Friday, 4 December 2020

Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan


Flora Mackenzie is worried about her brother. Fintan hasn't got over the death of his partner, Coltan, and Flora thinks he needs a project.

The Rock - the rambling, disused hotel on the tip of the island - was Coltan's passion project before he died. With Flora's help, Fintan is going to get the hotel up and running in time for Christmas, transforming it into a festive haven of crackling log fires and delicious food. But running a hotel, they are about to discover, is not that easy. Especially when their motley staff includes a temperamental French chef, a spoilt Norwegian kitchen boy who can't peel a potato without mutilating his own hand and a painfully shy kitchen assistant who blushes when anyone speaks to her.

Can they pull it together in time for the big opening?

In Jenny Colgan’s latest release Christmas at the Island Hotel we are heading back to our friendly community on Mure as Fintan is still coming to terms with the loss of Coltan. Coltan’s dream of having The Rock hotel a thriving success still needs to get off the ground and Flora is ready to step in and help Fintan to get things running and hopefully give him a distraction and a purpose. We welcome two new characters in the form of a temperamental French chef and useless, spoilt Norwegian guy!

Jenny Colgan never fails to provide us with a gripping storyline in a cosy setting, and even if you haven’t read the previous books in the Mure series I still believe you could read this one as a standalone although you would feel more connected to the characters and the goings on if you do treat yourself to the rest of the books.

I do love reuniting with old characters to see how things are progressing in their lives and it gives a feeling of familiarity and comfort which is perfect in winter novels but having the vibrancy of fresh new characters too bring an exciting bubble to the storyline too. Konstantin was an out and out spoilt rich man who really needed the push his dad gave him to actually do something with his life to make him grow up and start taking some responsibility and also to learn some basic life skills and what better place than Mure to learn. His character actually provided a few comedic moments and I had a little soft spot for him and was looking forward to watching him grow into skin.

There are a couple of delicate subject matters that are touched on in this book but wasn’t heavily featured so there was still an uplifting feel to the storyline but with an added depth with these matters gently weaved in.

There is a touch of festivity sprinkled into this book but it isn’t overly Christmassy so this book can still be read all year around. I loved my return visit to Mure and I am still not ready to leave yet so I do hope that Jenny Colgan has another return trip up her sleeve for us yet.

If you would like to try and help local bookshops after the effects this year has had on them then you can also order from the link below.

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