Anne Marie Ryan / Book Review

Anne Marie Ryan | Christmas by the Book

The Book: 

Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan
Published October 12th 2021 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Date read: December 30, 2021

The Characters: 

Nora and Simon
Olwyn, Matteo, Harry, David, Will, Liz

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

Nora and her husband, Simon, have run the beautiful oak-beamed book shop in their small British village for thirty years. But times are tough and the shop is under threat of closure–this Christmas season will really decide their fate. When an elderly man visits the store and buys the one book they’ve never been able to sell, saying it’s the perfect gift for his sick grandson, it gives Nora an idea. She and Simon will send out books to those feeling down this Christmas. Maybe they can’t save their bookstore, but at least they’ll have one final chance to lift people’s spirits through the power of reading.

After gathering nominations online, Nora and Simon quietly deliver books to six residents of the village in need of some festive cheer, including a single dad of twins who is working hard to make ends meet, a teenage boy grieving for his big sister, a local Member of Parliament who is battling depression, and a teacher who’s newly retired and living on her own. As the town prepares for a white Christmas, the books begin to give the recipients hope, one by one. But with the future of the bookshop still up in the air, Nora and Simon will need a Christmas miracle–or perhaps a little help from the people whose lives they’ve touched–to find a happy ending of their own.

The Review: 

Thank you to Putnam Books for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

I have one final holiday book review to squeeze in. Christmas By The Book reminded me a bit of Love Actually, but book-themed. I really loved it!

My favorite part was that the main characters weren’t young lovestruck idealists, but a realistic middle-aged couple of empty nesters. So many of the books I read are about the beginnings of romance, and it was really refreshing to read about characters that have been in love for years and know each other better than anyone.

In addition to Nora and Simon, we get glimpses into the lives of the six people they sent RAOKs to. By chance, each individual gets exactly the book they most need in the moment, and the books certainly help spread some much-needed Christmas cheer.

This uplifting story really shows how books can bring people together in so many different ways. It was the perfect thing to read in the week between Christmas and New Year’s! If you’re not reading holiday books anymore, make sure you add this one to your list for next season.

QOTD: Are you still reading holiday books, or do you stop as soon as the holidays are over?

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