A modern-day retelling of A Christmas Carol…
Caroline is a cynic career woman living the high life in Manhattan where love and relationships are but a distant memory of the past.
But after a freak accident on Christmas Eve, Caroline receives a visit from a cheeky spirit of Christmas Past, Present, Yet to Come, and—most importantly—Christmas That Could Have Been. When she wakes up on Christmas Day suddenly married with three kids and living two doors down from her parents in New Jersey, Caroline has a chance to experience the life she would’ve had if she’d made a different choice.
Will small-town life as a mother and a wife make her rediscover what’s really important in life?
I received a digital ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second Christmas book that I have reviewed from this author, and I have enjoyed them both. As the synopsis explains, this is a modern retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Career driven and money-orientated Caroline is determined not to let the Season of Joy affect her. Begrudgingly, she visits her family home and leaves as soon as she can. Determined to return to the bright lights of New York, she hurries out of her childhood home and winds up in a coma.
At this point, we meet Melodie who is Caroline’s chosen guide through the familiar ghostly visits. Everything feels very similar to the original text, until Caroline is shown the Christmas that could have been. An excellent development which made me think. Caroline finds herself in an alternative reality where she is married with 3 children.
The pace of this story is good, moving at an appropriate speed for the reader to share Caroline’s discomfort, such as finding herself breastfeeding a new-born whilst caring for two other children. In real life, Caroline is a partner in a hugely successful publishing house which specialises in celebrity, ghost-written books and nothing of any substance. In ‘what could have been, Caroline has followed her dream, and has become successful in a different way. In this alternative life, she is happily married to her one who got away.
This book was a tremendous amount of fun and I read it at full tilt. My favourite character had to be Jo, alternative Caroline’s daughter, who is named after her favourite character from Little Women. Jo has all Caroline’s drive, but her edges are softer as she’s not yet been jaded by life’s disappointment. Her ability to drive a hard bargain is definitely a trait inherited from her mother.
Of course, the alternative reality is simply a figment, how can Caroline escape from her nightmare and find what makes her truly happy? There are no spoilers from me, but rest assured, like the original tale, there is a happy ending.
Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.
She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading–duh!–cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies–popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.
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