Can the secrets of the past be forgiven this Christmas?
Christmas is approaching on the island of Jersey, but Libby is feeling far from festive. Her police work and duties as vicar’s wife weigh heavily on her, she’s anxious about her troubled children, and now her best friend, Stella, has suddenly turned against her, citing a mysterious family grudge.
Libby is devastated by Stella’s unexpected coldness. But then her father shows her a diary written by her great-aunt Queenie, which sheds light on a long-hidden secret—one rooted in love, loyalty and betrayal. Writing during the Nazi occupation of Jersey in the winter of 1941, Queenie reveals a community torn apart by illicit romance, heartbreak and revenge—and by dark acts of fear and desperation.
The more Libby immerses herself in Queenie’s journal, the more she understands why its secrets still haunt her family and Stella’s. Christmas is a time of forgiveness, but is the treachery of their shared past too shameful to be forgotten?
My review of Rebecca Boxall's Christmas on the Coast
Christmas on the Coast by Rebecca Boxall is the delightful holiday read sure to bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.
Libby is feeling a little frazzled these days. With the holidays approaching her duties as a Vicar’s wife and a financial crime investigator is leaving her with little time for anything else. Add the pressure of three grown children who constantly need mum and dad to solve their problems and Libby is about to burst. Her one bright spot is her BFF Stella. Since childhood the two have shared everything including their friendship anniversary every year. But when Stella gets a startling phone call concerning the health of her mother, a secret is revealed upon her deathbed that changes everything for these two women. Stella, now refuses to talk with Libby, leaving her best friend bereft and confused. How will the two ever solve their divide if Stella refuses to talk?
When a minor accident leaves Libby’s mother with a sprained wrist, Libby decides to travel to Canterbury to spend time with her parents. As the days go by, Libby realizes this visit is what she needed to put everything in perspective. When she decides to share all her worries and concerns about her family, as well as her relationship with Stella, her father doesn’t seem surprised at the news. Instead he offers her a diary that her great-aunt Queenie kept when the island of Jersey was under Nazi occupation during WWII. This diary holds the key to the grudge that Stella’s mother has held against Libby’s family for many years. Armed with the diary, Libby travels back to Jersey and her family where the answers she craves and the love she deserves awaits her. Can Libby’s family put aside their needs for once to show Libby their appreciation and help with holiday preparations? Can Stella find it in her heart to let go of her mother’s past and animosity toward Libby and her family? You’ll have to read the book to find out!!
Personally speaking, Christmas on the Coast was not only a sweet Christmas book, but also a very clever and insightful read. I had all the drama of Libby’s children and their problems, while the mystery of Stella’s anger left me hanging on every page hoping for a clue. I especially enjoyed Queenie’s character and the vivid descriptions of Jersey during the German occupation. I also liked Libby and Libby’s parents. It was easy to see where Libby inherited her nurturing nature. The author alternating chapters between Libby and Queenie was pure genius. It kept me reading and turning the pages anxious to get to the next chapter. I didn’t want to put it down. And as all good Christmas novels promise, the ending was both satisfying and delightful.
For an enjoyable Christmas read to welcome in the holidays consider Christmas on the Coast by Rebecca Boxall. It will sweep you away to a small channel island where you will get a taste of England’s coast, holiday traditions and two families past and present. Light your tree, sit back with a good cuppa tea and be prepared to be entertained.
I want to thank Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of Christmas on the Coast by Rebecca Boxall for a fair and honest review.
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