This post is dedicated to a book that has a very misleading Christmassy title but isn’t altogether that Christmassy! ‘Christmas at Tiffany’s’ by Karen Swan is the book equivalent to waking up on Christmas morning to find nothing inside a beautifully wrapped Christmas box!
Blurb from Goodreads
Three cities. Three seasons. One chance to find the life that fits.
Cassie settled down too young, marrying her first serious boyfriend. Now, ten years later, she is betrayed and broken. With her marriage in tatters and no career or home of her own, she needs to work out where she belongs in the world and who she really is.
So begins a year-long trial as Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with each of her best friends in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris and London. Exchanging grouse moor and mousy hair for low-carb diets and high-end highlights, Cassie tries on each city for size as she attempts to track down the life she was supposed to have been leading, and with it, the man who was supposed to love her all along.
Oh my gosh was this book annoying in parts!!!
First off, the title “Christmas at Tiffany’s”…
Talk about misleading!
There is the BRIEFEST celebration of Christmas and all that is merry & bright about one third the way through the book and then Christmas is kind of mentioned again in the epilogue but that’s it!!
That does not justify a Christmassy title and book cover!!!!!!!!
Luckily enough I read this book in November but if I had saved this up to read over the Christmas holidays I would have been utterly dismayed.
This book is set over the course of a whole year so can (and really should) be read at any other time of the year OTHER THAN Christmas!! So for the whole misleading title I really want to knock a whole point off my rating of this book…. (We shall see how Scrooge-like I feel come the end of my review…)
Okay getting to the storyline…
In the prologue we are introduced to Cassie, married for ten years and living in the remote Scottish highlands with her husband Gil. On the night of their tenth anniversary celebrations she discovers he’s been having an affair and the bottom falls out of her world. (This isn’t a spoiler because it is detailed in the book description plus it sets up the plot of the book) Anyway!!!!!! Luckily Cassie has three great best friends, known to her since her childhood, and these women band together and agree to help Cassie get back on her feet in order to rediscover who she is. So for a few months at a time Cassie agrees to live with each of her best friends, starting with Kelly in New York, Anouk in Paris and then with Suzy in London.
At 582 pages long you can imagine that Cassie had quite the different adventures in each of the cities…
- In New York things were very ‘sex and the city’ with constant cocktails, dating, new GBFs and high fashion
- Paris was more sophisticated..a slower pace of life, indulging in life’s pleasures such as cooking, cycling, visiting markets etc etc…
Basically we got three very cliched and predictable storylines around each of the cities and Cassie’s experiences in each.
On a whole the novel was fairly enjoyable even if very slow moving at times. There was an interesting variety of supporting characters in the books but surprisingly enough, given the book’s length, I thought some of these characters personalities were a little too underdeveloped.
I would have loved to know more about her French friend Claude’s back story; in the book the detail was sadly lacking and was all over and done with in a blink of an eye. And I would have loved to have had greater back stories into all of the three best friends’ lives too.
This was an okay read. It was light, not terribly taxing and definitely took my attention as I was reading it. There was a lovely romantic storyline running throughout the novel and Cassie was given lovely and very thoughtful lists from her friend Henry detailing what less touristy things she should do in each city which was a really nice theme throughout the story.
However, the plot was entirely too formulaic and predictable (that ending could be no surprise to anyone) and the book to me was missing a few good chuckles or lighthearted moments.
Bu overall it was a good solid read in the light fiction genre that I would rate three-ish stars…
And seeing as I picked this book up in a charity shop as part of a ten books for €2 deal then I guess I can get over the whole Christmas title debacle…
There is a sequel called Summer at Tiffany’s so who knows, maybe that one will be a whole lot more Christmassy!!