It’s far too long since I have read a saga and so I simply couldn’t resist A Mother’s Christmas Wish by Glenda Young. My grateful thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour by sharing my review today.
Published in paperback yesterday by Headline, A Mother’s Christmas Wish is available for purchase in all formats through the links here.
A Mother’s Christmas Wish
‘I hope this Christmas is better than last year’s.’
Following a scandalous affair, wayward Emma Devaney is sent in disgrace from her home in Ireland to Ryhope, where she will live with her widowed aunt, Bessie Brogan, and help run her pub. Bessie is kind but firm, and at first Emma rebels against her lack of freedom. Struggling to fit in, she turns to the wrong person for comfort, and becomes pregnant.
Accepting she must embrace her new life for the sake of her baby, Emma pours her energy into making the pub thrive and helping heal the fractured relationship between Bessie and her daughters. She catches the attention of Robert, a gruff but sincere farmer, who means to win her heart.
As December approaches, thankful for the home and acceptance she’s found, Emma is determined to bring not just her family, but the whole Ryhope community, together to celebrate – and to make one very special mother’s Christmas dreams come true.
My Review of A Mother’s Christmas Wish
Emma needs a fresh start.
I thoroughly enjoyed A Mother’s Christmas Wish. In this story Glenda Young has created a vivid and authentic 1920s world that is filled with a realism that completely engages the reader. The small town prejudices, rivalries and gossip feel absolutely authentic as Emma begins her new life. The Ryhope setting is described very effectively, providing the reader with a clear impression of the place without dominating or overpowering the narrative so that the story races along.
I thought the plot was really well constructed, being unsentimental and compelling, and I loved the way the women in Ryhope are the lynchpin of the narrative. At the heart of A Mother’s Christmas Wish is a sense of family and community that makes the reader feel they belong every bit as much as Emma and Bessie.
Emma is a triumph of a character. She can be her own worst enemy and at times at the beginning of the story I wanted to shake some common sense into her and yet I found myself admiring her in spite of myself. She’s feisty, loyal, and hardworking, even when she’s rash, rude and ill-disciplined, giving her interesting layers and complexity. Emma also develops completely convincingly through A Mother’s Christmas Wish so that she feels warm and real.
I loved the themes here too. What Glenda Young does so entertainingly is to provide an insight into the lives of ordinary people, their relationships, their attitudes, triumphs and setbacks. She explores loyalty and trust, reputation and society, poverty and employment, crime and marriage, weaving these concepts into a thoroughly engaging story.
Add in some lovely extras such as a short story, a recipe for apple cakes and background information about Ryhope and A Mother’s Christmas Wish is an absolute treat of a book. I thought it was smashing and through A Mother’s Christmas Wish Glenda Young has reignited my enjoyment of the genre. What more could a reader ask?
About Glenda Young
Glenda Young credits her local library in the village of Ryhope, where she grew up, for giving her a love of books. She still lives close by in Sunderland and often gets her ideas for her stories on long bike rides along the coast. A life-long fan of Coronation Street, she runs two hugely popular fan websites.
For further information, visit Glenda’s website, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @flaming_nora.
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