It’s an absolute delight today to be sharing my review of I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Milly Johnson: published by Simon & Schuster on 29th October, it’s now available as an e-book, in hardcover and as an audiobook (the paperback won’t be released until November 2021). I preordered a kindle copy – I really didn’t want to miss this one – but thank you too to Sara-Jade at Books and the City for a beautiful hardback copy that looks gorgeous on my bookshelves.
Goodness, it’s far too long since I read and reviewed a book from Milly Johnson – I have no idea why, because I’ve always been a massive fan of her writing. I can’t believe that the last one I reviewed was The Teashop on the Corner, way back in 2014 (review here) – although I’d read and thoroughly enjoyed eight others before that. But all the pre-Christmas blog tours are now complete, and I have the luxury of some lovely “me-time” to catch up on some of the books I really want to read…. and this one was top of my list…
It’s nearly Christmas and it’s snowing, hard. Deep in the Yorkshire Moors nestles a tiny hamlet, with a pub at its heart. As the snow falls, the inn will become an unexpected haven for six people forced to seek shelter there…
Mary has been trying to get her boss Jack to notice her for four years, but he can only see the efficient PA she is at work. Will being holed up with him finally give her the chance she has been waiting for?
Bridge and Luke were meeting for five minutes to set their divorce in motion. But will getting trapped with each other reignite too many fond memories – and love?
Charlie and Robin were on their way to a luxury hotel in Scotland for a very special Christmas. But will the inn give them everything they were hoping to find – and much more besides?
A story of knowing when to hold on and when to let go, of pushing limits and acceptance, of friendship, love, laughter, mince pies and the magic of Christmas.
Gorgeous, warm and full of heartfelt emotion, I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day is the perfect read this winter!
I’ve been reading the most incredibly glowing reviews of this book ever since it was released, and I have to say that it’s impossible to disagree with a single one of them – I thought this book was just wonderful, and everything I’d hoped for from an author whose books I’ve unfailingly loved.
It’s brave and different – entirely character driven, as six superbly drawn individuals find themselves taking refuge from a snowstorm in the deserted inn in Figgy Hollow – thank goodness for Bridge and her resourcefulness with a screwdriver. She’s a successful property developer, full of hard edges, a brittle exterior hiding a whole load of doubts and insecurities – hopefully finally ending her marriage to Luke will allow her to move on and be happy (but oh, the memories…). Luke’s done well too – a vegan food company that’s doing exceptionally well, a new family – and when he finally makes it to the inn we also find he’s rather the joker in the pack… but he can’t forget all those years he and Bridge loved each other and struggled together either.
Mary is Jack’s PA – she loves him, but she’s invisible to him as he runs his scone empire along the same lines as his dinosaur father. She’s a quite wonderful character, strong and capable but so fragile too and carrying a legacy of hurt: and you hope beyond hope that being thrown together in the inn might open Jack’s eyes to the happiness within his reach. And then there are Charlie and Robin – an unusual and sometimes warring long-term married couple forced to abandon their planned perfect Christmas in the Highlands: I really loved them both, and their story is perhaps the most emotional of them all.
The kitchen is fully stocked for Christmas, there are bedrooms for them all, plenty of logs in the store to get the fire burning, Bridge’s trusty screwdriver comes into play to get the central heating working, their phones might not work but they find the radio does pick up Radio Brian with its eccentric presenter and choice of Christmas hits from the past (oh, Brian Bernard Cosgrove, how I loved you!)… and we sit back and watch what happens when this wonderful group of characters are thrown together.
There are secrets and confidences shared – often over the washing up, tea towel in hand, in the inn’s tiny kitchen. The humour is everything you’ll be expecting if you’ve read any of the author’s other books, that distinctive Yorkshire take on things, and so many laughs around all the little things as the reader gets to know the individuals rather better and they enjoy their time together. But the emotional content – and there’s plenty – was just absolutely stunning. I don’t plan to spoil the story for anyone, but there were parts of this book that entirely broke my heart – always laughter, but so many tears. I loved every single character – yes, eventually even Jack – and desperately wanted every one of them to find their happy ending. And just a brief word about that ending… just absolutely perfect, along with an unexpected and very cleverly done touch of magic.
This is a book that just overflows with love, written from the heart – the Christmas setting might be full-on, but this is a book I’d really recommend for reading in any season. Quite wonderful, a joy to read, a group of unforgettable characters, the very best of writing and storytelling with that often elusive but perfect balance of laughter and heartbreak – I totally loved this one.
About the author
Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. She is the author of 18 published novels, 4 short story ebooks, a book of poetry and a Quick Reads Novella (The Little Dreams of Lara Cliffe) and was an erstwhile leading copywriter for the greetings card industry. She is also a poem and joke-writer, a newspaper columnist and a seasoned after dinner speaker.
She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016, the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015 and the Romantic Novelist Association Outstanding Achievement award in 2020. See her popular acceptance speech here.
She writes about love, life, friendships and the importance of community spirit. Her books champion women, their strength and resilience and celebrate her beloved Yorkshire.