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Book Review: On the First Day of Christmas – Faith Hogan ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ 

I seem to be going through a bit of an Irish phase at the moment. This is my second consecutive book set there and I’m currently watching the very unpredictable Bad Sisters on Apple TV. You may have read Faith’s earlier bestseller – The Ladies’ Midnight Swimming Club – and if you enjoyed that you are in for a real treat here. I love a good Christmas story and every October as soon as the nights start drawing in I give myself permission to seek out the festive fiction. The best way to describe On the First Day of Christmas is to say that it has a bit of a Sliding Doors vibe, if you remember the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie there are two versions of the story running in tandem that vary because of one decision at the start.

Liv Latimer finishes her shift in the Emergency Department of a busy Dublin hospital. It is Christmas Eve and she is looking forward to going home to her family in Ballycove. She has a feeling that her longtime boyfriend Eddie is going to propose to her so it feels like it is going to be a special Christmas. As she waits to cross the road at the traffic lights she reaches out to press the button at the same time as the man next to her. Their fingers touch and she gets an electric shock. As she starts to cross the road a motorbike appears out of nowhere at high speed. She feels the man push her out of the way and then there is a sickening screech of metal on the road. Dazed, she climbs to her feet and stares at the the broken biker in the road and the man who had saved her life.

Later, back at the hospital, the timeline splits out into a version where Liv sees that her rescuer is safe in hospital and decides to go home for Christmas as planned and another where she stays on in Dublin to make sure that the man who has saved her life is out of danger. Whatever choice that she makes Liv is about to find out that fate will intervene and change her world forever.

I really enjoyed reading this story about family and love and friendships. It can be quite an emotional read as it deals extensively with grief but it is a real life-affirming tale filled with joy as well. My only criticism is that the book has more days between Christmas and New Year than actually exist but its a small price to pay! Suspend your disbelief and allow yourself to be drawn into this Irish family Christmas, you won’t regret it!

Supplied by Net Galley, Aria and Head Of Zeus in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publication Date: 13 October 2022. 273 pages.

Categories: 4 Stars Book Review

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Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. Sharing my house with a gorgeous cockapoo called Harry who has taken over completely.
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.


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