Fiction Book Reviews

Review | The Christmas Swap | Sandy Barker

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We’re delighted to be sharing Elena’s thoughts about The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker on the Rachel’s Random Resources tour.


Jules, Chloe and Lucy met on holiday when they were children. They soon discover they all have birthdays in May so call themselves ‘The May Ladies’. A beautiful friendship develops which spans decades and three separate continents.

Jules lives in Colorado, Chloe in Melbourne and Lucy in Oxfordshire yet over the years they maintain the friendship – keeping in touch regularly and travelling together. They really are the best of friends!

One day during one of their regular online meet-ups, they start to discuss Christmas which is fast approaching. An idea hits them – they will all swap locations this year. Lucy will go to Colorado to spend time with Jules’s family in a snowy cabin, Chloe will go to Oxfordshire to join Lucy’s family and Jules will leave the freezing cold climate in Colorado behind to have Christmas in the sun with Chloe’s flatmate and their assortment of friends.

As they settle into life in their new temporary homes, they soon realise how different life is there from their own day-to-day existence. The new location opens their eyes and they seem comfortable in their new surroundings. There is also an added bonus of a bit of romance to spice up the festivities!

This is such a fun easy read which had me turning the pages quickly.

The girls were really likeable and I loved reading about the gorgeous locations – in particular the cabin in Colorado and the larger than life Christmas the American contingent were enjoying.

I also enjoyed learning about their friendship and the other characters in their lives who are lovable and interesting. 

Each chapter focused on a different character and their point of view on their feelings and observations of Christmas in a different location.  The English Christmas made me smile in recognition with the references to the Queen’s speech and village Christmas fair that Chloe helps to organise.  Jules’s Christmas in Melbourne is just so different to the huge family affair that she is normally used to and she completely falls for laid-back Aussie lifestyle. 

The Christmas Swap got me really excited about Christmas and I easily escaped into the gorgeous locations and wonderful characters of this fantastic, light-hearted book.

Elena's author image

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Sandy Barker is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list. She loves exploring new places, outdoor adventures, and eating and drinking like a local when she travels, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, film buff, wine lover and coffee snob.

https://twitter.com/sandybarker  |  https://www.facebook.com/sandybarkerauthor  |  https://www.instagram.com/sandybarkerauthor  |  https://sandybarker.com/


Jera's Jamboree has been around for 9+ years. I'm qualified as a Sleep Consultant, Dyslexia Therapist, Reiki Master, Mental Health First Aider and Mindfulness Practitioner. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind.


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