A Proper Family Christmas by Jane Gordon-Cumming

William Shirburn really isn’t into Christmas – all that jingly tinsly presenty stuff makes him feel queasy. He’d prefer to spend it alone watching trashy TV with his cat. But there’s an unwritten law that elderly people are not allowed to be left alone at Christmas, especially if they live in a vast old mansion that could be a gold-mine in the right hands – and William’s relative are very keen to ensure that Haseley House does end up in the right hands!

Originally published in 2005, A Proper Family Christmas was re-released in 2008, under the OxPens Imprint. As outlined in the synopsis above, William is rather looking forward to spending Christmas alone, with just the rather amusing Scratch for company. That isn’t to be, however, as various members of his family decide to stay with him, and others get brought along in the process!

This allows for a combination of some rather wonderful characters, resulting in various conflicts, friendships, and potential relationships. Jane has created a great mix of personalities, with some being very annoying, and others extremely likeable.. and yet all are believable.

The writing style manages to draw you into the midst of the story, and it’s easy to imagine being right there with them. There’s a wonderful, warm humour running through, with plenty of lines that brought a smile to my face. It’s a story that can be enjoyed at any time of the year, but is just perfect in the approach to Christmas.

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