Book Review: A Christmas Cracker, by Trisha Ashley

Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins)  |  Publication date: 22nd October 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (Review copy, via Netgalley)


A Christmas Cracker My Review

A Christmas Cracker by Trisha Astley Kindle CoverA Christmas Cracker is a cheery little marvel and provided me with a delightful distraction over the recent dismal days. This book has the “F” Factor – that’s Fantastically Festive and Feel good!

The village of Little Mumming in the Hamlet of Godsend and its random selection of quirky residents are such excellent company.  The story has just about everything: from perfectly chosen names of the characters and places, a snobby cat called Pye with human traits, not to mention that Marwood’s Magical Crackers seems the most welcoming workplace in the world – it was an absolute joy to read!

With the owners of the old factory mill being practicing Quakers they have a marvellous reputation for offering second chances to those in need. Yet it seems they could do with one themselves, as the products they sell need a much welcomed facelift, along with most of the staff who aren’t getting any younger! Over time, each employee has become a valued friend of the quirky owners and has their own story to tell, but I’ll let you get to know them for yourself. Let’s just say they’re keen as mustard and happy to leave their past behind them. Much like our main gal, Tabitha…

After being wrongly accused of fraud and losing everything only to gain a custodial sentence, Tabby is desperate to move on. But it seems that the shadows from her past just won’t let her go and they leap out to challenge her at unexpected intervals. You can almost hear her cry, “good grief, what next?!”

Since her mum passed away Tabby is without any family. Her one and only friend has tried to remain supportive but is experiencing difficulties of her own with a jealous husband watching her every move. So Tabby relies on the uncompromising kindness of Mercy Marwood, famed for her good, honest hospitality, plenty of mouth-watering food and an abundance of energy, despite her advancing years.

With Tabby’s artistic eye for design, Mercy hopes to turn her Cracker factory around by dragging it kicking and screaming into a popular attraction, while still retaining its traditional values. But Randal, her nephew, has other ideas for the mill and seems hell bent on making the new house guest and her cantankerous cat as unwelcome as possible. He cannot believe the family business will be profitable again and will take some convincing, but he’s facing a formidable team!

His rudeness is to be expected though, as Tabby recognises Mercy’s nephew from the awful past she’s trying to forget, the one just before she had been arrested. Well, you can gather that things get very interesting indeed as the headstrong battle for the survival of the mill plays out.

So, what did I find in A Christmas Cracker? A WONDERFUL STORY with a great BIG HEART! It reminds you that no matter how bleak things look there’s always hope – okay, you might miss it on the first couple of passes, but it’ll be waiting for you to stumble over it all in good time…

Rating: 4/5

PS. The recipes in the back of the book were a lovely touch too!

(My thanks to the publisher, Avon Books and Helena Sheffield, for providing a digital copy of this book for review via Netgalley.)

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Get into the festive spirit with this heart-warming, funny and simply gorgeous Christmas read.

The eagerly awaited new novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author.

This Christmas is about to go off with a bang!

Things can’t possibly get worse for Tabby. Framed for a crime she didn’t commit, she suddenly finds herself without a job. Then to make matters worse, Tabby’s boyfriend dumps her and gives her cat away to a shelter.

But rescue comes in the form of kindly Mercy. A master of saving waifs and strays, Mercy wants Tabby to breathe new flair into her ailing cracker business. Together, they’ll save Marwood’s Magical Christmas Crackers.

But someone has other ideas. Mercy’s nephew Randal thinks Tabby’s a fraudster. Stubborn, difficult and very attractive, her future depends upon winning him round. But it’s that time of the year when miracles really can happen. Standing under the mistletoe, Tabby’s Christmas is set to be one that she will never forget . . .


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