I am so pleased to have been asked to take part in the blog tour for this wonderful Christmassy book.
Title: The Christmas Calendar Girls
Author: Samantha Tonge
Publication date: Out now
This Christmas fall in love with the town of Chesterwood…
Christmas is meant to be a time of giving, so with Chesterwood food bank under risk of closure Fern knows just what to do to save it. She’s going to get the town to create a living advent calendar.
Fern, and her best friends, call for help from the local community to bring this calendar to life. When Kit, the new man in town, offers his assistance Fern’s heart can’t help but skip a beat (or two).
As they grow ever closer, Fern must admit that Kit’s breaking down the barriers she built after the death of her husband. But his past is holding him back and Fern doesn’t know how to reach him. No matter how hard she tries.
In this town, Kit’s not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Cara is behaving oddly, burning meals in the oven and clothes whilst ironing, and Davina’s perfect children are causing trouble at school leaving her son, Jasper, desperately unhappy.
Can the Christmas Calendar Girls find a way to bring the community together in time to save the food bank, while still supporting their families and each other? Can Fern find love again with Kit?
This is a story about kindness and letting go of the past. It’s about looking out for your neighbours and about making every day feel like Christmas.
It’s confession time. When I agreed to the blog tour for this book, I did ask myself what I was thinking. If you look through my Goodreads account, you’ll be hard pushed to find any contemporary romance novels; they’re just not my thing. But I wanted to push my boundaries and I’m a sucker for anything Christmas themed, so here I am, 300ish pages later, and do you know what? I really enjoyed it.
What makes The Christmas Calendar Girls so good is that it’s relevant. We’ve probably all seen food donation points in supermarkets, but there are far fewer people who know what it is to volunteer for one or be a recipient of a food parcel. Tonge brings to light the reality of food banks and those who use them – people from all walks of life, including those who never thought they’d have a need for a food parcel.
I enjoyed the dynamic between the characters. They reflect what could effectively be real-life; they struggle with personal issues, relationship problems, grief, love, and guilt. The key message behind the story is probably the most important – that we’re all allowed to make mistakes, learn from them, and then allow ourselves to move on.
It was quite difficult reading about the main character, Fern, losing her husband to cancer. For many of us, it is one of our worst fears. But life is full of our fears – it is how we deal with them, and others, that matters.
The Christmas factor in this book is just the icing on the cake. Plenty of Christmas decorations, bright lights, and even a few fireworks. Tonge has created a wonderful book with a wonderful message – highly recommended now that we are coming into the cold, long, wet Winter nights.
Don’t forget to check out the blog tour schedule below to find out more about The Christmas Calendar Girls.
Thanks to Aria and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the author
Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee.
Blog Tour Schedule
Will you be reading The Christmas Calendar Girls? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a bookish week,