Thank you to Headline Books for a review copy of this debut novel to read and review. The ebook was published recently and the paperback will be published on 14th October 2021. I’m sharing my review today on the Random Things Tours blog tour.
Josie never looks forward to December. It’s always a reminder of the life she lost, twenty years ago. Now, she always switches off the radio when Christmas music comes on. She always wants to tear down the tinsel her flatmate insists on pinning up. And she always posts a letter she knows will never be read.
Max never expected to find himself stranded in London just days before Christmas. He never expected it would be so hard to say goodbye to a woman he hardly knows. Then again, he never expected to fall in love.
But, this December, when Josie’s letter leads her to Max, a chance encounter will change their lives in the most remarkable way. And their story is only just beginning . . .
From London in December and Manhattan in the spring, to Scotland in the autumn and home again for Christmas in the countryside, Always, in December will take you on an unforgettable romantic journey.
The story starts with Josie having issues at work, in her love life and facing another Christmas alone.
If that isn’t bad enough, she knocks a pedestrian over when cycling to post a special letter. However this crash leads to Josie making some important discoveries about herself, and to get to know Max.
Josie has been avoiding Christmas since a tragedy hit her family on Christmas Eve so there is plenty of heartbreak in the story, but there is happiness with friends, new adventures and opportunities. This story is an emotional rollercoaster ride as we get to know Josie and Max better. Josie was a wonderful character, who I wanted to succeed in everything she did. Max was an interesting character, who didn’t always do as we expected, but could understand with hindsight.
I’m being careful to avoid spoiling the secret in the story, something we don’t know fully until almost the end, although the hints were there. I recommend having a box of tissues handy when reading this. Although December features in the story, this isn’t just set during the festive season and should be enjoyed at any time during the year.
My heart was broken by this beautifully written emotional story. The book covered so many topics including grief, romance, resilience, family relationships and Christmas. I believe that this is an excellent debut novel and I look forward to reading more in the future by Emily Stone.
Emily Stone lives and works in Chepstow and wrote Always, in December in an old Victorian manor house with an impressive literary heritage. Her debut novel was partly inspired by the death of her mother, when Emily was seven, and wanting to write something that reflected the fact that you carry this grief into adulthood, long after you supposedly move on from the event itself.