I am pleased to share with you a festive book review, Christmas at the Farmhouse by Rebecca Boxall.
Book Review: Christmas at the Farmhouse by Rebecca Boxall
Title: Christmas at the Farmhouse
Author: Rebecca Boxall
Genre: festive fiction women’s fiction
Publisher: Wild Fox Press
Release date: 24 Oct. 2020
As the anticipation of Christmas builds in the Nielsen family’s cosy farmhouse, Jo, Magnus and their grown-up children begin to congregate for a hybrid Danish-Jersey festive season, each with a surprise of their own – though the surprise that arrives over Christmas is the most life-changing of all.
Fifty years earlier, in 1969, Susan Jones finds herself being pursued by Mr Jenners, her former English teacher, and at the age of seventeen is packed off to a Home for Unmarried Mothers in London by her uncompromising father. As Christmas approaches, all she can do is desperately hope to be rescued, but will anyone be able to reach her in time?
The two timelines of this festive story gradually weave together in a tale that examines whether love and hope can eventually triumph over even the deepest sadness.
Rebecca Boxall is the award-nominated author of five bestselling novels – Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse.
I was drawn to this novel because of the dual nature of the storyline and the promise of an emotional ride with Susan’s tale. I am a sucker for Call the Midwife and the blurb reminded me of the many heart-breaking pregnancies it shows. From the beginning the reader is thrown into heartache with Susan being forced to give up her much wanted baby. This connected me to her and I needed to keep reading to see how things came to be and what happened next. The two timelines are told in alternate chapters and highlight a big contrast between naïve Susan preparing for birth and Jo preparing for a large family traditional Christmas with unexpected surprises from all family members. Jo’s family is full of warmth, and the descriptions of mouth-watering food and festive traditions made me want to spend Christmas at theirs this year but it was Susan’s timeline I was constantly drawn to. It could have been a book on its own. The subject is well researched and sensitively told.
Would I recommend?
This is the first novel I have read by Rebecca Boxall and am pleased to discover she has a back catalogue of Christmas books to explore. Farmhouse at Christmas is an enjoyable, cosy but emotional read which explores family connections, reactions to unmarried mothers in history bundled to together with warm festive cheer.
Rebecca Boxall was born in 1977 in East Sussex, where she grew up in a vicarage always filled with family, friends and parishioners. She now lives by the sea in Jersey with her husband, three children and Rodney the cat. She read English at the University of Warwick before training as a lawyer and also studied Creative Writing with The Writer’s Bureau. She is the bestselling author of Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse and was nominated for the Romantic Novelist Association Awards in 2020.
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Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and supplying me with a copy to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.
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Happy reading and stay safe!