Book Review: The Christmas Calendar Girls by Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge has dropped by today with the blog tour for her new novel, The Christmas Calendar Girls. 

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?

 

Chesterwood Food Bank is under threat of close and Fern has come up with what she thinks is the perfect plan to save it. A living advent calendar. With the help of her best friends, Cara and Davina, she begins to put her idea into motion.

She is also getting closer to Kit who is the temporary caretaker at her daughter’s school and the only man to get close to her after the death of her husband, Adam.

However, Kit has a secret and it is holding him back.

One of Davina’s son’s is acting strangely and the other is deeply unhappy. Domestic goddess Cara is starting to forget things. Can the three of them pull together and make it a perfect Christmas by saving the food bank?

The Christmas Calendar Girls is everything I love in a Christmas novel.

The idea of a living advent calendar sounds brilliant and makes this Christmas lover want to see something like this for real. As the story progressed, I couldn’t help but feel more and more festive.

Fern is a character I rooted for from the very beginning. She has been through a lot and I wanted her to be OK. The same could be said for Kit. I knew he was holding things back but the more I got to know him in the novel, the more I liked and trusted him.

It took me a couple of chapters to get fully into the story but it builds really nicely into a warm, festive conclusion and the journey from beginning to end is inspirational, full of secrets, mystery, warmth and wonderful moments.

If you know me, you know I don’t like to go through too much of what happens in the story beyond what I have already written but if you are looking for a beautiful Christmas book to add to your Christmas book list, The Christmas Calendar Girls is perfect.

I adored it to the point where I hope it’s not long before we revisit Fern, Kit, Cara and Davina. I would love to know what happens next. What do you reckon, Samantha?

Overall, a great, warm, beautiful festive novel. I recommend it.

 

About Samantha: 

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

Follow Samantha via her website: http://samanthatonge.co.uk/, follow on Twitter: @SamTongeWriter

and like on Facebook: @SamanthaTongeAuthor

The Christmas Calendar Girls was released via Aria on 3rd October. Click to view on Amazon UK, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play.

Follow Aria on Twitter: @aria_fiction

 

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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