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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.

The Silver Ladies Do Lunch by Judy Leigh #Review


I am delighted to feature another uplifting novel by Judy Leigh, The Silver ladies Do Lunch. It was published on 2nd June by Boldwood Books.

When Lin, Josie and Minnie left Miss Hamilton’s class at Middleton Ferris County Primary School, sixty years ago, they could only dream about what the future had in store for them.  The one thing they knew for certain was that their friendship would thrive.

Years later and life hasn’t always been kind.  Josie is still mourning the loss of her beloved husband Harry a year after his sudden demise. Lin is hoping to celebrate her fiftieth wedding anniversary with husband Neil, but he’s suddenly keeping secrets and telling her lies, so she’s suspecting the worst  And as for Minnie, well she loves her life in Oxford academia, but with no family to call her own, she sometimes wonders if the sacrifices were all worthwhile.

So, when the ninety-year-old Miss Hamilton – or Cecily as she lets them call her now – glides gracefully back into their lives on her glamorous purple mobility scooter, the ladies are in need of inspiration and fun.  And over their regular lunches, the friends start to dream of leaving the past in the past and embracing the future, because there’s nothing you can’t achieve with good friends at your side.

 My Thoughts

Friendship is right there in the centre of this story and runs throughout. It crosses the generations and ties people together through the years. The three women at the centre, Jodie, Lin and Minnie are all facing different challenges but their friendship since they were in primary school ties them together. Jodie is trying to come to terms with the loss of her husband. Lin finds herself suspicious of her husband of thirty years. Minnie, who has ‘escaped’ from their village to academia and Oxford,  nevertheless finds her loyalty to her childhood home and friends something which overrides everything else. 

    There is a great deal of humour in the story, through events and also the characters of the villagers. This is a real feelgood story where you see the best in people for the most part. (Not everyone is exemplary of course but they are peripheral to village life). I found Minnie’s story the most interesting especially her relationship with her sister, Tina. Minnie has managed to escape from the pressures of her father but unfortunately her sister feels left behind. Minnie discovers that the girl she was is still there and she cares about her sister very much. Cicely, their teacher, is a positive influence throughout and almost feels like a fairy godmother, her affection for all her past students obvious. Finally, Florence is a young person who finds it in herself to rise to the occasion and face her future with courage. Looking to the future is something everyone learns to do and to be grateful for the good things in their lives.

In short: firm friends look to the future. 

About the Author

Judy Leigh is the USA Today bestselling author of The Old Girls’ Network and Five French Hens and the doyenne of the ‘it’s never too late’ genre of women’s fiction. She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.

You can follow Judy here: Twitter 

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  Book links  
Thanks to Judy Leigh, Boldwood Books and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources   for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 
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  1. Thanl you sp much for this lovely review. Sending best wishes. J

  2. Thanks so much for this lovely review! Sending best wishes - J


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