Monday, 19 January 2015

'Driving Home For Christmas' by Emma Hannigan


Who says you have to read Christmas themed books in December???

Huntersbrook Lodge, in Southern Ireland, is home to the Craig family.  The kids mat have have grown up and moved out, but always come back for the traditional Huntesrbrook Christmas.  A period house, on acres of land, the Craigs fill the rooms with festive decorations, light the fires and cook up a storm.  Only difference this year, is that money has run out and the house may be in jeopardy.   The younger generation are unaware and are having their own problems.
Lainey is recovering from a break up and stalking her ex on Facebook, Joey has the girlfriend from hell, but she happens to be beautiful and he is the envy of the male population, while Pippa is on a spending spree which seems to be getting out of control.  Will a family gathering make things worse, or will the heart of the home bring out the best in them?

I first came across Emma Hannigan's work when I read The Pink Ladies Club.  I devoured it and have been a fan ever since.  Her writing is so simple and endearing.  There is no need for shock tactics or major plotting.  The characters do the work. 

 The Craig family were a little difficult to like at the beginning.  It's hard to feel sympathetic for people who's biggest problems seemed so trivial.  However, as the novel moved on, and the characters developed, the grew on me.  Each of the children had their own annoying traits and I actually wanted to give them a stern talking to at several stages throughout the book.  I did love the parents, Holly and Paddy, and their housekeeper, Sadie.  The buzz over the Christmas period is really brought to life within these pages, but it's not necessary to read this only in winter.  It is a story of family, first and foremost, and Huntersbrook is a beautiful Georgian home, with its own quirkiness and history.  Well worth picking up, anytime of year!

Driving Home For Christmas is published by Headline Review and is available in paperback or ebook format.

More from Emma Hannigan ,on #IrishFictionFortnight, later today...

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