Every Christmas Lizzie promises herself that things will change and she will leap into the new year a new woman. And yet here she is again, at the beginning of December and nothing is different. Her girls have grown up and left home, her husband Henry is slumped in front of the TV and she is alone in the kitchen, seeking refuge in the cooking sherry and talking to her Gary Barlow calendar. She’s also been very diverted by handsome new neighbour Marcus and she knows she shouldn’t be …
So when best friend Ann suggests a weekend away in the country, Lizzie jumps at the chance. Will this Christmas escape give Lizzie some much needed perspective and allow her to mend her marriage? Or will Marcus prove to be too much of a distraction?
Even though I’m a huge fan of crime/psychological thrillers there are a small bunch of authors who write what I call “need to escape, cheer me up books” and the very talented Christie Barlow is one of those authors, and she certainly never disappoints me. I’m sure millions of women will relate to Lizzie on many levels, she’s in a humongous rut, her marriage is stale, in fact she has better conversations with her Gary Barlow calendar than she does with her husband! her children have flown the nest and she’s not sure where her life is going (ring a bell anyone?), but then the very handsome and charismatic Marcus moves into her street and things take a turn for the better or do they? You will just have to read Lizzie’s Christmas Escape to find out!
What I absolutely love about the authors book is her attention to her characters, they are a joy to read about, they are so well developed by the end of the book you really do feel you are saying “goodbye” to old friends. The relationship between Lizzie and Ann was heartwarming and very genuine, they are the best of friends and you couldn’t help wishing for a friend just like Ann or Lizzie. Their friendship is one many woman could only wish for they are supportive, loyal of one and other and the humour and banter between them helps them through the difficult times, and there are plenty of those! The dialogue between the two friends was so realistic at times I thought I was eavesdropping on a friends conversation, it’s full of humour and honesty that only true friends would understand, and at times I laughed out loud at some of their conversations.
Lizzie’s story reminded me very much of an old adage “the grass isnt always greener on the other side”, or is it? this was something Lizzie was forced to find out for herself I’m afraid. Lizzie’s story made me laugh and cry, sometimes all in the same chapter, you can understand Lizzie feeling fed up with life and why she strived to find something better, but life is what you make it, and just maybe Lizzie will have to learn this lesson through making her own mistakes. As Christmas approaches you can’t help feeling sorry for the two friends (everything seems so much worse during this period, don’t you think?), as they experience what could be their worse Christmas ever.
What I would say about Lizzie’s Christmas Escape is its a shame that many readers will only pick this book up if they are looking for a “Christmassy” read, I read it whilst led on a sun lounger in Portugal, and I feel this book has so much more to offer than a mediocre Christmas read, it’s about family, reaching a crossroads in life, and the importance of family and friends, with a “just what the Dr ordered, a dose of humour thrown in”
Christie Barlow has again written a captivating and charming book packed full of characters you will care about one way or another, full of drama and bucketfuls of humour. So I would recommend you pull the curtains, light the fire (unless you have an electric one of course!) and pour yourself something sparkling and immerse yourself in Lizzie’s heartwarming tale. This is a book I would recommend to anyone looking for “a feel good read” and definitely NOT just to be read at Christmas!
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️out of 5
Print Length: 348 pages
Publisher: Bookouture (21 Oct. 2016)
Amazon UK 🇬🇧