Friday 13 January 2023

Book Review | A Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan | prettylittlewriter

When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life.
Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone.
At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?’

This was a lovely heart-warming read.


I always like to read Christmas stories over the holidays, but I ended up finishing this in January because there’s just never enough time between seeing friends and family and having a break from work!


At the start of the novel, I didn’t like Carmen. She was mean, and very selfish. But that didn’t last very long. Once she arrived at her sister’s and started working for Mr McCredie, she really turned into an MC that you like and are rooting for.

I loved watching the bond develop between her and her sister, Sofia. The fact that they hated each other to start with, and Carmen hated children, to then have them being incredibly close and the children, especially Phoebe, gravitating towards Carmen all the time, was just lovely to see.


I would say, I was waiting for the romance part of the novel to come into it a lot sooner, and as soon as we met Blair, I knew that this could not be the guy she ended up with, as he was a complete narcissist, so when it took nearly 3/4’s of the book to have a real chance at romance between Carmen and Oke, I found it slightly disappointing. It was also incredibly infuriating reading them either missing each other constantly, or one of them getting the wrong idea about another person that they were seen with, I was getting quite impatient!


I love that Carmen ended up helping Mr McCredie in more ways than one, the bookshop and his own past, with the introduction of some family member’s he didn’t know he had. It was so heart-warming and sweet to read.


Jenny has done a wonderful job of creating the most magical bookshop ever. If it existed, I would want to live there! Once Carmen had done her thing and started bringing in new decorations, and books that people would actually read, it just felt so cosy and I wanted to jump into the book and go shopping there!


Overall, I absolutely loved this book, and it really is the perfect festive read!


4/5 stars

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