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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.

Because of You by Dawn French #Review


Because of You by Dawn French has been longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. It is published in paperback by Michael Joseph on April 29th and I am delighted to be on the first day of the blog tour to celebrate this heartwarmimg read.. 

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock . . . midnight.

As the old millennium turns into the new, two very different women give birth to two very similar daughters.

Hope leaves with a beautiful baby girl.

Anna leaves with empty arms.

Seventeen years later, the truth of that night starts rolling, terrible and deep, toward them all.

A reckoning is coming. Lives will collide.

And mother-love will be tested . . .

Because Of You is Dawn French's stunning new novel, told with her signature humour, warmth and so much love.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed the opening of the novel and the contrast between the two pairs of prospective parents. Then I began to realise what was about to happen and the story took on quite a different complexion. This is a subtle look at motherhood and what it means. Can parental ties be created or are they innate bonds? Selflessness and self - absorption are nicely offset and ultimately, you find yourself thinking about forgiveness and whether guilt can be mitigated by good behaviour. It is a real mixture of humour and pathos, with some emotional moments and life affirming events.

    Hope dominates the story for me. Living with guilt as if it is a submerged friend. If she doesn't address it, it lies dormant but inevitably, as Hope knows, it will find its voice. I enjoyed the different aspects of the story, through the differing characters who I could ss so clearly. None more so than the odious Julius who was such a contrast to the men in Minnie's life, Lee and Quiet Isaac. Family and parental love are threaded through the story. Highly recommended.

In short: Warmth and wit in abundance.

About the Author

Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. On purpose.

As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of the UK’s most long running, cherished and celebrated shows, including French and Saunders, The Comic Strip Presents ..., Murder Most Horrid, The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Lark Rise to Candleford, and more recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In.

You can follow Dawn here: Twitter

Book link: Amazon UK

Thanks to Dawn French and Keeley Rigden of Michael Joseph for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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