Until Julia Roberts got in touch, I thought I might have reviewed my last Christmas book for this year – but I just couldn’t resist her new novella Christmas at Carol’s, to be published on 18th December by Ripped Books, and available for pre-order. I really like novellas at Christmas, and you’ll already know how much I enjoy Julia’s writing – I loved both the short and rather lovely Time For A Short Story and her standalone full-length novel Alice in Theatreland. And doesn’t this one look just perfect?
An uplifting tale of people’s desire to help each other in the season of goodwill – a romantic comedy with a twist in the tale.
Carol fell in love with Wisteria Cottage the moment she laid eyes on it and moved in two weeks before Christmas hoping it would be start of a new more positive period in her life.
On her first night in her new home she discovers an old Christmas card to someone called Annie with a heart-breaking message inside from Jake.
Although she doesn’t know them, and despite being on a self-imposed dating break herself, Carol begins planning how she can bring them together, while her new neighbour, Sally, is attempting a bit of matchmaking of her own.
And I have to say I loved this one too – just 63 pages, the perfect length for any spare time you can find between the many jobs that demand your attention this Christmas. It’s a lovely little story, with Carol – a character you’ll take to your heart – moving into her first home, getting out her paintbrush to make the house her own, and finding unexpected new friends. Finding romance isn’t on her agenda at all – although there are a few prime candidates (once she’s warned off the philandering postman) before she’s even started with Sally’s single male friends.
I enjoyed the whole little storyline around the mystery of the Christmas card, but there was so much more I really liked too – the saga of the front door, the freezing Christmas market, Carol’s relationship with her family, the warmth of friendship and all pulling together in adversity, and the whole heart-warming feel of the story as the snow starts to fall. And maybe – just maybe – a little romance too. I so enjoyed this one – a perfect little read that leaves you with a lovely Christmassy glow and a big smile on your face.
About the author
Julia Roberts’ passion for writing began when, at the age of ten, after winning second prize in a short story-writing competition, she announced that she wanted to write a book. After a small gap of forty-seven years, and a career in the entertainment industry, Julia finally fulfilled her dream in 2013 when her first book, a memoir entitled One Hundred Lengths of the Pool, was published by Preface Publishing. Two weeks later she had the idea for her first novel, Life’s a Beach and Then…, book one in the Liberty Sands Trilogy, which was released in May 2015.
Julia still works full-time as a Presenter for the TV channel QVC, where she has recently celebrated her twenty-third anniversary. She now lives in Ascot with her partner of thirty-nine years and occasionally one or other of her adult children and their respective cats.