I adore Jo Thomas’s writing and when a surprise copy of A Winter Beneath the Stars arrived from Bookends I was so excited and immediately bumped it up my 900+ TBR .
You can read my reviews of Jo’s Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard here, The Olive Branch here and Late Summer in the Vineyard here. I also have a smashing post about Jo’s top 5 holiday destinations that you can read here.
Published by Headline Review, A Winter Beneath the Stars is available for purchase here.
A Winter Beneath the Stars
Halley has been running from her problems for years.
On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery… until she doesn’t.
The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.
On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more…
My Review of A Winter Beneath the Stars
Halley has a package to deliver but not all goes according to plan.
Now, I have to admit that I am so used to warm Mediterranean settings from Jo Thomas that I approached A Winter Beneath the Stars with trepidation. I shouldn’t have worried. All the glorious trademark descriptions, especially of food, are present so that I felt as much as if I were returning home to a place I knew well in Jo Thomas’ writing as Halley does in her quest across the snow. I did have to accept that Halley would travel with a complete stranger in difficult conditions when I’m not sure I would have done, but I found Jo Thomas persuaded me completely. I believed in the narrative without question.
A Winter Beneath the Stars is a lovely, lovely read. I was utterly transported to a winter wonderland and all the references to the dogs, reindeer, snow, stars and Northern Lights brought memories of my own experiences of them in Lapland rushing back because the writing was so realistic and evocative.
Not only was I transported by location, but Jo Thomas managed to place me emotionally right inside the hearts of Bjorn and Halley so that I felt every one of their hopes and fears with them. It takes enormous skill to hold a reader’s attention with just two characters for much of the time, with Lars and the wedding party as supporting cast, and I was entranced throughout. I was desperate for a happy ending for them all because I cared about them as real people.
However, I have to say that I was incredibly affected by the themes woven throughout this fabulous story. I felt the gradual uncovering of Halley’s motives for all her travel and Bjorn’s need to rediscover a more simple way of life resonated through to my very soul. This may be a relatively lighthearted read, not intended to profound introspection, but I found A Winter Beneath the Stars touched me and I can’t stop thinking about it.
I loved A Winter Beneath the Stars. It’s romantic and engaging and just perfect for winter reading.
About Jo Thomas
Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.