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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

Christmas at the Farmhouse by Rebecca Boxall #Review


I am delighted to be taking part in the celebrations for Rebecca Boxall's festive novel, Christmas at the Farmhouse. 

As the anticipation of Christmas builds in the Nielsen family’s cosy farmhouse, Jo, Magnus and their grown-up children begin to congregate for a hybrid Danish-Jersey festive season, each with a surprise of their own – though the surprise that arrives over Christmas is the most life-changing of all.

Fifty years earlier, in 1969, Susan Jones finds herself being pursued by Mr Jenners, her former English teacher, and at the age of seventeen is packed off to a Home for Unmarried Mothers in London by her uncompromising father. As Christmas approaches, all she can do is desperately hope to be rescued, but will anyone be able to reach her in time?

The two timelines of this festive story gradually weave together in a tale that examines whether love and hope can eventually triumph over even the deepest sadness.

Rebecca Boxall is the award-nominated author of five bestselling novels – Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse.


My Thoughts

I always enjoy a dual narrative and as the two timelines in this novel come closer together, the focus on family becomes ever stronger. I must admit to being a little blindsided by the story and enjoyed the outcome very much. Life in 1969 seems a mile away from Jo's present day life and you cannot help but feel for Susan, whose innocent teens are so disrupted. The contrast between Susan's rather cold family and the slightly chaotic homelife which Jo has built is clear. Jo's children are all now grown up but bring their different situations home for Christmas- so different to the straightlaced life in Susan's home. 

    There are some emotional moments in the story and a good deal of suspense at one point but overall, the themes of love and hope prevail. I enjoyed the story very much with its ultimately comforting tone and I thought the pacing and interweaving of the two storylines were strong parts of the novel. All the characters stand out with their own personalities and all add something to the story.

In short: Family ties endure

About the Author

Rebecca Boxall was born in 1977 in East Sussex, where she grew up in a vicarage always filled with family, friends and parishioners. She now lives by the sea in Jersey with her husband, three children and Rodney the cat. She read English at the University of Warwick before training as a lawyer and also studied Creative Writing with The Writer’s Bureau. She is the bestselling author of Christmas at the Vicarage, Home for Winter, Christmas on the Coast, The Christmas Forest and Christmas by the Lighthouse and was nominated for the Romantic Novelist Association Awards in 2020.

You can follow Rebecca here: Website  |  Facebook 

Book links: Amazon UK  |  Amazon US 

Thanks to Rebecca Boxall, Wild Fox Press and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

  Check out the rest of the tour!


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