‘Warm, cosy and perfectto curl up with’ Mandy Baggot, author of One Last Greek Summer. ‘A charmingstory about second chances, redemption, and the magic of Christmas. Five festive stars!’ Lucy Coleman, author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove. ‘A must-readChristmas story of love, loss, friendshipand community’ Sandy Barker, author of One Summer in Santorini. This Christmas fall in love with the town … author of One Summer in Santorini.
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.
Praise for Samantha Tonge:
‘A story of love, friendship and community sprinkled with magicalfestive moments. Full of warmth, this is a real treat’ Maggie Conway, author of Winter at West Sands Guest House.
A wonderful, heartwarming story of a community coming together to save a food bank that’s been threatened with eviction, right before Christmas. Spearheaded by the widowed Fern she puts everything she has into the Living Calender and brings together the community, families and at the same time discover love and friendships that will truly last. A beautiful, sweet story with amazing Christmas windows and food I swear I can smell! Definitely a fun Christmas read you can enjoy in an afternoon or evening!
Davina stood up and gave me a piercing stare that only a mother of twins could master.
The best sorts of friends were good at turning me into we.
It felt as if a light bulb switched on in my chest whenever I saw him, like that magical sensation as a child when you discover the tooth fairy has visited.
I took out my phone, brushed my hair and took a selfie. The strained smile made me look like a convict. So I took twenty more and finally created one that didn’t suggest I’d turn up to a date hiding an axe. Then I created a profile on Tinder. Not words I ever thought I’d be saying…
This was a fun and easy read with relevant real-world issues, heart-squeezes, insightful observations, and clever levity in equal measure. While battling overwhelming odds to raise funds to continue a charitable operation, the overall tone of the story was decidedly upbeat with hard-won lessons and positive outcomes all around. I enjoyed the creativity and everydayness of the characters as well as the entertaining storylines, and relatable conflicts and concerns. Ms. Tonge’s poignant writing is laced together with such perceptive watchfulness; her stories are a learning experience as well as an entertaining one.
This is a beautiful Christmas story and I loved the characters and their relationships. It explores the theme of judgement and how we can never truly know what is going on with someone until they let us into their lives.
The Christmas Calendar Girls by Samantha Tonge four-star wrapped up read. This could have been a five-star read, but in places it just went on a little, the story made me smile in so many places, it also made me sob in places as well, dealing with the loss of a partner and parent is always hard to do well, but Samantha Tonge did it very well. There is so much heart in this story, with loss and the risk to the food bank closing, as well as several other issues that we all face in life, they were all well done and couldn’t be faulted, it was the glue that held all of those bits together that just didn’t stick enough for me. Kit was the one that surprised me more than I could imagine, he was something I didn’t expect even though I had my ideas about his story from the start, there was still something to surprise and make the story whole.
4 star review of The Christmas Calendar by Samantha Tonge
Christmas, it’s the most magical time of the year and my favourite holiday. Samantha Tonge is a new author to me and I loved the blurb for The Christmas Calendar. Chesterwood sounds like a beautiful place to live and I found this story to be full of hope, love, family and friendship.
When the local food bank is in danger of closing, widow Fern decides to take action with the help of her friends Davina and Cara. I admired Fern’s community spirit, her sass and feisty determination not to give up was something I could easily relate to.
Can the magic of the Christmas season bring people together to help one another?
When the new man in town Kit, offers his support and assistance, Ferns feels the beginning of a spark of interest, not felt since her husband passed away. However, Kit also has baggage from his past, will it be enough to keep him from pursing happiness or will Fern be able to break down his walls?
All the characters were well written and I enjoyed reading about the people of Chesterwood and how they come together to help one another out in a show of true community spirit.
I received a copy of this book through the publisher via Netgalley.