I loved CHRISTMAS CAROL, a novella, by Michele Gorman. The protagonist in this modern version of the classic story is Carol. Carol has gone through three disastrous relationships and blames the guys for the breakups. While at her sister Marley’s wedding at a beautiful manor in Scotland, Carol is brought face-to-face with her three ex’s. After confronting each, she learns that it actually wasn’t because of their flaws that each relationship ended, but rather her perfectionist ways. Though Carol had always believed this personality trait would bring her happiness, but instead it drove those closest to her away. She even found she had a low tolerance for less than perfect family members causing her to be withdrawn from them. As Carol learns from her ex-boyfriends that she was the cause of their failed romances, she discovers that she can be happy, even if it sometimes hurts, by being more open and less exacting. She discovers that she is able to have a loving relationship with her guy and with her family members if she just lets go of being Miss Perfection.
This novella was a quick, fun read. There are ample funny moments throughout the story, and at times I found myself laughing out loud. I certainly would recommend this book not only for the story content, but also because it is a perfect length to read on a trip home during the holidays or to sneak into a busy schedule.
I was provided this novella by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Bella Summer, otherwise known as B., is a one of those characters you fall in love with from the start. She has just broken up with her longtime boyfriend, having decided that a relationship based on friendship rather than love was not enough. She then finds a new flat mate in Frederick whom she has convinced herself is gay, despite his protests. Her job suddenly ends as well as her part-time gig as a singer in a local establishment. She realizes that she can’t let her flat mate support her until she finds a job, so she moves back into the house she bought with her former boyfriend Mattias on the condition that their relationship remains platonic.
Bella ‘s best friends Kat, Clare, and Faith were there for her when she broke up with Mattias, when she lost her job and her gig, and they were there to help her through her decision to make her music her life’s ambition, if only she could get a manager and a steady singing gig.
The biggest issue facing B. is whether or not friendship is enough in a relationship. Was she wrong to leave Mattias? Kat and James’ marriage was based on friendship. Faith dated a lot, but couldn’t seem to find her perfect match. Clare finds she is pregnant by “The Shag” and doesn’t think she wants a future with him. In the end will everyone find love and happiness?
I loved the characters in this book. Gorman had names for the men Bella dated: The Dad, The Musician, The Actor, and The Grandson. Kat, Clare, Faith, and Frederick are B.’s lifeline, each with their own problems to unravel. Then there was Marjorie, the lady that B. volunteers to visit in the nursing home, who is the most colorful of all the characters and the wisest in love.
I started reading BELLA SUMMER TAKES A CHANCE and was hooked from the beginning. It has a little of everything – humor, romance, conflict, friendship. I highly recommend this book.
This book was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.