This is the second Carole Matthews book that features the Joyce family as the main characters. Already in “That loving feeling” the reader got to know the very endearing family.
Although it is not vital to have read the first book, I liked the fact that I already knew the main characters (Juliet and Rick Joyce, their children Tom and Chloe, Juliet’s mother Rita and her father Frank and his partner Samuel – oh and not to forget the family dog Buster). The reader also gets introduced to a few new characters such as Lisa and Izzy and Rick’s apprentice Merak. I especially like the story line that evolves around Lisa and Izzy, a young mother and her daughter who struggle to get by.
“With Love at Christmas” is all about the way the Joyce’s prepare for and enjoy this festive season. It is a quick and enjoyable read. Carole Matthews’ writing style makes it very easy for the reader to identify with the characters. The book brilliantly describes the pre-Christmas stress that so many families go through (although the Joyce’s seem to be challenged by a lot of unforeseen circumstances – from the loss of a loved one to the birth of Chloe’s baby). I completely fell in love with the Joyce family (for the second time). Juliet Joyce’s character is especially endearing! The way she pulls off the perfect Christmas for her whole family, despite the fact that not everything is going as planned (and that is an understatement!), is amazing.
I highly recommend this book. It is a heart-warming, festive treat and in my opinion an absolute must for all chick-lit lovers.
My rating: 5 out of 5