Snowflakes are falling, there’s carol singing on every corner, and Leah Evans is preparing for a family Christmas at her grandmother’s majestic plantation house in Virginia. It won’t be the same now that her beloved Nan is gone, but when Leah discovers she has inherited the mansion, she knows she can give her daughter Sadie the childhood of her dreams.
But there’s a catch. Leah must split the house with a man called David Forester. Leah hasn’t heard that name in a long time. Not since they were kids, when Davey was always there to catch her.
Now David is all grown up. He’s gorgeous, successful, and certain of one thing: Leah should sell him her half of the house.
They can’t agree, but as they share memories over wine by the log fire, Leah notices a fluttering in her stomach. And by the look in his eyes, he’s starting to feel it too.
Will it be Leah or David who must give up their dreams? Or, with a little bit of Christmas magic, will they finally understand Nan’s advice to them both about living life without regrets … and take a chance on true love?
What does TWG think?
I’m not going to lie, as soon as I read the title of the book, TWG became Mariah Carey. Found my inner diva, not that it was hard mind you. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMASSSSS ISSSSS YOUUUUUUUUUUU.
Uncanny resemblance I know.
Due to the fact that I an additional two words to the title in my head, I automatically thought that the book was going to have the lovey dovey, see a man in the distance, fall madly in love then realise he’s a snowman, type feel to it. How wrong could I have been. There were no snowmen, just uncertain and familiar males.
It’s the festive season and Leah is trying to give her daughter the best Christmas, despite barely being able to make ends meet. Leah’s daughter, Sadie, has a wise head on young shoulders so she understands that her mum tries her best and will give her what she can for Christmas. However, one of Sadie’s Christmas wishes looks as though it may stay just that, a wish. Will Leah be able to work out what her Nan means in the letter that she left for her? Or will Leah’s Nan’s legacy no longer be kept in the family?
It didn’t take me long to work out that this Christmas book wasn’t going to be the fluffy type of read as by the end of the first chapter, I was well and truly gripped by the events that were unfolding before my very eyes. The fact that everything was well and truly up in the air, obviously, made me eager to find out more. I wanted to know what the hell was happening with her Nan’s old business and what secrets were being kept. Incredibly mysterious and very unexpected.
My heart went out to Leah several times throughout the story as I could feel the emotion and fear that she was carrying around with her. She was trying to do her best for her daughter’s future, but it seemed as though all she has ever known was being taken away from her by one single name. I found Leah’s friend, Roz, such a hoot to read about. She had the air of someone who couldn’t give a flying mince pie what anyone thought of her, unless you messed with the ones she loved. Her humour and sarcastic remarks were brilliant, definitely added another dimension to the storyline.
As I read further into the story, it became clear that I was feeling an incredibly strong hidden message, and it is one that goes rather unnoticed. Some people might think that Christmas means loads of gifts, expensive ones at that, or even going to a different country just because. If that’s what you do, then good for you. However, Jenny Hale has unearthed what often goes unappreciated; family. Leah wanted to recreate her family Christmas like the ones she had with her Nan, whilst keeping the magic there for Sadie. I believe that Jenny pulled that off for her main character for sure. The rawness that was unwrapped on Christmas morning within the story, was emotional unnerving. Tears were pricking my eyes over such a minor detail of the book, yet the meaning behind it was larger than life.
The powerful moments didn’t stop there as every situation flowed naturally into another one, every character gelled like old friends, and intense emotions were heightened. Extremely heightened, (for me anyway), I finished the book crying my eyes out. The intensity of Jenny’s words were extremely overwhelming, and very enriching. I felt as though the book just walked into my soul, set up camp and read ‘All I Want For Christmas’ to me.
Jenny writes with such ease and authenticity that her words usually stop me in my tracks. She has THAT edge. Whilst Jenny’s other books are brilliant, she has outdone herself with her latest as this is now my favourite book of hers.
All I Want For Christmas is a soul hugging, emotional and poignant read that highlights the true magic of Christmas, and family. An undeniably joyful yet emotional read that will stay in my heart for a very, very long time.
I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Netgalley in return for my unbiased views.