First thought… the blurb RUINS the whole story. I’ll give you some background: I’d picked this out of my TBR list and started reading it, after 150 pages I was thinking… what a heart warming tale of how two foster children (Jim and Belle) are united after fifteen years and fall madly in love with one another. Then I made a HUGE mistake, I put the book face down and when I next picked it up, I couldn’t help but read the blurb… turns out this isn’t a cutesy Christmas story about their romantic get together…. It’s all about a crash which leaves Jim in hospital and how a wish Belle asks for comes true.
Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with how the story panned out but I’m of two minds of how I feel this should have been done: a) the author shouldn’t have spent over two thirds of the book building up to the main plot line or b) the blurb shouldn’t have cut straight to the punch line… I’m of the opinion that ‘b’ makes sense – after all the book flowed beautifully from the start to the end: the tale of how Jim and Belle became best friends, how they became lovers, how married life treated them, how they fostered many kids, the crash and how life carried on. I strongly believe blurbs should not give away spoilers that are not presented in the first twenty pages… right mini rant over on to my thoughts on the plot, writing style and general vibes of the book…!
This is a tale told through Belle’s eyes, it’s a heart warming tale of how she found her forever home in the foster system and how herself and Jim began to foster kids themselves, loving each as if they were their own with a sense of realism and empathy. For such a kind and sweet lady, Belle hasn’t had the easiest life, her mother hated her and she lost her baby.
For the first portion of the book, we’re given an insight into the fostering system from the eyes of a scared young girl and how she came out of her shell being around foster mum Tess. I found this part of the story particularly absorbing as watching Belle go from a girl who wouldn’t say a word to a strong, sassy teenager was empowering.
On a cold winters day, Jim and Belle are arguing in the car when Jim loses control of the car and ends up in a critical condition. Belle wishes that it was her and not him… and more importantly wishes she’d never been born (a tormented thought planted by her mother). With a vibe similar to ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, Nora the angel comes to show Belle how different life would have been if she hadn’t been born. It was touching to read how much Belle had changed people’s lives and even more so when she realised how much she wanted to go back to her life and fill it with more love.
This was a cute feel good story that would warm anyone’s heart in this festive season.
Until next time, Chloé x