The Christmas season has been a nightmare so far for Holly Greene. One stupid mistake means that she might be about to lose the medical career that she has been working towards for the last eight years. When brother Jack invites her to join him and his family on the remote Norwegian island that they call home it sounds like the perfect escape. Leaving London behind and the stress of waiting for a decision on her future seems like the best choice.
Arriving on the island on a dark and cold December evening Holly gets lost following Jack’s directions and is saved from tumbling off the edge of the cliff by a huge fluffy cat called Frøy and his grumpy bearded owner Tor. Since he arrived on the island Tor has been keeping to himself and earned the nickname “The Hermit” from the islanders as he avoids all human contact. Frøy has been the only friend he has needed.
Tor has his own problems but there is something about Holly that starts to melt the ice around his heart and leaves him wanting to leave bags of gingerbread men hanging in her front door. Christmas Island is a gentle, beautifully described, portrayal of a small island community celebrating a traditional Nordic Christmas. Drawing in these two strangers to share in the festivities the islanders make you want to brave the wind, rain and the cold to go and join them although there is far too much marzipan involved to truly tempt me away! Although if all the cats were like Frøy I’d be there in a heartbeat.
And if the idea of recreating a Nordic christmas truly appeals to you the author has even included some recipes to help you get in the mood – a traditional Christmas cake, the very odd sounding Delfia Cake (more marzipan!) and a Norwegian Wort Cake.
Set aside an evening in the run up to Christmas and enjoy this very sweet Nordic romance just watch out for the nisse-brownies!
Supplied by Net Galley and One More Chapter in exchange for an honest review.
UK publication date: Nov 30 2020. 340 pages.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.