A Christmas to Remember by Katie Flynn was the second of my Christmas season books. (Calling Mrs Christmas by Carole Matthews was the first Christmas season book) I have never read any of Katie Flynn’s books before but picked this one because it is a historical story based in post war Liverpool and seemed interesting.
We follow Tess who has moved back to live with her grandmother, Edie, after being evacuated during the war. Post war life is basic, but it is difficult on rations and to make a living. Although this story does show that there are opportunities for the determined. Tess is only at school when we meet her and over time she makes friends with Albert, who owns the tobacco shop, and Snowy White. This story is quite moving as Tess grows up to become a young independent woman who sets up a pet shop and makes a success of it. She also finds love and has two guys (Snowy White in the city and Jonty from the farm) after her love. But not all is straightforward as Tess finds out some family secrets and needs to think about what she wants from life.
Katie has created a story that shows how hard post war life was but also the contrast between town and farm life. The contrast is important as it shows the difference in the lives Tess could have depending which guy she chooses if any. Her descriptions are captivating and we can picture ourselves there with Tess, her family and the other characters.
But unfortunately, even though this is a lovely heartfelt story, about family and love, I didn’t really feel for Tess and her story. I was torn on who she should spend her life with but found Tess at times a bit naive and frustrating to follow. But I really liked Edie and Albert’s story as well as finding Bell farm, it’s family including Jonty really interesting.
Overall I would recommend reading this story if you like post war novels as well as stories about family and love.
What have you been reading over Christmas?