A Winter Beneath the Stars by Jo Thomas

THE BIG QUESTION. Which book did you share your Christmas Day with?

It feels like such a monumentous occasion and picking the right book to share the day with, is always a decision that requires much consideration and back and forth trips from the book shelf. Christmas Eve/Day and Boxing Day were spent with the wonderful A Winter Beneath the Stars for me. I chose it because I wanted something that could immerse me in a silent bubble for a few minutes to keep me sane before the timer went off for the gazillionth time to baste the turkey/turn the potatoes over in the goose fat/put the veg in/put more veg in… etc! And boy oh boy did this book deliver. It was an honour to spend my Christmas with this book and I thought I’d get this review up today, in the hope that maybe some of you can use this book to ease you through that end of holiday stress/January blues!

So what made it so special?

Halley is a hand-to-hand courier who delivers very important treasures to people. Her latest trip sees her in the beautifully remote Tallfors in Sweden, to drop off two gorgeously bespoke personalised wedding rings.

Disaster has struck though, someone has taken her bag from the plane and she’s got theirs!

Halley has been promised long haul courier jobs if this mission is a success and she desperately wants to travel further, which means finding the man who has her bag. I could feel her panic radiating from the pages, I was getting myself all stressed about the missing bag too! But whilst the rings are the main reason to retrieve the bag to save her job, she’s also desperate to be reunited with the travel log which her husband bought her.

With a stunning back drop – the snow, the cabins, the reindeer, the dogs… this story will sweep you up in winter magic and leave you feeling all warm inside, but WAIT… there is so much more to this book.

Halley has unconsciously and rather spontaneously been thrown on her own journey of self discovery, stripping her from technology and her belongings, and placing her out in the wilderness with a grumpy local – Björn. Her brain is finally able to confront what she’s been running from for two years.

Jo has managed to beautifully balance this plot, allowing it to be both light hearted but also tear-jerkingly moving. I wasn’t expecting Halley’s story to unravel and bring so much depth and meaning to the search for two missing rings.

Another surprise was the introduction of Björn’s voice, who was reflecting on his own past and when certain truths are revealed, it makes some of the earlier comments even more amusing!

This is writing that really picks you up and takes you on a journey, I was so happy to have shared my Christmas with this wonderful book!

A Winter Beneath the Stars is out now in paperback and eBook form published by Headline. Thank you Becky for sending me a copy of this book, it was the perfect treat for this winter!

Until next time, Chloé x

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