Last week I shared sixteen Christmas novels for anyone in the mood for some holiday reading. Nearly all of them are ones I had already enjoyed, but a few on the list I had on my TBR for this Christmas season.
This week I'm sharing my thoughts on Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb.
This book has been recommended several times by Janssen at Everday Reading. And while I trust Janssen's taste, which often mirrors my own, I didn't rush right out to read this one. I had read a different novel by this duo earlier this year and found it likeable enough, but not amazing. So despite her glowing review, I didn't immediately pick this book up.
But once I actually did pick it up and start reading, I had a hard time putting it down. First of all, this is an epistolary novel (a word I enjoy saying almost as much as I enjoy the format): a novel told in letters. Evie's brother Will and his best friend Tom head off to fight in WWI, initially believing it will be over by Christmas. Evie writes them faithfully and hears often from Tom. Of course the war is not over by that first Christmas - or the next Christmas, either. As Evie and Tom's correspondence continues their relationship deepens, despite the distance between them. And yet, neither ever find themselves at a place where they can share what they really feel for the other.
I loved pretty much everything about this story. It is a fast read, and although the title makes readers think it is a story about Christmas, much of this novel has nothing to do with the holiday at all and could be enjoyed anytime of year.
This was a great way for me to kick off some Christmas reading and this may be the best holiday novel I've read in a long time.