No secret stays buried forever...
In London, the snow is falling and Christmas is just around the corner - but Allegra Fisher barely has time to notice. She's pitching for the biggest deal of her career and can't afford to fail. And when she meets attractive stranger, Sam Kemp, on the plane to the meeting, she can't afford to lose her focus either. She learned to shut off her emotions long ago and only her sister and best friend Isobel knows why. But when Allegra finds herself up against Sam for the bid, their passion quickly turns sour.
In Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, a long-lost mountain hut is discovered in the snow after sixty years and the last person expecting to become involved is Allegra - she hasn't even heard of the woman they found inside. But it soon becomes clear the two women are linked and, as she and Iz travel out to make sense of the mystery, hearts thaw and dark secrets are uncovered, long buried by the snow.
With glamorous locations and heart-breaking twists, Christmas in the Snow is all you need in your stocking for a truly decadent Christmas holiday. The perfect gift - even if it's just to yourself.
This book is the ultimate book to curl up with on a winters day in front of a roaring fire with a glass of wine and a box of chocolates. Karen Swan is the queen of winter reads, and despite Christmas in the Snow having "Christmas" in the title, I would class this is more of a "winter read" as it is set in the month of December in the lead up to Christmas, and Christmas does not realllly feature until the last few pages of the book. However, when Christmas does come, it is the perfect family Christmas, at long last.
I loved the idea of the Advent Calendar that Allegra and Isobel find in their mum's loft, and wish we had seen more of it in the earlier parts of the book. Whilst we see the sisters open the first door together on 1 December, we do not see it again until 14 December (other than the 'titles' at the beginning of certain chapters). However, I guess this fits in with how Allegra grows throughout the book; in the first part of the book, she is so engrossed in her work that she doesn't even notice that Christmas is approaching whereas a dramatic shift will soon change everything in her world. I liked the first part of "Allegra's life" but I loved the second part which emerges along with the dramatic shift.
I am not a skier and I have never been to Zermatt but I love the descriptions (including the descriptions of waffles and crepes, being my weak spot and made me hungrier than I already was) and the vast array of characters are simply divine as they lead you on a complex journey that will not only hold your interest but sometimes you will gasp realising that you've been holding your breath for too long. The twists and turns just keep on coming (like Legs and Iz descending the piste in Zermatt) and even when you think you've seen the last, there is more waiting for you round the corner. Karen Swan has a fabulous style of writing; it is detailed and it immerses you in the story making you feel as though you are really there in the exotic (and in this case, frozen) locations.
I adored the ending, and the only negative thing I can say is that it ended too soon because I was so immersed that I wanted more! Christmas in the Snow is a story of a love so strong that it could survive anything; "In a sea of people, my eyes will always look for you". However, whilst there is romance, the book also has serious elements to it including early onset Alzheimer's which is absolutely heartbreaking.
I have my fingers crossed for a sequel in which Sam will fall in love with me.....but all in seriousness, I would love a sequel just so I can get some more of these fabulous characters!
And talking of sequels, Karen is currently editing the actual real life sequel to Christmas at Tiffany's (I hear that Summer at Tiffany's is due out in July) - eeeeek!!!!!