A Gift in December and would gladly read anything else by this author. This was a story full of hope and a reminder to take chances and pursue what you really want in life and it totally lifted my mood. Although I don’t celebrate Christmas, it was still a pleasant read and it would make a great holiday movie!
Until next time,