BOOK CLUB: The Christmas Party

By Karen Swan

ISBN: 978-1529006056
RRP:  $29.99
Publisher: Pan Macmillan

When Declan Lorne, who happens to be the Last Knight of Ireland, passes away it means his youngest daughter Willow is dragged back to her ancestral home and her family.  She left this wonderful yet run down 700 plus-year-old Castle and her family behind her three years before leaving her sisters wondering why.  Willow has felt like the black sheep and felt as though she just didn’t belong. When she fled the Castle for Dublin she swore she would never return.

When her Father’s Will is read everyone is in shock to discover that the elder Sisters, Ottie and Pip are each given properties on the Estate, and their Mother is given the dark and dingy Dower house.  Willow is left the Castle which makes no sense to her and she feels it’s a punishment.  Why would her Father leave it to her and not the Eldest child?  Her father had always made it well known that having three daughters was a disappointment, it meant he lacked that son to hand the title of Knight down to, and therefore the title would die with him.

Willow was his third and last disappointment.  Was this his way of punishing her or was it a punishment for her leaving?  The Castle is very run down and sadly the funds are not there to repair it. They aren’t able to keep the Castle either, so Willow takes the sensible option to sell. This causes great upset and widens the rift between her and her sisters and for that matter her mother.  Willow knows that the clock is ticking and she has no time to waste. 

She needs to find a buyer quickly so when she decides to call the man who had previously put an offer in on the Castle and angered her father by dropping his price at the last minute, this causes further upset and anger from her mother. 

Alongside the main story and deeply entwined with it, we follow the personal lives of Ottie, Pip and Willow.  Ottie is deeply involved in a relationship that she has given her all to, but she feels that unless she pushes it’s not going anywhere.  Pip who is dealing with the most annoying male who just won’t leave her be, and Willow who is attracted to Connor Shaye who happens to be the man who she is deep in negotiations with.  She’s hoping that he will buy the Castle, so she doesn’t want to complicate that with lust or romantic notions.

Connor Shaye decides to hold a party at the Castle before he and Willow sign the sale papers. Secrets come out at the party and the past catches up with each family member in its own way.  The battle to become a close and loving family again is on.

This wonderful story makes for an awesome Christmas themed read.  I felt like I was part of this family and I wanted the best for each and every sister.  This would be an awesome Christmas gift.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Christmas Party. You can read their comments below, or contribute to the discussion by leaving your own feedback. Copies courtesy of the publisher.

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