Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review : Christmas on Primrose Hill by Karen Swan

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Reading a Karen Swan novel at Christmas has become a bit of a tradition with me since 2013.

I had Christmas at Tiffany’s for quite a while on my Kindle before I read it in December 2013!  Then the following Christmas, I received a paperback copy of Christmas in the Snow in my stocking.  Both were 5* reads for me so I was excited to find Christmas on Primrose Hill in my stocking this year 🙂  Did it meet my expectations?

Starting my stocking present. I may be gone some time 🙂 #bookblogger #escaped

A photo posted by @jerasjamboree on Dec 28, 2015 at 8:35am PST

Paperback: 480 pages

Publisher: Pan; (5 Nov. 2015)

ISBN-10: 144728013X

ISBN-13: 978-1447280132

On Primrose Hill . . .

Twinkling lights brighten London’s Primrose Hill as Christmas nears – but for Nettie Watson, it’s not parties and presents that she wants.

Promises are made

For Nettie, Christmas only serves as a stark reminder of the life she used to have . . . One day she made a promise to never leave home, and so far she’s stayed true to her word.

Promises are broken

Under the glaring spotlight of the world’s media, Nettie is unexpectedly caught up in a 21st century storm . . . Her exploits have made her a global name and attracted the attention of one of the world’s most eligible men – famous front man, Jamie Westlake. But now she has his attention, does she want to keep it?


First of all I have to say that I loved Nettie.  She is a fabulous lead character and from the moment she accidently slides down the Ice Crush slalom and becomes the Blue Bunny Girl I identified with her.  

In charge of charitable donations she’s collecting for ‘Tested.’  Donations increase because of the accident at the event and when the film is uploaded (without the sponsor’s consent) to YouTube it goes viral.  Friend and colleague Jules gets them out of being fired by suggesting they use this to promote the charity and comes up with the social media challenge that grabs the attention of Jamie Westlake.

The PR and challenges are fabulous and are so well thought out.  This is a campaign that would really work.  It gave me some laugh out loud moments.  Nettie doesn’t want to be recognised which adds intrigue to the campaign but also made me curious.  Why didn’t she want to be noticed?  The first challenge attracts the notice of the law.

They needed to have the police on their side.

Why?  and who is Gwen?  Why does Nettie check in with her?  I had several thoughts about Nettie’s mum but I wasn’t correct.  I loved her dad.  He’s so active in the community but that is keeping him occupied … what doesn’t he want to remember or face up to?  When we find out it explains so much of Nettie’s behaviour.  Including running out on Jamie.

Jamie the rock star and yet very vulnerable.  With lifestyles that are polar opposites I wondered if they would ever be able to reconcile this.  One of my favourite scenes is in the park.

I read Christmas at Primrose Hill between Christmas and New Year and as I came close to the ending, I read until 1am and then again the next day at breakfast.  I couldn’t put it down.

There are so many threads running through the story besides the romance.  Karen Snow makes real a social issue that I would guess a lot of us don’t think about.  In the acknowledgements she shares a charity and their website with a link to download a relevant song for a £1 donation.

Don’t let the word Christmas in the title put you off.  Christmas on Primrose Hill can be read at any time of the year.

It’s a Keeper

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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