‘Grace’ – Patricia Dixon
Miles away from home, can you survive Christmas alone?
Singleton Grace loves Christmas and having all her family with her on the day. But this year things will be different.
One by one, each of her three children announce that they have other plans for the holidays, leaving Grace home alone with a dilemma. Should she put on a brave face or admit she is hurt?
After deciding it’s time for a change, Grace books a cottage in the French countryside for Christmas.
Max is also at life’s crossroads after coming to terms with the end of his marriage. Making a spur of the moment decision, Max heads to the Loire where he hopes to clear his head, see the sights and escape the festivities.
In the meantime, Grace’s children embark on their own Yuletide journeys. Heidi faces the dreaded in-laws, Amber heads to New York to bag herself a fiancé, and Seth can’t wait to hit the slopes.
But when their plans begin to fall apart, they are all left wishing they were at home with their Mum for Christmas.
Will Grace get what she originally wanted or is a surprise in store?
Don’t you just love it when you finish a book and you can’t help but sigh with satisfaction? That’s what Dixon has created with this wonderful Christmas story. I was so immersed that I felt saddened I could not join Grace and Max at their gite in France. Oh, and I am so ready for Christmas!
This was a delightful story that had me warm inside, all the way down to the tips of my toes. Grace is a likeable character from the beginning and I wanted her to find her happy ending. Dixon’s characterisation is wonderfully played because you see the different elements of Grace’s personality. A mother and friend to her three children, we discover how Grace has evolved into a different person since splitting with her husband. Grace is keen to ensure her children are happy at Christmas, and whilst readers can understand her desire to please, it is impossible to ignore the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
Separation and feeling like an outsider is a key theme in this novel. However, Grace and Max decide to live life as an adventure and it is fate that has them meeting on the ferry en route to France. Similarly, Max is just as likeable and you cannot help but sympathise with him as Dixon reveals his past. Grace and Max are destined to be together and I could not put the book down for wanting to discover this relationship.
This book symbolises the importance of togetherness and family at Christmas time. However, I think Dixon is trying to convey that this should not be forgotten at all, regardless of the time of year. The stories of Grace’s children add to the charm of the plot and I loved how they were eventually all woven together.
If you are looking for a Christmas story, then this is definitely one for your bookshelf! I think I could happily read this book any time of the year and if you wish for a literary pick-me-up, then I think this would certainly fulfil that need!
With thanks to Bloodhound books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.