Review: An Island Christmas

Monday, 9 December 2019
An Island Christmas An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A poignant Christmas story

This book seems to have two titles: “An Island Christmas” or “Christmas on the Island”, but in essence, it’s the third whole book in the delightful Mure series.

Who doesn’t love a romantic story based on a small island? With its quaint way of life, Mure, a remote island off Scotland, has a warm and relaxed feel to it despite the cold and blustery feel to this particular instalment. We’ve met the characters and we’ve witnessed their many woes to date and now through An Island Christmas, we get to see everything wrapped up in time for the holidays. The characters are the same, the trials and tribulations are the same and yet there is hope for some of the characters, at least, who have been living their lives on the cusp of happiness.

This story is not a standalone story but instead follows on from a number of tales carried through from the previous instalments; some happy, some sad and some incredibly painful. You need to witness each and every different pathway through this series to be able to fully embrace the different conclusions found in this book. Joel and Flora continue along what seems to be an unlikely path towards their HEA, Lorna and Saif dance around each other’s emotions all whilst Saif wonders if he will ever see his wife again, and Fintan and Colton try to come to terms with what will transpire between them. Add in Agot for a much-needed dose of humour and you have a well-balanced story.

For me, parts of this book worked and parts simply didn’t. I struggled through the first part of the book as it felt as if nothing had changed from previous instalments. The book seems to favour Flora’s story and yet I just could relate to her relationship, if you could call it that, with Joel. Fintan and Colton broke my heart and yet, it was Lorna and Saif’s story that this instalment cried out for. Sadly, there was very little about Lorna and Saif and every time their story picked up pace, the writing once again deviated towards another character. Because of the number of different directions this book took, the story came across as being very disjointed. Yes, I loved the characters but I wanted more from each of them rather than a brief blend of each of their storylines.

It was the last third of the book that really held onto me and painfully didn’t let go. I wouldn’t recommend reading the ending in public as I did because there were lots of tears as the inevitable finally happens and Colton’s journey takes an altogether different direction. Flora and Lorna’s stories also picked up momentum but there was still more to be told where Saif and Lorna are concerned.

All in all, this was an okay telling of what should have been a fabulous book and whilst I loved it, I felt that it could have been so much better. I hate it when a story ends with unfinished business and I have no idea if the questions left unanswered will ever be addressed.

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