Book Review: The Country Village Christmas Show

Cathy Lake

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

published: 29th October 2020
spoilers? nope


A feel-good, festive read to keep you cosy this winter. For fans of Heidi Swain, Sarah Morgan and The Archers.

Recently divorced, the family home sold and her son all grown-up, Clare is at a crossroads. She’s dedicated her whole adult life to her family, and now it’s time she did something for herself.

In the lead up to Christmas, Clare decides that a bit of time in the countryside might be just what she needs, so she moves back to Little Bramble, the village she grew up in. But living with her mum for the first time in years – and not to mention Goliath the Great Dane – can be challenging.

When Clare finds herself running the village Christmas show, it feels like she has purpose in her life again. Bringing together people from all sides of the community, and all walks of life, will Clare manage to pull off a festive feat like no other? And will she find the new start in life – and possibly love – that she’s been looking for?

The Country Village Christmas Show is the perfect romantic read to get cosy with this winter.

Galley provided by publisher

CWs: mentions of vehicle accidents, loss of pregnancy

First things first, I think I was expecting a completely different book here to the one I got and so at least part of my rating can be attributed to that. I was expecting something a little more on the romcom side and a little less women’s fiction-slash-cringefest. Which sounds mean, but that’s what it felt like.

The Country Village Christmas Show follows Clare, who has just come through a divorce after her husband decides he needs to “find himself”. So she packs up and heads home to the village where she grew up. And there she meets a handsome vet, while dealing with reunions with friends, a new career path, and her mother and son’s troubles.

Within about a page of this book, I came to the realisation the writing just didn’t work for me. Which, ultimately, put paid to me liking it at all. Something about it was both simplistic and also, at times, highly melodramatic, so I just couldn’t take it seriously. Not to mention the overload of telling and not showing. I do not need the entire backstory of your son’s birth within the first chapter, thank you.

So really, it was sort of downhill from there. I wasn’t that inclined to care about Clare’s relationship with Sam (not least because of the sheer amount of secondhand embarrassment their meetings gave me), and that was a large chunk of the book. Add onto that the fact that the dialogue just didn’t feel at all realistic (I mean, who tells someone they have lovely hands while flirting).

Well it never looked particularly propitious.

I think probably all this was more of a problem because I am so far removed in age from the main characters. This is why I tend to avoid what gets marketed as women’s fiction – i.e. plain old adult contemporary, but about middle aged women – because I just cannot connect with their concerns, problems, or whatever else. I could honestly care less for reading about people going to get haircuts.

But if, unlike me, you do enjoy the genre, don’t let me put you off picking this one up.

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