A light-hearted, romantic comedy, The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake, is
based in the seasonal run up to Christmas.
I chose a light-hearted read as during this time, I think that everyone is pretty much running about in circles but, as well as being a feel-good, easy read, this book also touches on the themes of community, social and personal change, new and old friendships, priorities, trust, luuuurve and how the simple things in life can mean far more than the expensive ones.
The by-line for this title is “Can Clara teach a little
village the art of happiness? However, it seems that Danish wanderer, Clara
Kristensen, has her work cut out when she ends up in Yulethorpe, a small,
pretty, Suffolk village which has been badly hit by the double whammy of
supermarkets and internet shopping. The High Street has more closed-for-good
shutters than shops left open for business and it looks like the Toy Shop is
about to go the same way.
Clara is staying at the local and comfortable, if somewhat aesthetically-unloved, pub, run by kindly but secretive, landlord, Gavin.
On her first evening, Clara is quietly reading her book in the bar, when a colourful lady bursts in and dramatically orders a double gin and tonic (but hold the tonic) and announces to Gavin that she is done – she is shutting her shop – and she is off. When she gets back to her flat, she is booking a flight to Spain.
Louisa, had been in the shower when she made the radical decision, realised that she was out of sustaining liquor and with hair still wet, purple wellies on and wearing her hot-pink pyjamas under her turquoise coat, headed to tell her special friend, Gavin, of her decision, regardless.
Roz, owner of the still open Village Store and Post Office, and not a fan of the dramatic Louisa, they have history, was working her way through a bottle of red and muttering “Drama, Drama” through her narrow lips and rolling her eyes, not believing that Louisa would close her shop and take off.
Louisa rose to the sceptical challenge, and did fly off to Spain, but not before she accepted the offer, from Clara, to housesit, her somewhat chaotic flat, complete with lethargic cat and a loud, potty-mouthed bird, Lady Ca-Ca. Lady Ca-Ca likes to quote from films, often in an embarrassingly appropriate, or inappropriate, manner.
In return, for the free accommodation, Clara offers to run the shop while Louisa is away.
On the run up to Christmas a Toy Shop should be full of happy smiling children and Clara sets out to bring the shop back to life.
Nothing is ever as straightforward as one would like and Clara faces challenges from Roz, who has her own agenda, and Louisa’s high-flying, glued-to-his-phone, stressed out and over-worked, over ambitious, son, Joe, who is something big in The City. Joe doesn’t trust Clara’s intentions as how can anyone possibly be so nice?
Does Clara, win around any of the villagers and does she succeed to bring the Toy Shop back to life? On top of all that, can she bring her Danish love of Hygge to those around her? With new good friends, naps, candles, blankets and steaming mugs of hot chocolate, and definitely no mobile phones, she sets out to do just that.
Of course, not everyone is as they appear, secrets abound and Clara and Gavin, both have their own, that they want to keep hidden. However, secrets inevitably come out and how they are dealt with can determine the future, for all.
A Hygge Holiday is an heart-warming, funny book, bursting with believable characters and perfect for this time of the year. So pull on your woolly socks, get the fire roaring, light candles, make a mug of cocoa, grab a blanket, ignore the dark nights and rainy weather, cosy down into your favourite armchair and let Rosie Blake entertain you with her delightful tale of the goings-on in the pretty village of Yulethorpe.
I used to own a shop in a pretty village and I’m all for the Scandinavian ideals of Hygge and Lagom, so this book just hit the spot for me and I thoroughly enjoyed this light, cosy read.
With a background in writing features for magazines, Rosie
Blake published her first rom-com, How To Get A (Love) Life, in 2014 and A
Hygge Holiday is her 4th novel.
You can find out all about Rosie at: www.rosieblake.co.uk and she is on www.facebook.com/RosieBlakeBooks and Twitter: @RosieBBooks
You can buy The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake: HERE
If you don’t know what Hygge is, it’s a Scandinavian term for creating a soft and cosy ambience, relaxing and enjoying being in the moment. The weather may be foul outside but if you are all cosy, chilled out and enjoying good, calm company or a good book, such as The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake, then that’s a good start!If you still don’t know what Hygge is, here’s Rosie to tell you all about it: