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Some info on the book
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A Winter Beneath the Stars: lose yourself in a heartwarming and feel-good romantic comedy for the winter by Jo Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - < 1 day
Pages - 368
Publisher - Headline Review
Source - Review Copy
Blurb from Goodreads
Escape to snowy Sweden in the gorgeous new novel from the author of Late Summer in the Vineyard and Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard. Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this unforgettable winter story from Jo Thomas.
Halley has been running from her problems for years.
On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery... until she doesn't.
The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.
On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more...
Halley is a courier, delivering goods all over, it works for her because Halley enjoys making people happy, travelling and staying away from home with her husband being away. Halley captures where she has been, what she has done and seen in her journal to share with her husband. This time she is delivering wedding rings to Tallfors in Lapland, snow, reindeer and a wedding what could go wrong? With a bag switch Halley has to push herself and rely on the help of a stranger to get reunited with her bag, the only way to travel is by Reindeer and the grumpy Bjorn who seems to prefer animals to humans.
The cover SCREAMS Christmas, it has snow, reindeer and a wedding, it isn't a Christmas story but it gives you everything Christmassy. I absolutely loved the feel of this book, I knew it was about delivering something for a wedding and a bag switch but that was it, the book is so much more. It has so many layers, it is emotive, fun, Christmas without being in your face Christmas, family, trust, secrets, self discovery. The book just keeps giving, it has a lot of themes but they all flow seamlessly. The author has a way of making the book focus on one issue with underlying layers and then BOOM they all come together and a wee ooft the rug out from under my feet. I LOVE when an author does that, almost like magic, you are focusing on one aspect of the story and then there is more you weren't quite expecting.
I loved learning about the reindeer, how they are kept, sorted, moved, the huskies, the snow, travelling uck I could go on and on. The was one or two small scenes I was a we bit iffy with in relation to the animals, when they are travelling and surviving in the wild, educational and the respect for the animals as a whole, it is an eye opener. It is such a lovely story overall and my first seasonal read. This was my first dance with Thomas, it won't be my last, I will be checking out her back catalogue., 4.5/5 for me this time.