Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Book Review: The Art Of Christmas by Jane Lovering

What if the memories of Christmas past were getting in the way of Christmas future?

It’s been nearly two years since Harriet lost Jonno, but she’s finally decided that it’s time to celebrate Christmas again.

Then she finds a stash of graphic novels belonging to her comic book-loving husband in the attic, and suddenly her world is turned upside down once more.

With the help of eccentric comic book dealer Kell Foxton, she discovers that the comics collected by Jonno are not only extremely valuable, but also hold the key to his secret life – a life that throws Harriet’s entire marriage and every memory she has of her husband into question.

As Harriet grows closer to Kell, she begins to feel like she could learn to love Christmas again – but first, she needs to know the truth.
I didn’t really expect much from The Art of Christmas. It is a short Christmas read that caught my eye because of its festive theme. I had never heard of Jane Lovering before so I didn’t really have much to go on. I had a feeling it might fall flat, as so many short Christmas romances do, but I ended up pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a bit of fluff but what I got was a novella full of depth and emotion. The Art of Christmas was a story where the author was not fearful of letting the romance take a back seat, a story where the characters and their growth were centre stage.

The Art of Christmas was a charming novella. Jane Lovering has created a lovely story and her writing was good too. This book wasn’t really about romance or the holidays, they played their part but it wasn’t what the bulk of this book was. It was about moving on; learning to trust not just people but yourself again when you fear your judgement has failed you. The Art of Christmas was a gently written novella that had not only depth but also quite a few well-placed laughs.

The characters were excellent. Harriet was at that point in her grief where she was ready to start moving on but wasn’t sure how to go about it. She had been on her own for almost two years and could see that her life was beginning to lose purpose. I thought she was very strong and brave. She faced everything that came at her in a cool and calm manner and when she found someone she liked she didn’t ruin it with a false sense of guilt.

Kell was also marvellous. He was complete geek and a little socially awkward. He was lonely and wasn’t scared to admit it which was nice. So often in these books the men try to act so tough but Kell wasn’t afraid of looking weak or being honest. I found him and his dog, Frodo, utterly charming and completely endearing. At times they were both hilariously funny which was excellent, as it bought a fun atmosphere to the story. It was clear that Kell was utterly mesmerized by Harriet but he knew she had stuff to sort through. He let her know his interest but didn’t push her, which is another reason to love him.

The Art of Christmas was a lovely holiday read, my only complaint was that I wish it has been a little longer.

3 stars

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Published November 13th 2015 by Choc Lit. 
A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.  Image courtesy of Goodreads.

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