Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review | How To Stuff Up Christmas | Rosie Blake

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Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 2170 KB
Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Corvus (5 Nov. 2015)

Source : Purchased

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Unless you’ve found an intimate picture of another woman on your fiance’s phone…

Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve’s boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen.

But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve’s best friend Daisy know that she isn’t telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve’s boat?

A hilarious and heart-warming novel about Christmas, catastrophes and cooking, containing exclusive Christmas recipes, from the talented Rosie Blake.

I enjoyed Rosie Blake’s debut novel  How To Get A (Love) Life last year so when I saw she was publishing a Christmas read I pre-ordered it and was determined to read it this year.

I loved this humourous but meaningful read.  You can’t help but fall in love with Eve.  32 years old, broken hearted after her split with Liam and not wanting to spend Christmas with her family because of the memories, we first meet her when her mum is trying to get her up.  I’m going to say right now that her mum and dad reminded me of my husband and myself (although roles reversed) – you’ll likely find me throwing balls of paper at him (but I have a much better dress sense than Eve’s dad!).  It was easy to identify with them.  I loved the closeness Eve has with sister Harriet too.

Signing up for a month long pottery course she takes Marmite (the dog who belonged to both Eve and Liam but who she has custody of) to live on a houseboat in Pangbourne.  Her first morning is so funny and NOT the best look when she first meets Greg!

Greg is the village vet and provides plenty of intrigue.  I had questions and wanted to know what he was hiding.  There’s no clues to pick up on either (which I loved).  I guessed it wasn’t one thing but really didn’t know what it was.  The rhythm they have in the small galley on the houseboat while they’re cooking reminded me of the give and take of relationships.  While I’m talking about the cooking, there’s recipes at the beginning of each chapter relevant to the story.

Another thing that I guessed at and was so sure of … I didn’t get right! and that was who the woman was in the compromising picture text.

The characters on the pottery course are very entertaining.  Minnie is the host (it’s held in her house) and she comes across as eccentric.  Husband Gerald gets in some compromising positions (not what you’re thinking!) and it took me a while to make the link with another character.  These sessions actually inspired me as much as they did Eve and made me start thinking about how much I used to love to draw.

Alongside the humour there is sadness too.  I cried for quite a while over Pepper and finally realised the kind of guy Greg was in his remark to Mrs McLaughlin as she left.

How To Stuff Up Christmas was a story I couldn’t wait to get back to.  I’ve felt so many different emotions and each character has brought something meaningful to the story (including the goose).   I was sad when I finished reading.  I’ve loved being a part of Eve’s life.

Connect with Rosie

Twitter @RosieBBooks

Facebook Page RosieBBooks

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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