"From the Sunday Times bestselling author of A Christmas to Remember. Two children go on a desperate journey to find their family
Jimmy Trewin and his little sister are devastated by their mother's death and horrified to find themselves entrusted to the far from tender care of a hated neighbour, Mrs Huxtable. They hope their father will rescue them when his ship comes into port but this does not happen and when Cyril Huxtable is seen by the children hiding "a wad of notes" away, a wad which subsequently disappears, they realise they are in deep trouble. Cyril accuses them of theft and threatens a terrible revenge so they decide to leave Liverpool and try to find their mother's family in Wales.
Soon, they meet Miss Trent, a school teacher who has been unfairly dismissed, and agree to join forces since Miss Trent also hopes to find relatives in Wales. But Cyril has promised to pursue them until they hand over his property, and soon they realise he has picked up their trail..."
This is what I would call a proper story, not all fairy tales and romance. I would have liked to have known earlier in the story what decade this was set in because it wasn't obvious until quite a way in to the book (1930's into 1940's & WWII). In addition, the synopsis (above) isn't actually totally accurate to the story of the book (in the description of what Cyril is seen hiding away) (which I guess is more of a comment for the publisher!).
If you're looking for a festive read, then this is not it (despite Christmas being in the title!) - but what the book is is a good traditional read that reminded me of a modernised Charles Dickens novel; the tale of two children left by their heartbroken widowed father with a wicked neighbour. When the children cannot take any more, what results is a tale of their journey across the country in search of a family they can call their own.
The story was interesting, and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way. I got slightly hung up on the authors over use of the word "presently" which I have to admit did annoy me! However, the characters were well drawn, and although the story jumps forward a couple of times (and it would have been nice to have seen the in-between moments), I very much enjoyed it. I also liked the relationship between Jimmy and Mo, and the other relationships that are built as the book progresses.
The publishers have kindly offered five readers of Book - Love - Bug the chance to win a copy of A Family Christmas. For the chance to win one of five copies, follow the rafflecopter instructions below.