One phone call can change everything…
Six days before Christmas, Stella could never have anticipated the impact on her life when the phone rings in her London office.
The phone call is from a friend of the family informing Stella that her grandmother has been hurt in a fall at her home in the Scottish borders and is in hospital. Torn between her responsibilities at work and the need to be with her grandmother she decides she must return to Scotland immediately.
However, on her return to where she grew up, it becomes apparent that her grandmother’s health is not her only concern. Relationships which have lain dormant for years are re-kindled and fresh opportunities present themselves – if she will only dare to take them…(Goodreads)
The Christmas themed books I usually read are normally of the romantic type, with a romantic setting and a plot that has some sweet sentimental theme behind it. It is true that Stella’s Christmas Wish does have a lot of these elements, but what was different about this book was that it was not overly sentimental. Instead, the author centres on the theme of it never being too late to make that connection. Whether this is families or partners (both old and new), it only takes that one step to start building the bridges.
The book’s central character is Stella, a twenty something woman who had relocated from Scotland to work down in London for reasons that are not made clear. For most of the book, there are little hints on why she moved away, especially since she seemed to have left bad blood with the potential love of her life. Stella quickly became a very sympathetic character for me. I could see that she was the responsible one in her family, with her Grandmother and sister being the more bohemian/free spirited ones in her family. This has evidently resulted in her having to grow up quickly and even now she takes on the parental role.
Her Grandmothers accident had forced Stella to return home, and with it she has to face some of the ghosts of the past. This was whatever had caused her to break up with her former boyfriend Ross. At first I had suspected that she ran away due to something he had done, but this wasn’t the case. The reason that she left was difficult to get behind. Only in the last few chapters did I see why Stella did what she did, but I felt that it was either mishandled or down to poor communication. Granted, if she had, there would be no book and in a way this self-reliance and need for family privacy.
The other characters in the book where never really fleshed out for me and though this wasn’t the best, overall I didn’t mind as I wanted to see the development of Stella’s storyline. The other sub plots are all dealt with in a way that has a satisfying conclusion, Stella’s is where the books greatest strength lies. My only disappointment was the fact that Ross, who is the leading male in the book wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked.
For a first full length novel, Stella’s Christmas Wish shows the great potential Kate Blackadder has. It is definetly a comforting Christmas read and the fact most of it is set in Scotland was nice, since this is where I live. It is a quick, easy read which is perfect for this time of year. I look forward to seeing what the next book holds.