Why did I pick this book as my Book of the Month?
I always look forward to this time of year as I know there will always be plenty of fabulous book about Christmas that will get me in the festive mood and it is always Carole’s that I look forward too most. Whether it is the comic element or the great plot, I always know that it’s a curl up on the sofa and escape into Carole’s world for a few hours! – … Marvellous!!
Can the imperfect family really have the perfect Christmas?
Juliet Joyce adores Christmas. She loves the presents, the tree, the turkey, the tinsel, everything. Already the festive spirit is upon her, which is just as well as this Christmas things are starting to get out of hand.
Her son Tom is out of work and bringing home a slew of unsuitable partners; pregnant daughter Chloe and her little boy have moved back in; Juliet’s father, Frank, is getting over a heartbreak of his own and Rita, her eccentric mother, is behaving more erratically each day. And has the chaos got too much for Juliet’s husband Rick?
With the big day fast approaching, Juliet hopes that she can stop everything spiralling out of control, because the only thing she wants is her family all around her and her home to be filled
I have to say this has been so far my favourite of all Carole’s books, it is so real. You join a ‘normal’ family in their normal lives and just watch as the stresses of the festive period unravel with all the other things people have to contend with on a daily basis.
Wonderful strong characters, brilliant comedy that you expect from this Author but also emotional moments that caught me on the hop and made me cry. Most of all, a story you can relate too and want to follow.
Not only will this story put you in a lovely happy place in time for christmas, it will also make you look around your family and friends and realise what you actually have in life and most importantly, what/who is import.
A truly excellent read, brilliantly written and I’m so delighted to have the honour of featuring Carole twice on my Book of Month feature this year.
I asked Carole the following questions:-
1) With Love at Christmas is your latest novel, tell us a little about it and where the idea came from.
We all hanker after the ‘perfect’ Christmas, don’t we? And then, inevitably, something goes wrong. It’s the time of the year when we want to be at our best and yet the pressure of it all usually ends up with someone falling out or getting stressed or everyone going down with a cold on Christmas day. So I thought it would be fun to write about a ‘typical’ family Christmas. I’d written about the Joyce family in my earlier book That Loving Feeling and I really enjoyed them as characters. So when I started to think about With Love at Christmas, they seemed like the ideal family to write about. It’s not a sequel to That Loving Feeling. It’s a stand alone book that picks up with the Joyces, Juliet and Rick, two years later.
Juliet is addicted to Christmas. She loves everything about it, which is just as well as she has a lot on her plate this year. Her son, Tom, is unemployed and bringing a slew of unsuitable home every night. Her daughter, Chloe is pregnant but has split with her partner and is back at home with her toddler in tow. Her mother whose behaviour is, at best, eccentric starts to become even more erratic. Her father has a heartbreak of his own to deal with and she’s finding texts from another woman on Rick’s phone. With 25th December fast approaching Juliet is trying to all she can to hold her family and her marriage together as all she wants is her home to be filled with love at Christmas
2) I think this book would make a brilliant 2 part comedy/drama programme on the TV, would fit perfectly. If that was the case, who would you cast for the roles?
I’d love to see it on television too. We’re short of good, funny drama based around Christmas. The same ones have been doing the rounds for years. So come on producers! Make me an offer! I’d like to see Hugh Laurie play Rick, though he’s probably too big a star now he’s gone all Hollywood. Neil Morrissey would work well too. We don’t see enough of him on our screens now. I think Hermione Norris from Cold Feet and Spooks would make a good Juliet.
…I would have to say Robson Green as Rick, Jessica Hynes as Juliet!…
3) What is a typical Christmas day at Matthews Towers?
I love a quiet day at home. We normally go into our next door neighbours, Martin and Lyn, to kick the day off with some bucks fizz. Which means that I end up cooking the dinner in a vaguely alcoholic haze. Twice I have dropped the Christmas dinner while getting it out of the oven. Now I keep an emergency spare one, just in case. We love to go for a long walk, if the weather is kind. Even better if it’s snowing. Then just a really chilled day. We try to get in a special Christmassy film. Last year we watched Nativity! with Martin Freeman, very funny and just so feel good. Sometimes family spend the day with us, this year we’ve got some friends coming, which we’re really looking forward to. I’m going big on decoration this year!
4) If you could change the Authors name on any book that has been released in the past and put in yours, what book would it be and why?
One Day by David Nicholls. I just loved this book. It’s basically a romantic story and I’m convinced it did so well because there’s a man’s name on the cover and it’s not pink! I could relate to so much in that story. Wish I’d written it. The film wasn’t half so good, by the way. Anne Hathaway was totally and utterly miscast as Emma.
5) What has been your favourite read so far this year?
I’m currently reading J K Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy which I’m really enjoying. I was never a big Harry Potter fan – wash my mouth out with soap – so was interested to see what I’d feel about her adult writing. I’ve not quite finished yet, but I love it. Her observations of minute detail are so compelling. She’s taken a lot of flak over this book as it’s so very different to what she’s been doing over the last umpteen years. I think it’s very brave of her to stick her head above the parapet and try something new and daring, when she could just stay at home counting her millions.
Thank you so much Carole for being part of my Book of the Month feature again this month .. always a pleasure to have you x
Available via Amazon With Love at Christmas and published Sphere