One Family Christmas by Bella Osborne
Publishing Date: 15th October 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 416
Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction
A big family. A whole lot of secrets. A Christmas to remember…
This year, Lottie is hosting one last big family Christmas at the home she grew up in – just like her Nana would have wanted.
But when her relatives descend on the old manor house, Lottie gets more than she bargained for. Every family has its secrets, but in this family, everybody has one!
So, between cooking a Christmas dinner, keeping tensions at bay and a stray dog out of mischief, she has plenty on her plate (and not just misshapen sausage rolls and a frozen turkey). And then her first love shows up – nine years after he walked out of her life.
Can Lottie make their last family Christmas one to remember… for the right reasons?
A festive treat to curl up with this Christmas, perfect for fans of Milly Johnson and Trisha Ashley.
Lottie’s beloved grandmother dies suddenly shortly before Christmas. Lottie is devastated – her Nana raised her up as her mother was rather busy looking after „The One“ – but she’s also determined to spend the last Christmas in Rose’s house before it’s sold, together with her whole family, just like they always did before Rose’s death. The family is rather reluctant but oh, well, eventually they oblige. Lottie is excited – the fact that she’s supposed to organise everything by herself and that she can’t cook won’t spoil her enthusiasm, oh no. However, even before the first family member arrives, things start to go sideways, and it’s only the beginning of Christmas full of secrets, mishaps and other disasters.
This was a story filled with disasters and, according to Murphy’s law, if something wrong is going to happen, it has happened during Lottie’s Christmas, because there are not only secrets being uncovered, and what secrets, let me tell you, but there is also a proposal, a birth, a pregnancy test, a porno star, an ex – girlfriend and many, disappearing Christmas presents, dogs and cats under one roof, but also the overwhelming feeling of joy and love and hope, and plenty of food, even if Lottie has no idea how to cook.
There are many characters in this story because Lottie’s family is huge and there is also a variety of background characters but this time I didn’t have any problems with recognising who is who and who belongs to whom. They were brilliantly written and so sharp, unique and distinctive, it was a real joy to get to know this colourful and lively cast of characters. Lottie’s family is so diverse, just like any family really, and after initial disbelief, because I thought that everything is going to run smoothly and there won’t be any problems, and I couldn’t believe how bonkers they are – positively bonkers – I started to feel so comfortable with them and their shenanigans and brilliant one – liners. They were a bit dramatic, but it was hilarious to see, and also so very entertaining.
The story is mainly told from Lottie’s point of view but her chapters intertwine with those told by Emily, the newcomer to the family, and it was even better, to see her fresh, objective and absolutely honest perspective and disbelief.
There is a lot happening in this story although sometimes I had a feeling that it starts to repeat itself and drag a bit but those were just a few moments. The characters don’t have time for a flat moment because there is plenty of action. So while there were moments that the novel a) dragged a bit and b) felt a little too overdone and over the top, I still loved every minute of it and think it was one of the loveliest, funniest Christmas books I have ever read, and probably Bella Osborne’s best yet. It was amusing, and well, relatable too, I think each of us will be able to recognise some of the situations, or Lottie’s family members, from their own Christmases, right?
„One Family Christmas“ was a festive, entertaining story about family relationships – there might be misunderstandings and problems between the family members but in the end the book shows that keeping together is what it is about. It was filled with humour and full of heart and the feel – good factor. But it was not only laugh – out – loud comedy of errors, there was much more depth to it which made the book even more beautiful – the loss of Lottie’s Nana was even more overwhelming and heart – breaking because of the festive times and Lottie trying to recreate the Christmas for her family just like her Nana would do it was truly touching, and it only showed how important family is, no matter how imperfect the family members are. So really, the balance between poignant and fun was truly brilliant and perfect. It was filled with a whole range of feelings and emotions, it was warm and inviting, a truly brilliant read for a winter evening. Highly recommended!