Travel Together Tour Manager Eve Mitchell is planning a quiet Christmas at home to rest and relax before a special New Year. But she soon, very unexpectedly, finds herself in the depths of the Essex countryside looking after a singles’ group which contains some old, familiar faces and some pleasant – and not so pleasant – new ones.
With its country walks, quizzes, disco and black-tie ball, the Christmas and Twixmas Break passes quickly, but just as they think it’s all over the plot takes a twist and we learn some dark secrets…
I’ve been meaning to read the Singles’ Trilogy by Elaine Spires for such a long time. But it’s so difficult – when you have a gigantic pile of books waiting to be read – to commit to reading a series, and Elaine assured me that I’d be fine leaping straight in with the third in the series, Single All The Way. I’m a bit of a singles holiday veteran, and this series seemed quite perfect for me – so perfect that I decided to read it while on my latest singles break in South America. And – well, snowy Christmas setting apart! – it was an ideal choice.
Elaine was absolutely right – it works just fine as a standalone. There are references to characters and incidents in the two earlier books, but with plenty of detail to allow you to catch up. Eve, the tour manager, is a wonderful character (if only all tour managers could be like her!), with a fascinating story of her own, and the patience of a saint: she puts her own plans for a solitary and relaxing Christmas on temporary hold to take charge of a group on a break in a country house hotel, and the fun begins.
I really love stories where you have a cast of characters all with their own stories – some shared, some hidden, some hidden very deeply – and you soon get to know the group. In fact, not just the group – many of the hotel staff have their own stories too. This is a big cast of characters, but things never get confusing – and as with every holiday group I’ve ever been with, everyone has their own story, some laugh-out-loud funny, some heartbreakingly sad. There will always be people you really like – I adored Penny and Dave. There’s usually the almost indistinguishable group of Sues – and the male jokers, happy to take whatever’s on offer. And – sadly – there’s almost always an Angela.
Elaine writes so well – with wonderful descriptions, and excellent characters deftly drawn in a few strokes. Every story within the story is real and fascinating – and the overarching story brings the trilogy to a wonderful conclusion.
I’d really recommend Single All The Way as a Christmassy read, a fascinating look at individuals in all their complexity, and a realistic insight into the world of singles holidays. And it’s really good fun too – I thoroughly enjoyed it.
My thanks to the author for my kindle reading copy. Single All The Way is the third in the Singles’ Trilogy – the first two are Singles Holiday and Singles And Spice. Go on – why not try the series from the start?
Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright and actress. Extensive travelling and a background in education and tourism perfected Elaine’s keen eye for the quirky characteristics of people, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with the readers of her novels. Elaine spends her time between her homes in Essex and Five Islands, Antigua (W.I.).
Elaine has a really excellent website – I’ve had the great pleasure of appearing on her Hot Holidays feature (here’s the link). You can also follow her on Twitter, or via her Facebook author page.