A small disclaimer before we delve into all things bookish and festive. I haven't quite finished this novel yet, but I am well on my way and wanted to share some thoughts while there's still time to treat your e-reader/kindle, or even just buy a Christmas book to read all year round. Thank you to Elaine and ed. Pr for this #gifted review copy.
Christmas With The Teashop Girls is the second in this historical series and opens in late 1940. The novel follows Rose Neville, her mum, friends, and all the residents of the Sea View Guesthouse, along with workers at two Joe Lyons tearooms. Elaine weaved together a whole host of different characters in the first novel and adds to them further in this one. Lady Diana, her chauffeur/concierge, and Councillor Wendy Mould bring some spark and life to this wartime tale, and there are a few surprises as well.
An unexpected twist early on sees Rose and Flora stranded on a boat out in the water. It's almost a passing reference to something that could be dramatic, before the chapters flashback to earlier times and you're left wondering for quite a while until hints start to surface of something underhand.
I'm now at the part where I think I know who might be involved in tieing up Flora and Rose on a boat, but let's see if I'm right. I'm not giving anything away though, so you'll just have to make a purchase yourself and lose yourself in 1940's Kent (with a healthy dose of London).
I've read quite a few of Elaine's novels now, and there's always one particular thing, apart from the new characters that stuck in my mind, and this time it was the turn of phrase. Old fashioned expressions like someone going on their 'constitutionals' which I didn't really notice in previous books just made me smile this time around.
When I read historical fiction I always come back to why I abandoned it in the first place and still get bored of it sometimes. To me, however well written the books are if you've read enough of them, it just feels like the same old details, in a different place. Christmas With The Teashop Girls and one of my past favourites, The Girl With The Amber Comb are two exceptions that are both well worth a read.
I wish you all a safe and peaceful Christmas, and however you are able to spend it cherish this time and look forward to a better and more hopeful new year. Thank you all for reading, and if you do curl up with a new book this Christmas do pop on here or Instagram and let me know what you got/what you think.