Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; Paperback Original edition (17 Nov. 2016)
Christmas has arrived in the town of Wynbridge and it promises mince pies, mistletoe and a whole host of seasonal joy.
Ruby has finished with university and is heading home for the holidays to save up for her trip around the world in January. Against her father’s wishes, she takes on a stall at the local market, and sets about making it the best Christmas market stall ever. There’ll be bunting and mistletoe and maybe even a bit of mulled wine.
But with a new retail park just opened on their doorstep, the market is under threat. So together with all the other stallholders, Ruby devises a plan to make sure that Wynbridge is the first port of call for everyone’s Christmas shopping needs.
The only thing standing in her way is Ruby’s ex, Steve. It’s pretty hard to concentrate on saving the world when he works on the stall opposite, especially when she realises that her feelings for him are still there…
This book is the third by Heidi Swain and sees us visit the village of Wynbridge, home of the Cherry Tree Cafe and Skylark Farm, once more. This novel is a stand alone story BUT I do think it would be beneficial to have read Heidi’s other two books first as a lot of the characters cross over, as do the locations. In fact, I think if you haven’t read the first two, you won’t enjoy it as much as you aren’t already invested in the community. (They are fab books so just read them!)
Anyway, when we last saw Ruby (see, you need to read them!), she had left her Saturday job at the Cherry Tree Cafe to do her A-levels. This story catches up with her – and Lizzie & Ben, Jemma & Tom – just over 3 years later as she drops out of her masters (much to the disappointment of her dad) and returns home to run a Christmas Market stall to save up to go travelling in the new year. We instantly find out her dad is less than pleased about her decision and we later find out he is disliked by all the market traders and locked in a bitter dispute with them. We also see Ruby try to get over her ex, who she thought she was over, as she tries to work alongside him.
The story is another stunning book that will warm your cockles. Different writers have different skills when it comes to writing little collectives of people (Milly Johnson, for example, is brilliant at writing groups of women thrown together – mums, work colleagues, brides to be – who form new friendships ) and Heidi’s skill comes from writing a close knit community. You really do feel like part of this little market town and feel that you know the people. I would love to live in Wynbridge!
The book will make you feel festive, hungry (I really wanted some of Jemma’s mince pies) and – if you’re anything like me – wanting to make a wreath! haha!! I’m not creative or crafty at all so well done on this one!!
A really lovely book that highlights that family bonds go beyond those of blood ties and that the people who tie you together are all of those around you who love you. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I feel like this is very much the case in the lovely community of Wynbridge.