The small community of Chesterwood is facing a crisis common to many: the community food bank that has helped many in the working-class town needs help – coming from an unexpected source
The Christmas Calendar Girls
Fern and her three best friends have always been active in the town, and are saddened to hear of the rent increases which would make the community food bank have to close. With so many volunteering to help, and knowing the good work they do, Fern is determined to raise enough money to keep the foodbank open, and enlisting the help of her two best friends Cara and Davina they come up with a plan. In their small estate (and with the help of the Christmas Faire at the school their children attend) they will raise the money – and ask residents to host a window tableau in the vein of an Advent Calendar – where donations will be solicited.
Oh this was fun – from the community spirit and ideas to the friendships displayed, along with Fern’s healing from her husband’s death from cancer and her budding romance with former homeless man, now temporary school caretaker Kit. With Cara having her own ‘issues’ in her formerly well-ordered life, all after the arrival of her mother-in-law who needed support after breaking her ankle, and Davina’s formerly closer than close twins now at odds over strange things – the story is laden with attractions, drama, spirit and imagery that show both the enormity of a community-wide project during the holiday season,
I love Tonge’s writing and her characters, and she manages to make everyone feel very “plausible’ as well as providing ideas that are unique and innovative, with ideas that can easily (with lots of work and attention) be translated into real life. A story that is proof that giving is better than receiving – and need crosses spaces and time, not to mention economic situations and education – the story is one of my holiday favorites for the heart and optimism it displays.
Title: The Christmas Calendar Girls
Author: Samantha Tongue
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Friendship, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Aria
Published on: 3 October, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
This Christmas fall in love with the town of Chesterwood...
Christmas is meant to be a time of giving, so with Chesterwood food bank under risk of closure Fern knows just what to do to save it. She's going to get the town to create a living advent calendar.
Fern, and her best friends, call for help from the local community to bring this calendar to life. When Kit, the new man in town, offers his assistance Fern's heart can't help but skip a beat (or two).
As they grow ever closer, Fern must admit that Kit's breaking down the barriers she built after the death of her husband. But his past is holding him back and Fern doesn't know how to reach him. No matter how hard she tries.
In this town, Kit's not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Cara is behaving oddly, burning meals in the oven and clothes whilst ironing, and Davina's perfect children are causing trouble at school leaving her son, Jasper, desperately unhappy.
Can the Christmas Calendar Girls find a way to bring the community together in time to save the food bank, while still supporting their families and each other? Can Fern find love again with Kit?
This is a story about kindness and letting go of the past. It's about looking out for your neighbours and about making every day feel like Christmas.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
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