25 Days 'til Christmas
A contemporary, emotional, but ultimately feel-good, festive up-lit novel for fans of Jenny Colgan, Debbie Johnson, and Holly Martin.Kate Potter used to love Christmas. A few years ago she would have been wrapping her presents in September and baking mince pies on Halloween, counting down to the countdown to Christmas. But a few years ago, everything was different. That was before Kate's husband went away with the army and didn't come home. Now she can hardly stand December at all.Kate's lonely. She doesn't think she's ready for romance, but she needs more than this, and her son Jack needs a Christmas to remember. What Kate needs is a Christmas miracle, and if there isn't one on its way, she'll just have to make her own.So begins Kate's advent countdown to the best Christmas ever.She has it all planned out, but you can't plan for the unexpected, and when the path of the loneliest woman in town crosses with that of the loneliest man, she just might find a way to save Christmas for all of them...

25 Days 'til Christmas Details

Title25 Days 'til Christmas
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 29th, 2018
PublisherOrion
Rating
GenreHoliday, Christmas, Romance, Fiction

25 Days 'til Christmas Review

  • Mischenko
    January 1, 1970
    Enter the giveaway @readrantrockandroll.com for a free print copy. 2 winners!25 Days 'Til Christmas was nothing like what I expected. It's much more complex than any other Christmas books I've read, dealing with some tough issues like depression, death, loneliness, suicide, and learning disorders. In this story we read about Kate and Daniel, both living in Bristol, England, who are now suffering grief after loss. Kate's husband (Tom) passed away after leaving for the army and she's left to care f/>25 Enter the giveaway @readrantrockandroll.com for a free print copy. 2 winners!25 Days 'Til Christmas was nothing like what I expected. It's much more complex than any other Christmas books I've read, dealing with some tough issues like depression, death, loneliness, suicide, and learning disorders. In this story we read about Kate and Daniel, both living in Bristol, England, who are now suffering grief after loss. Kate's husband (Tom) passed away after leaving for the army and she's left to care for their young son (Jake) with little support. Daniel lost his sister (Zoe) due to a heart condition that was left untreated. The holidays are a trigger for sadness and depression for many people, and Christmas is just another day--one that Kate would love to avoid altogether. Having Jake though, it seems obligatory to celebrate Christmas, and Kate wants him to be happy. The issue is that Kate's depressed and misses her husband. Even though she works very hard selling Christmas trees and even has some side work, she's living paycheck to paycheck and consistently has to count pennies to be sure there's food on the table. What she needs is to find a social connection, to get outside her comfort zone, and to get back to living life. With the help of a friend and by using an advent calendar, she makes an effort to do something Christmassy with Jack every day in December leading up to Christmas day. With new problems on the horizon, Kate isn't sure she can manage all these struggles, and questions how anything can possibly work out. Daniel's story is also unfortunate. After losing his sister just under a year ago, he can't stand the thought of spending this next Christmas without her. In his spare time he volunteers on a crisis helpline that assists people who are struggling with mental health issues--mainly suicidal thoughts. He genuinely wants to help others. Daniel strives to connect with someone he's met in the past, someone he calls 'The Christmas Tree Girl', but he isn't sure the best way to go about it. I was invested in these characters from the very start. The story felt realistic and believable because every conflict faced by these characters is logical and part of everyday life for many of us. As much as I love the holidays, they always seem to evoke some sadness and depression in me due to lost loved ones, and that made the book feel relevant to me. My emotions were running high throughout. The author's writing is great, but the story was honestly somewhat of a slow burn for me. It was insufferable at times because it was so depressing. For once, I just wanted something to work out for Kate, Jake, and Daniel, and situations just seemed to gradually get worse. With that said, the final pages of the book left me satisfied and I'm so glad to have made it through. This book brought me down, but built me back up again. Even though the ending was rushed, it was lovely. 4****I won this book in a giveaway. This is my own, honest review of the book.
    more
  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Unlike the majority of festive fiction, Poppy Alexander's novel is not escapist fantasy or humorous fare, it is dark and gritty, an authentic picture of Britain with people feeling the cold winds of austerity, with the repercussions of the harsh economic and political climate. Set in Bristol, Kate Potter is a single mother, with a son, Jack, trying to do her best for him, living in a cold and small flat, facing desperate poverty even though she works hard. She lost her beloved soldier husband, T Unlike the majority of festive fiction, Poppy Alexander's novel is not escapist fantasy or humorous fare, it is dark and gritty, an authentic picture of Britain with people feeling the cold winds of austerity, with the repercussions of the harsh economic and political climate. Set in Bristol, Kate Potter is a single mother, with a son, Jack, trying to do her best for him, living in a cold and small flat, facing desperate poverty even though she works hard. She lost her beloved soldier husband, Tom, in Afghanistan four years ago and she just isn't over his loss. She is working her minimum wage job, selling Christmas trees outside, but her employers are threatening her with the loss of her job and pushing more and more responsibilities on her over burdened shoulders. Daniel is a chartered surveyor who has lost his Down's Syndrome sister, Zoe, earlier this year and is overwhelmed by grief. He and Zoe used to buy their tree from Kate, and a lonely Daniel feels an emotional connection, referring to her as The Christmas Tree Girl, understanding intuitively that Kate too has experienced loss.In Kate's efforts to get more into the Christmas spirit, she plans a series of festive events in the countdown to Christmas for Jack, putting notes in an Advent calender for him. Kate's dream is to begin a business selling the jewellery that she makes herself, but this seems unattainable in her current circumstances. To assuage his grief, Daniel fills his hours working as a volunteer manning the phones at Crisisline, and finds himself drawn to help the independent retail businesses based at the Christmas Steps area of the city, under threat of losing their livelihoods with the rising rent and rates. Kate's employers have tasked Kate to head a charity effort to raise £1000 for the Apple cafe that supports young people with disabilities. Daniel and Zoe were regulars at the cafe, and he too supports the cafe. Daniel and Kate find their paths crossing but obstacles litter their path to a festive romance. As Kate finds herself being crushed by the unrelenting mind boggling problems that assail her, will a Christmas miracle rescue her and Jack?This is a festive read that more accurately reflects the reality of so many people trying to survive and endure Christmas in the harsh climate of foodbank Britain of today. Poppy Alexander writes of a much needed Christmas miracle for Kate, slowly finding herself moving on from her grief and loss, to once again engage in life, opening her heart to others and letting them into her life, renewing her capacity to once again love again. This is heartbreaking fare, lifted by the strong sense of community, and seeing Kate's travails eventually begin to lift. This is lovely Christmas fare, grounded by the daily struggles of so many ordinary people, sacrificing so much to try and provide a wonderful festive season for their friends and family. Whilst this is not escapist or humorous fare, it is hugely engaging and it makes a change to have characters like Kate and Daniel, doing the best they can when the last thing they feel like doing is celebrating Christmas. Many thanks to Orion for an ARC.
    more
  • Corina
    January 1, 1970
    So, when I picked up this book, thanks to the cover, I expected the book to be light and fluffy. Clearly I didn’t read the blurb. Anyway, the novel was surprisingly emotional, mostly because of the topics that the story focused on. It’s definitely not the fluffy Christmas/holiday romance some might expect, it’s actually gritty and dark at times.As was mentioned in the blurb, which I read just now – sigh, this book is an “ultimately feel-good” novel. But the path to that “ultimately f So, when I picked up this book, thanks to the cover, I expected the book to be light and fluffy. Clearly I didn’t read the blurb. Anyway, the novel was surprisingly emotional, mostly because of the topics that the story focused on. It’s definitely not the fluffy Christmas/holiday romance some might expect, it’s actually gritty and dark at times.As was mentioned in the blurb, which I read just now – sigh, this book is an “ultimately feel-good” novel. But the path to that “ultimately feel-good” ending was emotional, and at times heart-breaking.The romance itself was slow burn and not really the focus of the story. But the possibility of a love match gave me a warm feeling throughout the entire story, because if someone deserved a HEA, Kate and Daniel certainly did.Now, neither Kate nor Daniel were characters I LOVED, but they were ok. Even though I wouldn’t wish Kate’s burdens on anyone, because she had many, she wasn’t as strong of a character as I liked. She did the best she could do, but there were just too many things stacked against her, and not all of her decisions sat well with me. And although Daniel was too beta for me to be really invested in him, his personality was just too bland to be interesting, he was nevertheless very kind and gentle. And in his reserved way and with help from friends he charmingly courted Kate to a HEA.The only complaint I have is that this novel touched on too many topics/issues. I felt overwhelmed at times, that’s probably how Kate felt, but still, I rather not feel that way reading a book. Both Kate and Daniel, lost someone they dearly loved, and for both the grief was still palpable. Additional, Kate had to handle some school administrative decisions that would have a real impact on her son’s life. Including financial woes, sexual harassment, and an uncertainty about her future, it all was a bit much. I would have liked one or two topics explored in depths instead of the avalanche of issues. The Christmas miracle, mentioned in the blurb, was certainly needed.Now, apart from all that, I had no issue completing the audiobook. I think all in all it didn’t take me longer than 4-5 days.BUT the one thing I will take away from this book is the way Kate fixed up her son’s Advents Calendar. Instead of sweets, she put notes into each window about daily excursions, or Christmasish things to do for each of the 24/25 days of the Advent Calendar. I’m going to plan on doing one exactly like that next year. It will take some planning and researching but I absolutely LOVED the idea. An amazing way of exploring all things Christmas, and enjoying the days leading towards the holiday in a festive way. It will make for an memorable December.Audiobook generously provided in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • preoccupiedbybooks
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 50%I seem to be in the minority here, but I couldn't finish this book. I gave it until half way but I was bored. I've read some cracking books recently, which I couldn't put down, but this was not one of them. The main couple hadn't even spent any time together yet! It's more about Kate's relationship with her son, her job and money problems, and boy do we hear about the money problems! It also focused on Daniel's job and late sister. It's quite depressing, and not romantic in the s DNF at 50%I seem to be in the minority here, but I couldn't finish this book. I gave it until half way but I was bored. I've read some cracking books recently, which I couldn't put down, but this was not one of them. The main couple hadn't even spent any time together yet! It's more about Kate's relationship with her son, her job and money problems, and boy do we hear about the money problems! It also focused on Daniel's job and late sister. It's quite depressing, and not romantic in the slightest, and I didn't sign up for that. I also didn't expect the bashing of teachers, ed psychologists and the education system in general! I was struggling to want to read this anyway, but a series of events infuriated me! I work in education and didn't appreciate having to read a book demonising the teachers in the son's school, for trying to assess him, and perhaps find a better setting for him. Schools are under funded and stretched as it is, and you see the local school very unfavourably compared to a cute private school... Schools need to assess early to apply for funding and support, and I see so often in real life, parents who don't want to label their child, so that child's needs go unfulfilled, and the other 29 children in the class suffer too. I came for a cute Christmassy story, but ended up thinking about my job! I hate to DNF Arcs, but sorry this one was not for me. Many thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for the digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
    January 1, 1970
    I was on the promotional blog tour for this book!T/W- Depression, mentions of Suicide, Grief, Harassment This was a really good festive read, with a very local setting to me (Bristol, England). Kate and her six year old son Jack experience a lot of hardship throughout the novel but with the arrival of a mysterious man, his character was truly a heart of gold. I think we all need someone like ‘him’ in our lives. The novel itself was not only festive, but really opened my eyes to curre I was on the promotional blog tour for this book!T/W- Depression, mentions of Suicide, Grief, Harassment This was a really good festive read, with a very local setting to me (Bristol, England). Kate and her six year old son Jack experience a lot of hardship throughout the novel but with the arrival of a mysterious man, his character was truly a heart of gold. I think we all need someone like ‘him’ in our lives. The novel itself was not only festive, but really opened my eyes to current issues such as lack of funding and zero-hours contracts. It was well-researched and has a array of characters that kept the story-line interesting. It is long but do take your time to immerse yourself in and you will find yourself transported just like I was. Hard-hitting but at the same time, a book I couldn’t put down.Notes- The ending did feel a little rushed, would have preferred the pacing to be a little slower.
    more
  • Rachel Gilbey
    January 1, 1970
    What an amazing book - Poppy Alexander has managed to deal with a whole host of tough issues, while surrounding it with this most magical Christmas book that for the most part is incredibly uplifting, and utterly enchanting to read. I loved the idea of Kate making Christmas special again for her and Jack by doing one Christmassy thing a day for the whole of December, and it doubling up as a low cost advent calendar. For as a single mum, Kate is struggling big time with finances and with the whol What an amazing book - Poppy Alexander has managed to deal with a whole host of tough issues, while surrounding it with this most magical Christmas book that for the most part is incredibly uplifting, and utterly enchanting to read. I loved the idea of Kate making Christmas special again for her and Jack by doing one Christmassy thing a day for the whole of December, and it doubling up as a low cost advent calendar. For as a single mum, Kate is struggling big time with finances and with the whole manner of other things going on in her life, she is an inspirational character for so many. There is so much I would love to say about this simply wonderful plot but yet I think it really would be one of those books to come into fresh with no knowledge like I did and simply lets the words carry you away to Kate and Jack's lives and also meeting Daniel and what he has been through, and discovering the ups and downs of the book for yourself. A fair amount of the meatier topics don't become as apparent until quite a way into the book but I believe they are writen and dealt with in a suitable manner, and highlights all sorts of things, some of which I rarely see in fiction, so are certainly eye opening. On the face of it it is a mother and son trying to feel more festive and I loved all the activities that were planned, and Jack is a lovely little boy. There are some true acts of kindness in this book, some selfless helping, and just some absolutely wonderful characters (as well as at least a couple I really disliked). As each chapter more or less is focused on another of the days in the countdown to Christmas, if you are a book lover without much time, I think you could easily read each day of the book, at one a day in your own countdown to Christmas - as a little Christmas treat to yourself. Or you can do what I did and sit and devour it, I found the tube journeys I was taking to and from the theatre the day I read most of this, flew past and I'm glad my subconscious seemed to know where I was. This is the first book I have read by the author and it certainly won't be the last. I can 't wait to see what the comes up with next. Thank you to Netgalley and Orion for this copy of the book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
    more
  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: 25 Days 'Til ChristmasSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Poppy AlexanderRelease date: October 8, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre:RomanceI'm not a big holiday novel reader, and I can't pinpoint what exactly tempted me to pick this one up, but I'm very glad I did. In comparison to the other Christmas themed books I've tried this one really stands out and has a completely different feel from the norm. Whereas most lean more towards fluffy and perhaps even a little cheesy, 25 Days 'Till Christmas was much more serious in tone. It focuses on two people in the aftermath of losing a loved one who are strugNoI'm2019AlexanderReleaseStandaloneChristmas Title: 25 Days 'Til ChristmasSeries: StandaloneAuthor: Poppy AlexanderRelease date: October 8, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre:RomanceI'm not a big holiday novel reader, and I can't pinpoint what exactly tempted me to pick this one up, but I'm very glad I did. In comparison to the other Christmas themed books I've tried this one really stands out and has a completely different feel from the norm. Whereas most lean more towards fluffy and perhaps even a little cheesy, 25 Days 'Till Christmas was much more serious in tone. It focuses on two people in the aftermath of losing a loved one who are struggling to return back to normalcy and find joy in the holidays again. It could have easily been quite a depressing story, but somehow it didn't feel that way at all. Yes, I was sad for both Daniel and Kate, but at the heart it was an uplifting story of healing and hope on both the main characters' parts. One a young widow who is now a struggling single mother to a special needs son, and the other a man who lost his parents and sister in a short span of time and finds himself all alone at Christmas for the first time. It's been almost four years since Kate lost her husband, and since that time it's been one challenge after another. You really feel for this young woman who has so much on her plate and not enough hours in the day to adequately get everything done. The time when she had a partner to share the burdens of parenting and the harsh realities of adulthood is a distant memory. She's a wonderful mother to her young son, but always feels the worst sort of failure for them having to struggle so hard financially. She has a crappy job that barely pays for their needs, especially after childcare costs. But when her son Jack wants or needs something, she'll happily go without in order to provide for him and make him happy. This year, she's come to the realization that she has been stuck in a rut and it's not healthy for herself or her son, so she sets out to make the season a happy time for the both of them. Each day leading up to Christmas, they will do a fun holiday activity together which she plans out and puts in Jack's advent calendar. She needed to share the joy of Christmas with her son: to be his mother properly, to be there . . . He deserved nothing less, but where would she find the strength to do it? She needed a Christmas miracle.Things don't go quite as smoothly for her however, because she's constantly hit with a barrage of huge problems. Her son being forced out of his school because he is deemed to have special needs, an elderly family member with dementia who is running out of savings for their care, her company possibly laying her off soon, and the worry of finding the money for basic needs like food and clothing. There's also a horrible woman from Jack's school who takes advantage of her, and a boss who does the same using her tenuous hold on her job over her head. Everything just seems to snowball as time progresses, but she finds it hard to ask for help from her friends. Daniel was just the sweetest man ever. His awkward fumbling around Kate during his attempts to introduce himself and ask her out were so endearing. He's been out of the dating life for a long time due to devoting his time to taking care of his terminally ill sister. He's always had an attraction from afar for the woman who sold them their Christmas trees every year but never did anything about it. He's such a warm and caring person that you can't help but root for him. He's trying to move on with his life now, but grief will hit him at the most unexpected moments and he finds that he needs to keep busy in order to keep himself distracted. In his time off work, he selflessly volunteers at a crisis call center where he takes calls from suicidal people who need someone to talk to. The two of them don't interact much at all until around the halfway point. And even then, I wouldn't say that the romance is in the forefront of the story. Eventually they get to know one another a little better on a fun snow day, and their attraction grows, but Kate is hesitant to make the decision to start her first relationship after her husband. This didn't bother me all that much because I was really invested in Kate's journey to happiness. My one complaint would be that there were a couple of moments where I felt that she was acting out of character in immaturity. She came into the school meeting with a chip on her shoulder and spitting angry at the teachers and administrators who were trying to get Jack tested. In some ways it made sense, because they were trying to send him to a school with expelled, misbehaving kids where he wouldn't flourish. They were also clearly uncaring about where he went and spent no effort in helping her place him in the school he needed because of costs. But to angrily blame them for simply suggesting he needs to be tested for proper placement? She was being pretty belligerent about it. Usually she was so level-headed and rational, but there were points I was kind of confused over her attitude. Overall, I enjoyed the book and found it to be a really refreshing read. It was also very fast paced and engrossing, lacking any moments of detachment. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a more sober look at Christmastime that's filled with a lot of heart and emotional depth. Kate felt like she had spent the last four years since Tom’s horrific death trying to find a way back home, like Dorothy, only to discover that home was not a place, it was people and had been there all the time. All she had to do was to wake up.FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
    more
  • Agi
    January 1, 1970
    Kate Thompson hates Christmas, since her husband was killed four years ago during his service abroad as a soldier. However, her son Jack is desperate to have a lovely Christmas, with a tree and presents. Kate, struggling financially and emotionally, doesn't know what to do and how to do this. She's stuck at a low paid job, now she must also sell Christmas trees dressed as an elf and freezing and is not sure what the future is going to bring. Her friend comes up with an idea of doing a special ad Kate Thompson hates Christmas, since her husband was killed four years ago during his service abroad as a soldier. However, her son Jack is desperate to have a lovely Christmas, with a tree and presents. Kate, struggling financially and emotionally, doesn't know what to do and how to do this. She's stuck at a low paid job, now she must also sell Christmas trees dressed as an elf and freezing and is not sure what the future is going to bring. Her friend comes up with an idea of doing a special advent calendar with a festive activity to do together for every day in the countdown to Christmas.Daniel is not looking towards Christmas after the death of his sister. He used to buy Christmas trees from Kate and he knows only as Christmas tree girl. They start to bump into each other more and more and soon realises there is much more to Kate than meets the eye. But Kate's life is really complicated - can she cope? Will she cope? Can somebody help her?Kate was a great leading character - there were so many challenges on her way, her life was so demanding and yet she more than often put others above herself. Struggling with money, with being a single mum, she was a realistic, genuine character. It was beautiful and also heart - breaking to see how much she tried to organize the unforgettable Christmas for her son and how far she's go to guard him. The idea of Kate creating the advent calendar for Jack and making the time so special for her and her little boy was brilliant. The Christmassy things that they were supposed to do in the countdown to Christmas were so nice and so different to everything that we're used to, and now I really feel like preparing something like this for my family.The pace in this story was just spot on, and there were many things happening, and the book itself brings together threads of different characters. The chapters are more or less a countdown to Christmas - it is a second book in the last weeks that I've read written this way, though they were both absolutely different in style and voice but this way worked great in both of them. I loved how it shows that Christmas is not only about commerce and presents but about what it really is that counts - family, friendship, helping each other, appreciating what we have. It was a real rollercoaster journey, full of ups and downs, filled with feelings and emotions. It tugs at all the right heart - strings, it's this kind of book that'll make you smile and cry, that is poignant and uplifting. The author has in such a gentle, subtle way dealt with so many tough and heavy issues and there was the overwhelming festive spirit. She has touched upon different things, some of which I don't often read about, and it was truly great, thought - provoking and eye - opening. Poppy Alexander is for sure an author to have on your radar, I'm already waiting for her next offering. Highly recommended!Copy provided by the publisher.
    more
  • Gemma Hawthorn
    January 1, 1970
    Poppy Alexander should be immensely proud of this book, I loved it and couldn’t but it down!I was expecting this to be the usual Christmas story of a mum and child enjoying the festive run up. Instead we meet Kate, Jack and Daniel. Kate is recently widowed and has been left with a 6 year old son, Jack, both have their own issues and Kate is struggling both emotionally and financially to give Jack the Christmas he deserves. And then there is Daniel who is not looking forward to his first Ch Poppy Alexander should be immensely proud of this book, I loved it and couldn’t but it down!I was expecting this to be the usual Christmas story of a mum and child enjoying the festive run up. Instead we meet Kate, Jack and Daniel. Kate is recently widowed and has been left with a 6 year old son, Jack, both have their own issues and Kate is struggling both emotionally and financially to give Jack the Christmas he deserves. And then there is Daniel who is not looking forward to his first Christmas without his sister.It was quite obvious from the start that they were going to get their happily ever after but it was magical to see how they all got there.Interestingly it also made me reflect on some of my own Christmas ideas, I loved Jacks advent calendar and will be incorporating this into our run up to Christmas - who needs chocolate when we could be doing things together - starting today with paper chains.Fabulous book, thanks for letting my read. Big thumbs up, and a five star rating!
    more
  • Emma Crowley
    January 1, 1970
    Oh Poppy Alexander what a gorgeous book you have written and one that will very much touch every reader who takes the opportunity to read this wonderful story. 25 Days 'til Christmas is full of Christmas spirit, charm and fun but above all else it has such an important message that will affect you deeply and remind you of the true meaning of Christmas. A meaning that can be very much forgotten at this time of year amidst the mad rush to get everything prepared and all the presents and extras bou Oh Poppy Alexander what a gorgeous book you have written and one that will very much touch every reader who takes the opportunity to read this wonderful story. 25 Days 'til Christmas is full of Christmas spirit, charm and fun but above all else it has such an important message that will affect you deeply and remind you of the true meaning of Christmas. A meaning that can be very much forgotten at this time of year amidst the mad rush to get everything prepared and all the presents and extras bought on time. This is a timely reminder that Christmas is not an easy time for everyone and this can be for a variety of reasons and with the two main characters Kate and Daniel the author has certainly put an emphasis on this aspect of Christmas.This didn't come across as a story of doom and gloom given the situation Kate and Daniel find themselves in. Instead the further we delve into the book it becomes a story of positivity, friendship, love and of helping others when we see signs of vulnerability or loss. When we see someone struggling at a time of year when there is so much excess and people go totally overboard it was just so lovely and heart-warming to see a story stripped back to basics. It forgoes all the extras that to be honest are really not needed and goes back to the simple things of years gone by that people remember from their childhoods. In doing so it gives the reader food for thought as to how they should approach Christmas and how we should always remember how lucky we are and to treasure every memory both old and the new ones to come.I haven't finished all my Christmas reading yet but I'm going to go out on a limb and say 25 Days 'til Christmas is my favourite Christmas read of 2018. I just don't think there is any story that will beat it, simply for the vibe and feelings mixed up in a timely story and for the characters that really are not all perfect. They are struggling with emotions and real life situations and although at times my heart broke at what I was reading and it may seem strange to say this but I am glad life wasn't all plain sailing for them because I don't think it is for anybody in real life. Quite often Christmas books are all sweetness and light with such an emphasis on romance and all the food and presents and excitement of Christmas.Here as Kate and Daniel share their story and subsequent journey with us I found everything to be so realistic, so true to life and I could identify with every aspect of their experiences. Yes we all enjoy a light and fluffy read at this time of year but Poppy Alexander has achieved a fantastic balance between exploring more serious issues and also experiencing the fun aspects of Christmas. Without question Kate and Daniel have really found a place in my heart and I truly think 25 days 'til Christmas is a book I would return to time and time again every year in the run up to the festive period.Kate is a single mother, although not by choice, raising her young son Jack alone. For four years now since the loss of her soldier husband Tom in Afghanistan she is merely existing, battling through each day to have enough money to provide the basics for herself and Jack. They live in a cramped apartment above a laundrette and Kate works at a local department store Portman Brothers. She is on the basic wage and as Christmas is fast approaching she is dreading trying to get enough money together to provide Jack with a Christmas that he deserves.Each year she is forced to be the Christmas Girl who stands outside the store in all weathers selling the Christmas trees. There is no way she can get out of it as her boss Mr.Wilkins has a hold over her and the threat of losing her job, given she is on a rolling contract, keeps her going when things get extremely tough. Mr. Wilkins was a complete creep of a character and his demands on Kate were unnecessary and unlawful. I really wished she had the courage to stand up to him and to get other co-workers and the powers-that-be to see what was going on and do something about it. He was sinister and cruel and I hoped it got the comeuppance he very much deserved.It's clear from the outset that Kate is struggling both personally and professionally but still she soldiers on for the sake of Jack. She is buried deep under the weight of grief and responsibilities. She feels she exists in a state of poverty and fatigue and joy is very much absent. Yes that's exactly what her daily life is like she is very much on the bread line and constantly stressing and worrying about where she will find the money to feed the electricity meter not to mention how to buy a simple cup of coffee. As an extra means of earning some money Kate crafts jewellery but this really doesn't bring in much and the opportunities are few and far between.Seema is a fellow mum at the school Jack attends and I thought she was an amazing supporting character. She could see that Kate found life difficult yet she didn't want to embarrass her by stepping on her toes and offering some form of help that may needed to be paid back and in doing so she may have damaged the little bit of pride that Kate had left. Together the pair come up with a fantastic idea to make the run up to Christmas and the day itself special for Jack. The plan is to be called Jack and Kate's Christmas Miracle and it is similar to an Advent calendar. Each day in the countdown to Christmas Kate and Jack will do something special. It needn’t be large or extravagant but something simple and affect which will try and help bring the Christmas sparkle back into their lives.Kate knows she will never ever forget Tom but he would not want her to be living the way she is. What follows is a glorious, magical journey that evokes strong feelings within the reader as the mother and son embark on experiences they will never forget. That's not to say everything is plain sailing for them and things are a bed of roses. No the author keeps throwing endless challenges at Kate and really she is put through the mill time and time again.I did think the storyline surrounding Jack and his school was so wrong on the schools part, I myself am a teacher and if we carried on the way the teachers and authorities did in this book then we wouldn't be long left in our jobs. The way in which Jack was dealt with and the manner in which Kate was treated was unjust, unfair and unnecessary and I would hope this wouldn't happen in real life. Of course Kate wavers but to everybody else she puts on a brave face and soldiers on. She battles with her feelings that she is a major failure as a mum but really with regard to all aspects of her life, I felt now was the time to stand up for herself, to not take any more crap from anybody and to say what she feels regardless of the consequences. Who knows if she adapted this new attitude good things may come her way both on a romantic and professional front?As for Daniel he is a lost soul similar to Kate although his loss is more recent as it's only ten months on from the death of his beloved sister Zoe from heart problems. Zoe had special needs but was full of warmth and wit and Daniel misses her terribly. He is all alone in the world as his parents are gone too. Now his anchor, his reason for keeping going, the person whose every need he tended too has left him he doesn't know what to do with himself. As he passes to work as a chartered surveyor he encounters the Christmas Tree girl. He hasn't the courage to speak to her but he can see the sadness behind her eyes and he feels a kinship with her. Daniel feels frozen at a point in time since Zoe's death. He can't imagine moving forwards nor does he want to and the loneliness consumes him a little more each day.Volunteering on a crisis helpline at every available opportunity makes him think he is doing his bit for society that he can help people. But really Daniel is the one who is crying out for help, for friendship, for acceptance and love. As a tentative friendship is struck between Daniel and Kate, the reader can see a softening almost like a melting of hearts which slowly become open and ready to accept help, support and advice. Daniel finds a focus and his caring and kind nature emerges as he sees Kate is similar to him and maybe they can help each other. It was such a joy to see how things developed the more the story progressed. Nothing was far fetched or rushed or too over the top. Instead Daniel performs little acts of charity when it comes to helping Kate complete her Christmas challenge. It was so just lovely to witness this unfold and in the process one hoped some happiness could be found for one and all. That's not to say there were plenty of traumas, upset and angst in the later quarter of the book. It was full of tension and at one point my heart really was in my mouth and I had my fingers crossed that a certain thing did not come to fruition.25 Days 'til Christmas is simply a book you must read this Christmas. Get it as a gift for somebody or even give yourself a treat. It reminds us all of the true meaning of Christmas. It has such a lovely refreshing meaning and sentiment behind it and it will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye. There is something for everybody in this book and I was so glad I happened across it because I would have been gutted to let such a wonderful, magical feel good book slip through my fingers. Hopefully there is much more like this to come from Poppy Alexander in the future.
    more
  • Gaele
    January 1, 1970
    Kate used to love Christmas, but after her husband was killed in Afghanistan, leaving her with their infant son Jack, it’s never been high on her list. Of course, with a young child, she wants to make the holiday special for him – but everything is conspiring against it, and it’s hard to get in the spirit with little money, a dank little flat, a job for a boss she despises who is regularly inappropriate, standing outside in the briefest of elf costumes freezing all of her bits off, and not seein Kate used to love Christmas, but after her husband was killed in Afghanistan, leaving her with their infant son Jack, it’s never been high on her list. Of course, with a young child, she wants to make the holiday special for him – but everything is conspiring against it, and it’s hard to get in the spirit with little money, a dank little flat, a job for a boss she despises who is regularly inappropriate, standing outside in the briefest of elf costumes freezing all of her bits off, and not seeing a chance for things to change. Gritty, honest and far less hopeful at the start than most holiday-themed stories, Kate is palpable and real, breathing in the corner and sharing her woes, worries and challenges. Her biggest challenge is Jack, her young son who is often easily overwhelmed, very excited about Christmas and has gained the ‘attention’ of the school administration – not in a good way. It’s not that Jack is difficult to manage or blatantly a discipline problem, and it’s clear that Kate would do all in her power to make him happy….but the school is trying to place him in an alternative school – little more than a box with punishment where students who are truly angry and acting out are close to running the show. With no one to bounce her worries off, and her best friends wanting her to meet someone and move on, she’s feeling stuck without options, money or even prospects. But one man has seen her – Daniel who until the start of the year was caring for his sister with Down’s Syndrome and a heart condition after his parents’ deaths. He’s grieving and moving through life in a fog, only remembering the kindness that Kate showed to his sister, and his recognition of loss and grief in her eyes. From a warm hat to gloves and foot warmers, he drops little presents by in lieu of actually learning her name or talking much with her. And then there’s Jack. Like all children, he’s excited by Christmas and desperately wants an advent calendar with chocolate – an unintended and too pricey expense for a budget that already is stretched with heat, food and rent. What emerges is a 25 day ‘to do’ list for the holidays, with chocolate coins and a knitted advent calendar kindly ‘gifted’ by an older woman who has offered Kate friendship, support, caring and a shoulder to cry on when she needs it. A lovely story grounded by the courage to hope for more, while every struggle feels like a mountain too hard to climb and the ordinary joy in the love between a mother and child. It allows Daniel to open up and try to work miracles for Kate “behind the scenes’ and the subtle (or not so) way that mothers in the school drop off queue form cliques and assumptions, feeling more confident and concerned with ‘appearing’ to be ‘generous’ to those who truly need kindness and understanding. A lovely story that will take you through the emotional gamut- from laughter to tears, all the while hoping that Daniel and Kate will see a light at the end of their struggles – and Jack finds as much joy in Christmas for years to come. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility. Review first appeared at I am, Indeed
    more
  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    Kate is a widowed, single mother who tired of simply trying to survive through the holidays. She decides this year will be different, her and her son will do festive activities every day leading up to Christmas and she will learn to be happy again. A plan great in theory but with life continually getting in the way, it’ll take a Christmas miracle, or a few, to pull off their best Christmas yet.When I started this I expected the typical happy, unrealistic love story you see around the Kate is a widowed, single mother who tired of simply trying to survive through the holidays. She decides this year will be different, her and her son will do festive activities every day leading up to Christmas and she will learn to be happy again. A plan great in theory but with life continually getting in the way, it’ll take a Christmas miracle, or a few, to pull off their best Christmas yet.When I started this I expected the typical happy, unrealistic love story you see around the holidays but was pleasantly surprised that this book is so much more. This story deals with tough subjects of grief, depression, suicide, poverty, and harassment in a way that doesn’t make the story depressing to read but instead brings a welcomed realness to the characters. The holidays can be really hard for a lot of people and I love that this book acknowledges those common struggles in a way that is still hopeful and heartwarming. I loved the sense of community and everyone helping others without question, such an inspiring message going into the holiday season. This was a 5⭐️ read for me and one you won’t want to miss this Christmas! Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for this digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
    more
  • Mom_Loves_Reading
    January 1, 1970
    Let's just skip Halloween for now and jump right into the Christmas themed books, shall we? Kind of like some of the stores right now.This book broke my heart over and over, but it also warmed it right back up as well. Having been a single mother before and absolutely dreading Christmas time, I could relate to Kate and her struggles. Holidays are tough. Throw in the loss of a loved one and financial troubles to boot, you could have quite the recipe for disaster. While this book is festive Let's just skip Halloween for now and jump right into the Christmas themed books, shall we? Kind of like some of the stores right now.This book broke my heart over and over, but it also warmed it right back up as well. Having been a single mother before and absolutely dreading Christmas time, I could relate to Kate and her struggles. Holidays are tough. Throw in the loss of a loved one and financial troubles to boot, you could have quite the recipe for disaster. While this book is festive at heart, it does deal with hardship, depression and many other tough issues. Don't be mislead by the cutesy cover. While uplifting and Christmas-sy, it perhaps is a more realistic look at how the holidays affect many single parents and the struggles they face. I, for one, have been there, felt that.It truly is a wonderful, meaningful, well-written book that I had a hard time putting down and it struck me at the very core of my soul. Not to be missed, add it to your TBR today! It was released on 10/8 by William Morrow Books.
    more
  • Noemi Proietti
    January 1, 1970
    Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for 25 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS. This is another Christmas novel that I really enjoyed this year (I have lost count of how many I have already read so far, and they are all really good!). 25 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS is romantic, heart-warming, and completely captivating. It is a story of love, friendship, and family with likable and entertaining characters and an evocative atmosphere.Kate and Daniel don’t know each other but they meet every year during the C Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for 25 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS. This is another Christmas novel that I really enjoyed this year (I have lost count of how many I have already read so far, and they are all really good!). 25 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS is romantic, heart-warming, and completely captivating. It is a story of love, friendship, and family with likable and entertaining characters and an evocative atmosphere.Kate and Daniel don’t know each other but they meet every year during the Christmas period when he goes to buy a Christmas tree at the store she works. Daniel only knows Kate as the Christmas Tree Girl while Kate remembers Daniel as the man who arrives with a woman on a wheelchair. Only this year is alone. While Kate, a single mother to a six-year-old boy, is struggling with her job, problems at her son’s school, and making ends meet, Daniel is dealing with his loss and spending his first Christmas alone.Kate is a strong and resourceful character. She is raising a child alone, she hates her job and her lascivious boss, she struggles financially, and she has to deal with problems at her son's school. Nevertheless, she manages to make the Christmas period special both for Jack and for her by creating an advent calendar full of fun Christmassy activities to do everyday. Daniel is too good to be true. He is sweet and kind, he volunteers, and he's always ready to help other people. His relationship with Kate sometimes borders to stalking, but in a cute and sweet way, and I really liked this character.The author created a captivating and enjoyable novel with well-crafted characters. There is romance, there are emotional moments, there are funny and entertaining moments. There are Christmas trees, lights, decoration, snow, and even Christmas miracles. 25 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS is the right novel to read and get you in a good and festive mood and I'd like to thank Alex and Orion for providing me with an early copy of the book.
    more
  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    I was expecting festive escapism. Instead, I got dark and gritty reality. At its most basic, there's nothing wrong with this book. Widowed mother of an adorable son meets lonely man and together they rediscover the magic of Christmas and life. It sounds like it could be a Hallmark movie. It probably is. But putting aside the grief both main characters are dealing with, there are a LOT of obstacles on their path to happiness. I know that it's a part of the genre, 'the course of true love never di I was expecting festive escapism. Instead, I got dark and gritty reality. At its most basic, there's nothing wrong with this book. Widowed mother of an adorable son meets lonely man and together they rediscover the magic of Christmas and life. It sounds like it could be a Hallmark movie. It probably is. But putting aside the grief both main characters are dealing with, there are a LOT of obstacles on their path to happiness. I know that it's a part of the genre, 'the course of true love never did run smooth' and all that. But there was just too much going on in the female main character's life. And it drags the mood down when reading the book, with a very dark low point about 75% of the way through. And then, magically, pretty much everything gets solved in three chapters and all's well that ends well. Except that the story went so dark and low, it never really recovers, no matter how much sunshine was forced into the final pages. I wanted hope and warmth from this story, but all I got was misery and depression. On the other hand, the characters were well-developed and the pacing was good. Still, with a title like that, you expect some cheeriness...
    more
  • Cassandra MADEUP BookBlog
    January 1, 1970
    Although Certainly a beautifully written Christmas story that is warm and uplifting, there is an overarching theme that is realistic, dark and gritty.The story is wonderfully done, and I loved that each chapter is titled with an ongoing countdown of days until Christmas, it made it somehow more realistic, more believable. So much happens in the run up to Christmas, and everybody knows how stressful this time can be for anybody, even when you’re organised and things are going great. Although Certainly a beautifully written Christmas story that is warm and uplifting, there is an overarching theme that is realistic, dark and gritty.The story is wonderfully done, and I loved that each chapter is titled with an ongoing countdown of days until Christmas, it made it somehow more realistic, more believable. So much happens in the run up to Christmas, and everybody knows how stressful this time can be for anybody, even when you’re organised and things are going great.For Kate, this isn’t the case. She is struggling in so many ways, emotionally, mentally and physically with a demanding life and many hurdles on the way. I loved the way the days are discussed, we get a very realistic view of Kates life, her struggles and how she overcomes them, whether alone or with the support of those around her. Having lost her husband, Kate has so many emotions to deal with, both from herself and her son. Being a single parent is far from easy. And with all the expectations of maintaining a “magical” Christmas, things become hectic.Although Kate is determined that their Christmas will still be magical, I loved the fact that her reactions and responses have a very real feel to them, she doesn’t breeze through everything, she has starts and stops, she has doubts. For me, this made the tale more relatable, and more magical for the realism.This is also true of the darker aspects, with the economy and austerity being considered, the impact on families, and of course the impact of a soldiers loss of life. Their loss of life has rippling effects on all those who knew them, and those know knew their families. All of this with a gorgeous romance that we see building throughout the lead up to Christmas, what more could a person want from a Christmas story?All in all, this was a brilliantly told story that is both heartwarming and very realistic. The Characters are entertaining and easily relatable, and the storyline fun, engaging and very well written. A beautifully crafted Christmas tale, full of the “Magic” and reality of life in equal measure.
    more
  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    I received an early preview copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest reviewI had not heard of this author before, but I love Christmas books, so I wanted to read it, I'm glad that I did, it is a brilliant book.Kate hates Christmas, since her husband was killed. He was a soldier in active duty, who never returned home. A few years kater, her young Son is beginning to realise what Christmas is about. Kate is determined to give him a happy Christmas, but she has no idea I received an early preview copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest reviewI had not heard of this author before, but I love Christmas books, so I wanted to read it, I'm glad that I did, it is a brilliant book.Kate hates Christmas, since her husband was killed. He was a soldier in active duty, who never returned home. A few years kater, her young Son is beginning to realise what Christmas is about. Kate is determined to give him a happy Christmas, but she has no idea how to go about doing so. She is stuck in a low paid job, for a department store, selling Christmas trees, and nervous keeps threatening to sack her.Kate's friends, and members of the local community come up with an idea. Each day her and her Son Jack will open up a special advent calendar which gives them a festive activity to do together, to help get Kate into the Christmas spirit.helpA mystery customer has bought a Christmas tree from Kate for the past few years. He only knows her as Christmas tree girl. He too has suffered a recent bereavement, and finds himself thinking about the Christmas tree girl. He finds himself bumping into her a lot, and soon has feelings for her.Kate's life suddenly gets more difficult, and she realises that she can't cope, everything seems bleak and hopeless. Can her friends help her in time ?This is not like the usual Christmas novel, it features some hard hitting subjects, however there are also a lot of heartwarming moments. It also shows us that Christmas is about more than just oresents, and not everyone has a happy Christmas. It teaches the importance of helping others, and friendship. As the book went on, I needed to find out what happened at the end, and whether Kate could be saved. This book is a rollercoaster of emotions, but it still managed to be festive, and an enjoyable read. I thought that it was a good book, and I would recommend it.
    more
  • Claire Mc Partlin
    January 1, 1970
    This wasn't what I initially thought it would be, I thought it would be a light Christmas story, but it had much more depth to it and was such a lovely book.Kate and her six year old son Jack are living in a tiny flat above a launderette and whilst Kate does have a job in a department store every day is a struggle money-wise for her. Her husband was in the army but was killed a few years ago and, whilst he did have a pension, the money from that goes to keep his grandmother, who rais This wasn't what I initially thought it would be, I thought it would be a light Christmas story, but it had much more depth to it and was such a lovely book.Kate and her six year old son Jack are living in a tiny flat above a launderette and whilst Kate does have a job in a department store every day is a struggle money-wise for her. Her husband was in the army but was killed a few years ago and, whilst he did have a pension, the money from that goes to keep his grandmother, who raised him, in a home as she has dementia and doesn't know anyone now.Daniel is also struggling this Christmas, but emotionally, as his sister died earlier in the year. Every year Daniel and his sister used to buy a Christmas tree from the department store that Kate works in, and Kate was always the 'elf' outside selling the trees so Daniel knows her as the 'Christmas Tree Girl'. Initially neither one of them knows each other, even though they have noticed each other every year, but never really spoken - Kate spoke to Daniel's sister whilst buying the tree each year - until this year. Maybe this year is the year some Christmas magic will happen.This was such a lovely heartwarming Christmas story and you can just see all the little connections that both Daniel and Kate have throughout the story, even though they keep missing one another initially. But eventually they manage to connect with various things - a shop for rent and a charity coffee shop helping special need adults that Kate and the company she works for are trying to raise funds for.There are some fairly sad parts and hard subjects covered but ultimately this was such a really lovely story about fighting through your struggles and eventually coming out the other side stronger. I absolutely loved it!
    more
  • Ruth Parker
    January 1, 1970
    Oh wow, I loved this book with a passion. I have literally devoured it over night. I feel like this will be a book I go back to during Christmas, I enjoyed it so much. I used to live in Bristol, so the familiar setting was comforting to me and well portrayed. Usually Christmas books are a bit fluffy and light, but this book dealt with gritty hard hitting issues and at times I found myself trying to think of ways I could help Kate and Jack. I wanted to buy them one of the Christmas tree decoratio Oh wow, I loved this book with a passion. I have literally devoured it over night. I feel like this will be a book I go back to during Christmas, I enjoyed it so much. I used to live in Bristol, so the familiar setting was comforting to me and well portrayed. Usually Christmas books are a bit fluffy and light, but this book dealt with gritty hard hitting issues and at times I found myself trying to think of ways I could help Kate and Jack. I wanted to buy them one of the Christmas tree decorations! Just to see a smile. I was moved throughout and having been through tough times myself - although nothing as comparable to these characters - I understood the horrors of having no money in the bank account and zero hour contracts, which should be banned, without a doubt. One of my favourite things about this book was the cross overs and the missed interactions between Daniel and Kate - he is nervous to talk to her, he makes a bit of a fool of himself, but they both frequent the same cafe, Kate has the chance to help out his side job through charity work, and they both have an interest in a shop on the Christmas Steps. I love it!This is one of the best books I've had the pleasure to read in a long time and I will be picking up a paper copy and treasuring it.Thank you to edelweiss for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Stacy Walton
    January 1, 1970
    25 Days 'till Christmas took me on a rollercoaster of emotions and I'm still reeling from my journey. This book addressed so many difficult themes head on in such a delicate and tasteful manner. The balance between the dark and light aspects to the story were pitch perfect meaning the book never took on a morose feel, even if some issues were difficult to take in.Kate was a wonderful character, her fierce protection towards Jack was heart melting. Quietly observing her work out 25 Days 'till Christmas took me on a rollercoaster of emotions and I'm still reeling from my journey. This book addressed so many difficult themes head on in such a delicate and tasteful manner. The balance between the dark and light aspects to the story were pitch perfect meaning the book never took on a morose feel, even if some issues were difficult to take in.Kate was a wonderful character, her fierce protection towards Jack was heart melting. Quietly observing her work out every last penny to make sure she could care for her little 'Monkey Boy' moved me greatly and I loved the campaign to make Christmas special again after an extremely tough four years for the pair. Cue a homemade advent calendar and a daily Christmas activity list and you have the recipe for making festive cheer. But Christmas is not all snowball fights and nativity plays and this story wasn't afraid to show snippets of a tougher run up to the big day.There's so many great people in the character line up to this story that I would be hard pushed for time to mention them all. But Daniel is another pivotal piece of the puzzle with a story filled with grief and loneliness. The tender chemistry between Daniel and Kate was a joy to watch come alive and I found myself reading on in a frustrated frenzy at the will they, won't they get their much needed happy ever after.This book is a carefully crafted story of bittersweet love and hope at Christmas time. I loved every minute of my time spent in Bristol with Kate, Jack and Daniel and urge you all to add this book to your festive reading pile this Christmas.
    more
  • Charlotte (Escapades of a Bookworm)
    January 1, 1970
    With less than 25 Days ’til Christmas, I think that it is high time that I reviewed this book.This was an incredible read that had me hooked. At first I thought that this was a light, fluffy read. But while it was filled with the magic and expectation of Christmas, there were some deeper threads running throughout.Kate is not a great fan of Christmas, ever since her husband passed away and she is left to raise their young son on her own. This has meant that the last four With less than 25 Days ’til Christmas, I think that it is high time that I reviewed this book.This was an incredible read that had me hooked. At first I thought that this was a light, fluffy read. But while it was filled with the magic and expectation of Christmas, there were some deeper threads running throughout.Kate is not a great fan of Christmas, ever since her husband passed away and she is left to raise their young son on her own. This has meant that the last four years of Christmas hasn’t really been celebrated. But this year that is all going to change with a twist on the classic Advent Calendar. Each day the Calendar will provide a christmassy event for Kate and her son to do together. Which means some very cute moments.And then there is Daniel, this is the first Christmas without his sister. He has always been a secret fan of Kate. Going past her every Christmas, he has a nickname for her and looks forward to each day that he gets to see her.This Christmas will he be able to pluck up the courage and actually speak to Kate, or will another year and a golden opportunity pass him by.I loved the passion, enthusiasm and joy that fills this book on every single page. This is a book filled with some heart-warming scenes that touches on some hard-hitting moments. This was a beautiful book and well worth a read in the run up to the Christmas season along with a cup of tea and a mince pie or two….
    more
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Both Kate and Daniel are struggling. Kate is trying to make things work at a crappy job, while taking care of a six year old and paying for her grandmother-in-law's medical costs after her losing her husband to war four years ago. Daniel is trying to move on from the death of his younger sister. After crossing paths where Kate sells Christmas trees on behalf of her company fate keeps bringing them together as they both work towards having a happy Christmas. I was admittedly looking forward to th Both Kate and Daniel are struggling. Kate is trying to make things work at a crappy job, while taking care of a six year old and paying for her grandmother-in-law's medical costs after her losing her husband to war four years ago. Daniel is trying to move on from the death of his younger sister. After crossing paths where Kate sells Christmas trees on behalf of her company fate keeps bringing them together as they both work towards having a happy Christmas. I was admittedly looking forward to the warm fuzzies I anticipated getting this book, but it felt like it took until the last twenty pages of the book before that really happened. Kate's life is beyond screwed up - she lost her husband in one of the worst ways possible, she's barely able to pay her bills, her son's struggling in school, she's having to take on extra jobs at work while having to deal with a slimy and lecherous boss who's threatened to sack her, her in-law's care is expensive and the cost is going up, she has to deal with a bitchy PTO mom who's stringing her along. It feels like any struggle an adult would have to deal with got thrown into this book, which made it somewhat depressing and overwhelming to me. I liked the characters I was supposed to like, and both Daniel and Kate had good people supporting them, but I can't say I felt uplifted by the time I finished this book.
    more
  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    A lot can happen in 25 days. Kate and her son Jack have been in their own since Tom was killed in Afghanistan 4 years ago. Jack doesn't really remember him but he does want a Christmas- a happy Christmas and that's what Kate's going to give him, even though she's working on a knife edge budget. She's wearing an elf suit and selling Christmas trees when she's spotted by Daniel, who lost his dear sister Zoe just after Christmas the year before. Even as Kate copes with trying to find a new educati A lot can happen in 25 days. Kate and her son Jack have been in their own since Tom was killed in Afghanistan 4 years ago. Jack doesn't really remember him but he does want a Christmas- a happy Christmas and that's what Kate's going to give him, even though she's working on a knife edge budget. She's wearing an elf suit and selling Christmas trees when she's spotted by Daniel, who lost his dear sister Zoe just after Christmas the year before. Even as Kate copes with trying to find a new educational system for Jack and a way to fund her grandmother in law's care home, she keeps her spirits up because she has good friends but then things go quite awry. Daniel becomes her friend before he is her romantic interest, and it's nice to watch that build. This is set in Bristol, with some nice atmospherics for the local shops including one where differently abled adults sell coffee and cakes. You won't be surprised where this is going but that was ok with me because it was so good spirited and sensitive- and because Alexander is a wonderful storyteller. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. Perfect if you're looking for cheer.
    more
  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    This new Christmas read is brimming with real-life issues: death while deployed, widowhood, suicide, sexual harassment, starting a new business, real estate, and most importantly dealing with the busyness of the Christmas season. Kate is a widow with a young son and determined to give her son a memorable holiday. Daniel is experiencing all the "firsts" since his sister Zoe died, including this Christmas. Daniel and Kate are acquainted through the department store where Kate has to dress up like This new Christmas read is brimming with real-life issues: death while deployed, widowhood, suicide, sexual harassment, starting a new business, real estate, and most importantly dealing with the busyness of the Christmas season. Kate is a widow with a young son and determined to give her son a memorable holiday. Daniel is experiencing all the "firsts" since his sister Zoe died, including this Christmas. Daniel and Kate are acquainted through the department store where Kate has to dress up like an elf to help sell trees. As the narrative draws nearer to Christmas (each chapter covering a day of the 25 before) we see their paths cross and miss each other as the crises they are facing come to a head. Are there some "too good to be true" solutions -- maybe. But isn't that one of the great things about fiction -- satisfying endings? I especially loved two aspects of the plot: her son dancing along to "We Three Kings" while wearing a camel costume and the inclusion of "Once In Royal David's City" in the Christmas Eve church service. That is one of my favorite old hymns.Thank you to Orion and Edelweiss for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Patricia Solla
    January 1, 1970
    25 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS by Poppy Alexander is a contemporary British tale set in London. The author first introduces the reader to Daniel and Kate before beginning the countdown to Christmas. These two main characters are the moving force behind the storyline. Daniel is mourning the death of his sister and Kate is a widow struggling to keep her head above water raising her young son. As the countdown begins Kate is struggling to keep her job, support her son as he struggles in school and tries to 25 DAYS 'TIL CHRISTMAS by Poppy Alexander is a contemporary British tale set in London. The author first introduces the reader to Daniel and Kate before beginning the countdown to Christmas. These two main characters are the moving force behind the storyline. Daniel is mourning the death of his sister and Kate is a widow struggling to keep her head above water raising her young son. As the countdown begins Kate is struggling to keep her job, support her son as he struggles in school and tries to establish a business to supplement her employment income. Daniel is struggling with his grief over the death of his sister. Daniel only know each other from previous Christmases when Daniel would take his sister to buy a Christmas tree and Kate was the one selling the trees as part of her job assignment for the store she works for. The story is a light, sweet romance with several issues depicting the problems of the world today. I really felt that the author gave her readers a true look into the lives and issues of the times and ends her tale with some very happy resolutions.
    more
  • N.
    January 1, 1970
    A sweet Christmas story about grief and hardship and finding your happily-ever-after. I knocked off a point because there were occasional scenes of meetings (planning for a fundraiser and meetings of a group of shopkeepers) that I ended up skimming because they were dull, as well as a few too many threads. But, I enjoyed the realistic look at what it's like to experience Christmas season with an overwhelming number of issues, especially with financial difficulties and grief. I liked Kate's creat A sweet Christmas story about grief and hardship and finding your happily-ever-after. I knocked off a point because there were occasional scenes of meetings (planning for a fundraiser and meetings of a group of shopkeepers) that I ended up skimming because they were dull, as well as a few too many threads. But, I enjoyed the realistic look at what it's like to experience Christmas season with an overwhelming number of issues, especially with financial difficulties and grief. I liked Kate's creativity and determination to make Christmas as magical as possible for her son Jack on their limited income. And, Daniel is a hero who is kind and generous.
    more
  • Jaime
    January 1, 1970
    This book was the sweet fluffy romance that I needed. After reading so many thrillers, I picked this up on a whim and I so glad I did. I really feel for the characters and rooted for them through the whole book. The little boy jack was the sweetest and even though they didn’t have a lot of money, you never really felt like he cared. He had his mom and she was doing everything in her power to make good things happen for jack. Daniel was my favorite character, just something about him and his pers This book was the sweet fluffy romance that I needed. After reading so many thrillers, I picked this up on a whim and I so glad I did. I really feel for the characters and rooted for them through the whole book. The little boy jack was the sweetest and even though they didn’t have a lot of money, you never really felt like he cared. He had his mom and she was doing everything in her power to make good things happen for jack. Daniel was my favorite character, just something about him and his personality pulled me in. This book and everything single mom, death, grief, poor, romance, assault. I really enjoyed it.
    more
  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    I had a REALLY long flight, and I finished this during that time. I tend not to read too many Christmas stories or watch the Hallmark Channel, but for those who do, I would suggest reading this as it is something a little different with its English setting and resulting issues related to a child's education and the shops on a quaint little street in the city of Bristol. Although I find this genre too schmaltzy and sentimental in terms of tragedy and miracle, this story is pretty involving and do I had a REALLY long flight, and I finished this during that time. I tend not to read too many Christmas stories or watch the Hallmark Channel, but for those who do, I would suggest reading this as it is something a little different with its English setting and resulting issues related to a child's education and the shops on a quaint little street in the city of Bristol. Although I find this genre too schmaltzy and sentimental in terms of tragedy and miracle, this story is pretty involving and does a good job portraying a struggling young widow trying to make the holiday season special for her son. For this type of story, I'd give it a 4.
    more
  • Judy Adams
    January 1, 1970
    A great novel for this time of year, the story line is of a mom and her son whose husband and dad died in Afghanistan. The trials of trying to hold down a crappy job, dealing with her sons learning disabilities, and a school system that wants to just get rid of him to another program. Then there is Daniel who lost his sister to complications of Down’s syndrome. He has seen Kate many times over the years when he would bring his sister to the tree lot outside of the department store. Full of heart A great novel for this time of year, the story line is of a mom and her son whose husband and dad died in Afghanistan. The trials of trying to hold down a crappy job, dealing with her sons learning disabilities, and a school system that wants to just get rid of him to another program. Then there is Daniel who lost his sister to complications of Down’s syndrome. He has seen Kate many times over the years when he would bring his sister to the tree lot outside of the department store. Full of heartache, laughter and fighting to stat above all the crap in the world. There is so much more in this novel, I would recommend this book.
    more
  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I won this as an ARC giveaway. I was drawn to the characters from the very beginning. They are so relatable and real. Kate is a single mom after being widowed with a young son who has challenges, she is struggling to provide for them and with the loss of her husband has lost the Christmas spirit but resolves to regain it for her son Jack. Daniel also has known the loss of a loved one, his sister Zoe and has been closed off as well. Through various interactions, they find kindred spirits in one a I won this as an ARC giveaway. I was drawn to the characters from the very beginning. They are so relatable and real. Kate is a single mom after being widowed with a young son who has challenges, she is struggling to provide for them and with the loss of her husband has lost the Christmas spirit but resolves to regain it for her son Jack. Daniel also has known the loss of a loved one, his sister Zoe and has been closed off as well. Through various interactions, they find kindred spirits in one another and find their way to making each other whole again. A very heartwarming story and well written.
    more
Write a review