01 January 2012

A Season to Remember

By Sheila O'Flanagan
Published by Headline Review
an imprint of Headline Publishing Group
First published in paperback in 2011

Claire and Neil Archer own the Sugar Loaf Lodge, a luxury hotel with an award-winning restaurant and a breathtaking spa - an oasis of peace and serenity withing striking distance of Dublin. With the economic downturn in Ireland, the Archers wonder if the hotel will be filled for Christmas this year and how they will get by if it is not.

Nestled in what is known as the Garden of Ireland, the Lodge provides the perfect backdrop to a gorgeous handful of integrated short stories centering around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve the Lodge begins to receive its guests. Mostly families arrive - some want a break from the cooking and overkill that is Christmas Day, some want to repair the damage the year has brought them, some want to be alone, some want to reunite. Mix well with a few singletons and, believe it or not, a visit from a ghost, and you have the recipe for some lovely Christmas stories.

O'Flanagan always gets to the heart of family life, be it good or bad, and she gets it just right when writing about families at Christmas. Although a joyous and family-filled time of year for some, it can oftentimes be the opposite for families and both views are reflected in this book.

Although O'Flanagan has written a novel, the stories can be read as separate entities. Characters from one story appear in other stories to keep it cohesive.

A Season to Remember is a lovely novel to read at any time, but it was certainly nice to read it over Christmas. There's still a few days left to the season - fit it in if you can.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds good!