STORY: Things are tough for single mom Kate. Her husband died, and despite the four years since, she isn’t quite over him. Her young son Jack barely remembers his father, but he misses the comforting presence of a father. So much so he decides to ask Father Christmas for a new daddy, and hopes it’ll make Kate happy again, too. This inspires Kate to try and be present, and the best she can, to make this the best Christmas ever.
She sets out to create many a fun nightly activity for Jack, and together, they recapture the spirit of the season. What she doesn’t anticipate is seeing the quiet man she met through her job as a Christmas tree farm employee. Two lost souls rediscover something they’ve been missing as they navigate this Christmas season of unexpected moments and discoveries.
25 Days ‘Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander | Book Review
REVIEW: This is one of those books I’m unsure why I picked up since its premise sounds more bittersweet than joyful, and the latter is 100% my preference. Still, knowing this is one of the older Christmas novels on my shelf, I picked this one up in the hopes there’d be a lovely little story inside.
Despite this, it’s important to note, this book is still bittersweet. Particularly in the latter portion (almost the end) when there’s implications of suicide; even if this is one of those mistaken assumptions, the implication is still here. This along with the general dismal outlook of life Kate has to endure makes this read a bit more of a serious “weight.” On the flip side of this, the story has moments of joy with young Jack, and the occasions when Kate lets her self breathe, and be more in the moment; for example, there’s a sweet sequence of them going sledding.
Kate is a heroine we become a bit frustrated with just because she a defeatist outlook, but that said, it’s also understandable given all the challenges she encounters. Daniel similarly has a kind of rough go of life which again, I’m sorry, but it does weigh the story down sometimes. This book is properly British (down to its phrasing) which makes reading it fun for those of us who enjoy a good armchair culture experience. There’s too much time between meeting our characters and seeing them together, which is a shame. But on the other hand, they’re all characters we champion and want to see find a happier future, and the way things ultimately work out brings a smile to the reader’s face. That is always enough for me, and as such, 25 Days ‘Til Christmas is a sweet read.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Author: Poppy Alexander
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 2019
Find the Review Elsewhere: Goodreads
Find the Book Elsewhere: Goodreads
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Secular Adult
Rating: 3.5 (almost 4) out of 5
Content: there are implications of suicide and an assault (non-graphic, and the victim gets away). There’s some British slang/profanity, but again, nothing terrible (it’s infrequent). There’s some minor sexual innuendo as well.