Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review: Snow Angels, Secrets, and Christmas Cake

By Sara Steven

The Angel sisters are as different as night and day. Sam is down-to-earth and believes in working hard to achieve her dreams. Tamsin has a maid for that. Sam owns her own bakery and puts in long hours. Tamsin has top-notch chefs on speed-dial. While one wouldn’t be caught dead in anything without a designer label, the other wears overalls and prefers to walk in flip flops, even in the winter. It’s truly bizarre that these two come from the same gene pool, let alone had the same upbringing.

Tamsin didn’t start out pampered and pristine. Both women saw the same dark childhood and dealt with skeletons in their family’s closet, although Tamsin bore the brunt of it. For most of her life, she’s been trying to run away from the past. When her husband suddenly disappears without a trace, leaving her thousands in debt and without a penny to her name, she turns to Sam for help. Sam has her own heartache, having lost her husband too young and raising a son alone. She has a hard time letting go of what was and embracing the future. The Angel sisters hold onto one another for dear life, weathering the storms and finding their way through tragedy, and healing.

I’ve read nearly all of Sue Watson’s books, and Snow Angels, Secrets, and Christmas Cake is by far the most touching and engrossing I’ve had the privilege to review. It wouldn’t be a Watson book without her signature humor, and you get that in spades. New, though, are the deeper elements, the story line that really humanizes the characters. Sam and Tamsin are very flawed and very real, each dealing with their own conflicts and painful pasts, and each showcasing the ability to grow. Towards the end of the book, there is a surprise, and I won’t lie; I got a little teary-eyed, which isn’t like me. I’m not one to get sentimental while reading a book, but I did with this one.

Don’t let the wet eyes fool you, though. There are a lot of funny scenes, especially with Tamsin and a potential love interest. Lots of zany, interesting characters who provide the comic relief, balancing the emotion in this book to perfection. When I said you’d get Watson’s signature humor, I wasn’t kidding. A must-read for the holidays!

Thanks to Bookouture for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Sue Watson:


Janine said...

Great review. I always love a good surprise at the end of a book. I have this one on my list now.

Geralyn Corcillo said...

Wow, sounds like Watson has really outdone herself, and that's saying something!! Looking forward to it enhancing my holidays!