Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Review for A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby

A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby
Publisher: Hodder
Release: 6th November 2014
Genre: Christmas, Chick-lit
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Annabel Buchanan has it all. A privileged life. Pots of cash. Looks and manners born of generations of fabulous breeding. At least, that's what she likes people to think. But Annabel's carefully created image is about to come crashing down.

With her beloved daughter Izzy in need of a kidney transplant, Annabel is desperate to find a suitable donor. That's how she comes to admit that before Annabel Buchanan there was Daisy Benson, given up for adoption by her teenage mum and dad.

Hoping her biological family will be able to help, Annabel traces the Bensons and is horrified by the embarrassing, chavvy bunch she discovers. They're definitely not her kind of people. And she is equally baffling to them.

But as Christmas approaches and Izzy's situation brings the Benson and the Buchanan families closer, will Annabel discover at last that blood is thicker than water?"

Having read and loved the first book in this series A Proper Family Holiday whilst I was on holiday earlier this year I was so excited to discover that there would be more to the Bensons story in A Proper Family Christmas. I love Christmas books and Christmas with the hilarious Benson family sounded perfect!

I was surprised when I started this book to find that it begins in May. The title and cover are pretty misleading to those looking for a Christmassy read as the book takes place from May to Valentine’s Day with only a small part of the book happening over Christmas. I have to admit that I was disappointed by this but soon got over it as I got into the story and found that despite the lack of festivity the book focuses on what’s at the heart of Christmas: family, love and generosity with the important message that no amount of money can buy health and happiness.

A Proper Family Christmas takes place before, during and after A Proper Family Holiday so you don’t necessarily have to read that first to enjoy this book. The two stories also have a completely different tone. A Proper Family Holiday was hilarious and perfect for relaxing on the beach with whereas A Proper Family Christmas was sadder and had me quite teary in places.

Another difference was that my favourite character from A Proper Family Holiday Chelsea had a much smaller role in this book and Ronnie who I loved in book one really annoyed me at times here, not because of her decisions which I could understand but because of her behavior.

A Proper Family Christmas was very different to what I was expecting but I still thoroughly enjoyed it although admittedly not quite as much as the first book. The Bensons have come to feel like old family friends and I’d love more books featuring this mad but loveable family in the future.

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