Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop – Rebecca Raisin

People can invariably be arses and Simon undoubtedly fell into this category, whilst Flora unquestionably slotted into the ’better off without him’ league.

Flora is an alliterative breath of fresh festive air; her heart is made of egg nog and she is full of the joys of the festive season. She may be a bit of a Christmasphile (I think I may have made that word up) but really – what’s not to love. She is just kindness personified. Flora’s friend Livvie urges her to be the heroine in her own Hallmark Christmas movie – this seems just the perfect advice for someone who is so crazy about Christmas. Flora’s bubbly, cookie personality is so endearing, verging on contagious. I started to feel myself being drawn into festive activities and I began to wish that I had started reading this book a bit closer to the main festivities, such were the seedlings of festivity that were starting to grow in my belly. Still, there are worse things to have on your mind in October, so I just allowed myself to be drawn into the book. The intelligent writing was such that you get overwhelmed with this compelling need to join in with anything Christmassy, without noticing. By the time you realise, it is a bit of a fair accompli!

One point to note; Flora’s collection of Christmas paraphernalia must have been an awful lot more special than mine, if its sale were to finance buying a camper van! I can’t see my collection of 25 year old angels made in nursery school funding anything! Regardless I found myself fully immersed in Flora’s project. I warmed to her character so unconditionally, to the extent that she felt real to me and I found myself genuinely worrying about her; I became fully invested in wanting her to succeed, and if she found someone worthy of her love in the meantime – all the better.

Courage is the quality that Flora has in buckets and I admired her for that fortitude; the process of selling those belongings that meant most to her, in order to finance a new life was mind blowing and amplified my desire for her not only to succeed with her business, but to find that someone special in her life.

I was intrigued by the thought of a hotel in a grounded Boeing 747 and found myself googling it. just imagine my delight upon finding that this hotel really does exist! A stop off to be added to my bucket list for sure!

Connor was gorgeous character and I found myself liking him immediately, despite his grumpy exterior.

I held out great hopes for Flora on a couple of fronts. I wanted van life to be good for her and for her fledgling business to do well. I just adored the idea of a Christmas market in Lapland and I hoped fervently that such a thing exists. (Mental note to self to surf for pictures, if the market exists; it’s at times like these that one rues the lack of pictures in contemporary novels). Equally, I would not be disappointed were something to happen between Flora and Connor; I felt that they could both do with a bit of good fortune on the romantic front – even just a bit of a festive fling would give them both a break! Their mutual prickliness makes love seem unlikely, but then who ever thought that 2 stickle bricks would nestle together quite so perfectly!? (Please be sympathetic to the age defining comments!) Historically, grumpy men tend to be open to discarding their outer cantankerous layers, giving their surly characters a chance to shine, channelling their exterior gruff Mr Darcy into a far more palatable personality. Indeed Connor showed the beginnings of a sense of humour, with his market ’rule book’.

I do enjoy a bit of mystery and intrigue and there are a whole host of unanswered questions. Will Flora make a success of her shop? Will her relationship with Connor thaw? where does Flora’s future lie and with whom?

In order to find out the answers to these questions and more, you will need to read this thoroughly engaging book for yourself; I cannot imagine that it would fill anyone with anything but joy.

Purchase link: https://amzn.to/3ycZ6UM


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