"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan (book review)

Christmas at Tiffany's
Author:  Karen Swan
Published:  October 2014 (paperback)
Publisher:  William Morrow ( a division of Harper Collins)
Pages:  592
Edition:  Advanced Reader's Copy
Source:  An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher and TLC book tours in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

What do you do when the man you pledged your life to breaks your heart and shatters your dreams? You pack your bags and travel the big, wide world to find your destiny—and your true love . . .
Ten years ago, a young and naïve Cassie married her first serious boyfriend, believing he would be with her forever. Now her marriage is in tatters and Cassie has no career or home of her own. Though she feels betrayed and confused, Cassie isn’t giving up. She’s going to take control of her life. But first she has to find out where she belongs . . . and who she wants to be.
Over the course of one year, Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with her best friends living in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris, and London. Exchanging comfort food and mousy hair for a low-carb diet and a gorgeous new look, Cassie tries each city on for size as she searches for the life she’s meant to have . . . and the man she’s meant to love.

My Thoughts:

I dream of being in New York at Christmas. I want to visit Rockefeller Centre, see the enormous tree, the store windows glowing with the baubles, trinkets and beauty of the season.    I have ever since seeing it in the movies.  Of course, visiting London and the UK in general are on my bucket list and well, what's more romantic than visiting the Eiffel Tower lit up at night?  For now, Christmas at Tiffany's is my literary travel guide.

In the first chapter of Christmas at Tiffany's the author introduces us to Cassie and her three best friends Kelly, Anouk and Suzy.  They have each flown in to join in the 10th anniversary celebration for Cassie and her husband Gil.  They're dressed in the latest fashions, adding glitz and glamour in contrast to the traditional attire of the couple's local friends. At the end of the evening, as Cassie tracks down a local friend, she overhears a phone conversation which reveals a romantic involvement between her husband and this friend.  Devastated, Cassie is consoled by her three besties who take her away from Scotland to spend a few months living and working with each of them.  For ten years Cassie has lived in a big house in Scotland, rather alone but content with her life.  Now that has all changed and her friends are determined to help her find or reinvent herself, beginning with a trip to New York to live and work with Kelly.

Not only do we see this giant of a city through Cassie's eyes, we stand on the side lines at fashion shoots and shows, run through Central Park, certain of complete collapse;  meet the celebrities too.  We feel her anguish over a botched show and though she is most certainly out of her element, she learns more about herself and begins to regain her confidence.

Following New York, Cassie continues on to Paris and then London, searching for the woman she has forgotten she is.  With a list of things she must see in each city, Cassie embraces the experience, coming to terms with her new life and the prospects ahead, including men!!

Karen Swan is one of those writers who writes half-tomes, this one weighing in at over 500 pages; with fluidity that allows the reader to devour it chapter after page much to the detriment of a good night's sleep! Christmas at Tiffany's is a warm, humorous and touching tale of friendship that spans years and trials and comes out stronger in the end.  This winter pick up a copy of Christmas at Tiffany's and travel the world with Cassie and her friends.  It's the best kind of armchair travel and no lay-overs!

Meet the author:

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and an ADHD puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. Her first novel, Players, was published in 2010, followed by Prima Donna and Christmas at Tiffany’s in 2011.

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