Experience a festive reunion with the Winter family in their home in the English countryside—or meet them for the first time—and enjoy their warm celebrations around the fire. Winterfold, the rambling house of the Winter family, has always sprung to life at Christmas—the purple wisteria might be a distant memory, but in the crisp air of December, the inviting glow of candles at the window and the delicious aromas from the kitchen offer you a warm welcome. As Martha Winter’s family fill the empty rooms with their laughter and cheer, the ghosts of the past are pushed into the shadows. Welcome back to Winterfold, and the healing magic of Christmas.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will know that I absolutely loved A Place For Us by Harriet Evans. I was enchanted by life at Winterfold and became fascinated by the Winter family and the stories they each had to tell. As you can imagine, I was delighted when I found out that Harriet had written a Christmas novella and we were going to get one last trip to Winterfold!
In A Winterfold Christmas we get to revisit the majority of the family members from A Place For Us as they prepare for Christmas. Christmases at Winterfold are undoubtedly a difficult time after the death of David Winterfold two years ago. The family have tried to go away for Christmas but that was unsuccessful so this year they’re staying at Winterfold…and Joe has offered to cook Christmas lunch.
Joe doesn’t seem to be fully aware of the responsibility that he has taken on with this task and to be honest Martha Winter isn’t entirely happy about the arrangement either. In fact she is fed up of being told to put her feet up and relax – she’d much rather be in the kitchen dealing with the potatoes.
Can Christmas run smoothly at Winterfold or is it destined to be a disaster?
As soon as I finished the last page of A Place For Us I immediately wanted more. I really bonded with the Winter family and was desperate to find out what was going to happen next for them. Needless to say it was fantastic to be re-united with them all again.
We get to hear from all of the characters from the original story in separate chapters in the lead up to Christmas. Joe is starting to have doubts about his offer of doing Christmas lunch, Lucy is struggling with feelings for her flatmate and Martha…Well, Martha is having a really difficult time of things. She is still struggling with her grief over the death of her husband, David, and I think Harriet portrayed her feelings really well. It was obvious she was a different person to the one that we met in the original novel, but that’s to be expected. I really felt for Martha and I could feel her pain – especially when she feared how everyone was moving forward with their lives but all she wanted to do was go back.
You could read A Winterfold Christmas as a standalone but personally I would recommend reading A Place For Us, first. The Winter family deserve to tell you their full story and you will get so much more enjoyment out of this festive delight if you become properly introduced to the characters and their backstory. And if you haven’t read A Place For Us, well quite frankly this is something you need to set right immediately – it’s wonderful.
Full of festive charm and with a superb ending, A Winterfold Christmas ties up all the ends for the Winter family nicely. It’s full of Harriet’s trademark warmth and the Christmas recipes are a delightful touch. David Winter’s Sloe Gin was a personal favourite – check out his quote at the end…
A huge thank you to Harriet for sending me a copy of A Winterfold Christmas.
I have written eight novels (WHAT? how did that happen. That’s completely bonkers.) Yes, eight. Anyway while I get over that, what else do you need to know? I live in London, near the canal. I like: the Golden Girls, karaoke, the clothes shop Anthropologie, books books and more books, and my daughter Cora and my boyfriend Chris. Not in that order. I used to work in publishing and look at authors and think well, I can do that! So I thought I’d fulfill my life-long ambition and try writing a book because how hard can it be? Now I know the answer which is: er, kind of pretty hard. But it’s the best job in the world (apart from acting in musicals which one day I also hope to do *stop kidding yourself & get back to work*) and I know that too.
My latest novel is A PLACE FOR US, which is out at the moment in an absolutely beautiful paperback (which I like to stroke in my spare time) and e-book. It opens with the matriarch of the Winter family, Martha, sitting down at the breakfast table one morning to write out the invitations that will call the family back from around the world home to their beautiful house Winterfold for a reunion where she will reveal a long-held secret… I have been completely thrilled and chuffed that people have enjoyed it, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to say nice things about it. If you read it, I really hope you like it too.
Anyway If you’d like to get in touch I would lurve to hear from you. Please visit my website: http://www.harriet-evans.com/
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