today we have the pleasure to kick off Rachel Joyce’s blot tour for her latest release ‘A Snow Garden and Other Stories’, which will be released by Transworld in just 3 days (5th Novemeber). We love Ms Joyce’s writing and fictional worlds she creates and would like to thank lovely Alison, Becky and the rest of the Transworld team for the opportunity to be among the first ones to read it. Read on for our review and make sure you add this book to your TBR piles. I personally guarantee you will love each of the stories. Make sure you visit the other hosts for more reviews and content.
Seven stories to span the Christmas holidays:
A Faraway Smell of Lemon: The School Term has ended. It is almost Christmas but Binny, out last-minute shopping couldn’t feel less like wishing glad tidings to all men. Ducking out of the rain she finds herself in the sort of shop she would never normally visit.
The Marriage Manual: Christmas Eve. Two parents endeavour to construct their son’s Christmas present from a DIY kit and in the process find themselves deconstructing their marriage.
Christmas at the Airport: A glitch in the system, travellers stranded and all sorts of lives colliding in the face of a sudden birth…
The Boxing Day Ball: Maureen has never been out with the local girls before. Who knew that a disco in the Village Hall could be life-changing?
A Snow Garden: Two little boys, dumped with their divorced father for his share of the Christmas holidays and none of them with a clue how to enjoy it.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas The most famous boy in the world comes home hoping to escape the madness with a normal family Christmas.
Trees: As if Christmas wasn’t wearing enough, now his elderly parent is asking for a hole in the ground … Father and son break old habits and plant a tree to mark the start of the new year.
Seven stories as funny, joyous, poignant and memorable as Christmas should be.
*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
‘The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy’ was one of my favourite reads last year, so I was uber excited when I got Rachel Joyce’s new collection of short stories to read. As I’ve been reading Christmas books for the last month, I simply couldn’t wait to check these stories.
‘A Snow Garden and Short Stories’ is definitely a festive must read. It’s so unlike any other Christmas books I’ve ever read. There are seven stories included and each and one of them is so special and magical and nothing like the festive stories I’ve read so far. Unlike most Christmas, that are fluffy and cheery, ‘A Snow Garden and Other Stories’ brings seven stories that are so memorable and poignant. The characters felt so real I thought they’d jump off the pages.
The stories are short yet amazingly complex and each one of them brings a huge message about life, family and love. And of course, all happen during Christmas and you can absolutely feel the Christmas spirit and that Christmas magic. The stories are full of clever symbolism, speaking about big life truths and making you think about your own life and the choices you make. I especially loved the first story, ‘A Faraway Smell of Lemon’ which got me crying big ugly tears. I found the story so emotional and heart breaking, I had tears rolling down my face while I imagined poor Binny and everything she’s going through.
What I also loved is how clever they were all connected. Some of the characters who had their own story, would even for just briefly appear in the next one, entwining these stories into one beautiful and unique fictional world. I also loved the mysterious girl in red coat which appears in every story, either on a commercial, or a banner or in the garden.
As these are short stories, they can’t be reviewed like a proper length novel and I won’t be able to tell you much about the plot as there would be spoilers. But what I will tell you is that it’s definitely a book you should all read. It’s truly a little gem you can not just read over Christmas, but go back to it whenever you feel down and overwhelmed by life. Whenever you feel disappointed, you can grab this little book and read any of the seven stories, and I guarantee you, you will be better and feel more energized after reading. The stories are sad, but at the same time very uplifting and best of all, they are so inspirational. Ms Joyce has a knack for creating amazing fictional worlds in which you feel at home. I was breathing and feeling together with Binny and Oliver, Alan and Alice, Magda and Johanna and all the other brilliant characters, learning some valuable lessons about life, family, marriage and the small everyday things which people sometimes take for granted.
Amazing collection of short stories from the pen of an amazingly talented writer, ‘A Snow Garden and other Stories’ is a book I recommend to everyone. I devoured it in one sitting and I was so sad to say good bye to all the amazing characters. Fascinating characters, clever writing and thought provoking stories, this book has everything every reader loves. Step into the magical snow garden, and enjoy!
My rating: 8/10
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into 34 languages. Rachel Joyce was awarded the Specsavers National Book Awards ‘New Writer of the Year’ in December 2012 and shortlisted for the ‘Writer of the Year’ 2014.
She is also the author of the short story, A Faraway Smell of Lemon and the forthcoming short story collection, A Snow Garden & Other Stories and a new novel for 2016, The Music Shop. She is the award-winning writer of over 30 original afternoon plays and classic adaptations for BBC Radio 4.
Rachel Joyce lives with her family in Gloucestershire.
Find Rachel Joyce on her site