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Our Review

‘One night of passion between two people poised on the brink of war. She wanted, she realised to know what happened next.’

A gift in December by Jenny Gladwell is one of the most scenically beautiful stories we’ve read in a while. This historical fictional romance, which is mainly set in the snowy mountains of Norway, had such a vivid atmosphere we felt the cold winter nights, we tasted the snowflakes on our tongues and we breathed in the crystal cold fresh air. We have a new bucket list destination!

‘She felt as though she could step through those walls out into the thick snow right now and walk among the pines.
“The outside and the inside becoming one…Heals the heart.”

A Gift in December is definitely one of those books which is perfect to read all wrapped up in your favourite chair, on a cold and dark winter’s night. Jenny Gladwell did a stellar job as we were right in the thick of it, experiencing a tradition we didn’t know much about; the gifting of the Queen of the Forest Christmas tree. It never felt like a history lesson though, rather it captivated us.

‘Yes, you might find me, Thomas, when this is all over. Your Marit.’

Well written with a somewhat sombre tone, A Gift in December has a wonderfully intriguing story-line centred around a heartbroken journalist and the discovery of mystery love letters from the Second World War. It’s an easy read which we thoroughly enjoyed, we just wish it had had more depth to it where it mattered. We loved everything about the mystery of the Norwegian soldier, Thomas and the woman, Marit who sent him love letters. This was the most captivating part of the story and was so well written we wanted more, rather than the somewhat superfluous almost chick-lit shenanigans of characters who didn’t quite seem integral to the storyline. Saying that though, this would make a wonderful romantic Christmas movie!

“I’m not completely sorry we both had our hearts broken. Not if it meant us ending up here.”

Jane is incredibly unlucky in love, she tends to go for the gift wrapping not what’s on the inside, we did on occasion have a hard time understanding her thought process and actions, however, we put it down to a vulnerable naivety. This at odds with her award winning journalism and investigative nature. Seeing people for what they really are was certainly not her strong point. Then again, it’s easy to put trust in the wrong people and overlook those who matter.

“Someone who knows the bones of you and likes you anyway – that’s sexy. In fact, when it comes down to it, it’s probably the most important thing there is.”

We absolutely loved the mystery, the setting and the romance of this story. It held us captivated from the first till the last page. From a dreary and rainy November in London, to a snowy and beautiful Norway, we became engrossed in a story of love, hope, memories and intrigue – focusing on a moment of history still honoured today.

‘Dear Thomas, this will be the last letter that I write….’

Releasing 22nd August

Synopsis

Come back, one day. Come back to me, just once.

Jane thought she would be alone this Christmas, but will a luxury trip to Norway mend her broken heart? 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. . .

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