“Christmas in the Snow” is one of a few Karen Swan books which have promising festive titles. Unfortunately “Christmas at Claridges” did not live up to my expectations as it was mainly a summertime book and not remotely Christmassy! This one, on the other hand, was everything I dreamed and more – the whole of the book was set in the period between Autumn and Christmas, ending on Christmas Day (always a winner!), and more than half of the story was set in a snowy Swiss ski resort.
As well as making me feel very wintery and festive (which was the whole point in reading this book), I also really enjoyed the story of sisters Allegra (the serious, hardworking business woman) and Isobel (the younger, more carefree one with a husband and young baby), as they unravel their family’s hidden secrets after discovering a handcrafted wooden Advent calendar in their mother’s attic, and after the uncovering of a mountain hut that was buried in the snow years ago. The story begins in London but travels to some glamorous locations – Paris, Zurich and the Swiss Alps – and Karen Swan’s style of writing really makes you feel as if you are there with them, drinking champagne and martinis one minute, and getting cosy with hot chocolates and crepes the next.
I really loved the characters (much more than I did with Christmas at Claridges), and the romantic plot between Allegra and Sam, her professional rival, was really engaging. Sometimes the romances in these books can be really disappointing, but this one kept me hooked! There are plenty of plot twists too, and even a much sadder side to the story, as the women struggle to deal with their mother’s Alzheimer’s. It had everything you could want in a book of this type! It even made me want to go skiing, which is not something I ever thought I’d fancy.
Christmas in the Snow was an absolutely perfect festive read, and I know I’ll be digging it out again next year!
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