Friday, 9 December 2016

Book Review - 'Falling Softly' by Maria Duffy.



Holly is getting ready for an extra-special Christmas.  Her boyfriend, David, has proposed and the groundwork for the wedding has begun.  He is a great guy, who clearly adores her, but something is missing. Why can she not get excited about the big day?
Josh's girlfriend is pregnant and they are moving into their new home before the baby arrives. She is stunningly beautiful and he would do anything to keep her happy.  But small cracks are beginning to show and the house move brings up some unexpected challenges.  Not least the fact that he is now across the road from Holly, who he used to date...

Who hasn't wondered what their first love is up to? The powerful connections that young adults experience can sometimes be exaggerated in our memories and rose-tinted glasses are often used. But how would you cope if you ended up seeing that special someone on a daily basis and the feelings resurfaced?  Holly and Josh find themselves hiding their past romance and keeping their feelings under wrap.  Holly has doubts about her impending marriage and her fiancee (and his needy mother) begin to get on her nerves.  At least she has her job in a local veterinary practice to keep her sane.  Josh's model girlfriend, Stephanie, is high maintenance and struggling with her pregnant status. Josh can't wait to become a dad and tried to instill some enthusiasm into the expectant mother.  It's not as easy as he thought and bends over backwards to please her, despite some of her dodgy decisions. As Christmas looms, the two households struggle to build up the seasonal spirit as memories come knocking on their doors.

Maria Duffy is one of Ireland's best known writers of female fiction and this is her sixth novel.  Each one is written with a gentle touch and a warm tone.  In Falling Softly we meet two characters with a connected past, who are about to embark on their individual futures.  Their unexpected reunion throws some serious spanners in to the works and their memories resurface.  Duffy interlaces the past and the present, whilst using supporting characters to create the overall atmosphere.  This is not a Christmas book, just one that happens to take place over the festive period.  The writing is charming and both Josh and Holly are endearing. Their respective partners are well drawn upon, with Stephanie being a particularly nasty piece of work. David's mother is a classic, controlling mother-in-law and I think I would hide behind the sofa if I thought she was on her way over to my house.  This is an enjoyable read, ideal for the holidays.  It has some sparkle, some sadness and a dash of hope. Ideal for fans of Cathy Kelly and Claudia Carroll.

Falling Softly is published by Hachette Ireland and is available in TPB. You can order your copy, with 17% discount and Free Worldwide Postage, HERE. The ebook can be ordered via amazon link below:

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