A magical, sparkling Christmas story about learning to forgive and move on with life when things turn sour. Filled with festive sweets, sarcastic wit and real-life issues, Snow Angels, Secrets & Christmas Cake is sure to warm your heart, make you laugh and encourage you to think about what’s truly important in your life.
Snow Angels, Secrets & Christmas Cake by Sue Watson
Publication Date: October 17, 2014 by Bookouture
Kindle Edition: 232 pages
What’s the Story?
For Tamsin Angel, Christmas is always the biggest and best… chic parties and a little showbiz sparkle are a must. This year though, things aren’t going quite as planned…
With bailiffs suddenly at the door and her husband nowhere to be found, it looks like Christmas just got downsized. Moving into her sister’s one-bedroom flat, she wonders whether things will ever be the same again.
After losing her husband on Christmas Eve, Sam Angel has rebuilt her life around her son Jacob and her new business – The White Angel Bakery. She’s also found herself a very handsome, loving boyfriend, but is struggling to let go of the past.
Thrown together with a sprinkle of Christmas magic, Sam and Tamsin might just learn a little more about each other – and themselves. But when disaster strikes at the bakery, will they be able to save the day in time for Christmas?
The Angel sisters couldn’t be more different. Tamsin is a wealthy woman, determined to have a picture-perfect family and a home filled with the best that money can buy. She lives a life of luxury filled with designer everything; from her clothing and accessories to her custom order kitchen and home, Tam is obsessed with being posh and perfect. Sam on the other hand, is a free spirit, single mother that can barely afford to keep the heat on and can’t imagine wasting money the way her older sister does. While Sam can’t be bothered to care what the ‘Yummy Mummies’ think about her at her son’s school, Tam is fiercely concerned with keeping up appearances and desperately cares what people think about her.
Growing up as children in the Angel household were two vastly different experiences for Tamsin and Sam. Tamsin remembers the way her father’s alcoholism took a toll, mentally and physically on her and her mother, while her sister Sam managed to avoid that stage of their life by being six years younger. Sam’s memories of her childhood are mostly rosy while Tam’s memories are filled with the way her father’s addiction to whiskey took the joy out of every aspect of her young life. It’s something that Tam always sheltered her sister from and took on the role of a big sister that always did everything she could to protect her sister. ‘I didn’t resent Sam because she’d had it easier – but I did resent the fact that I was alone and had no one to tell. I’d spent years trying to make up for my childhood, make a better life for myself and Christmas was my chance to create some sparkle, some magic to erase the past.’
In many ways, Tam’s obsession with money and luxury is her way of proving to her dead father that she was worthy and proving to her children that she wants them to be happy and have all of the things that she never did. Tam felt that Christmas in particular was her chance to shine and make it the best time of the year for her family to make new, happy memories. ‘I sometimes wondered what it was that Tamsin was looking for. To me, it seemed she had a perfect life; a husband, two great kids, plenty of money and several homes dotted around the world. Yet my sister was always searching for the next high and Christmas just seemed to bring out the worst in her.’
When things go wonky in Tamsin’s seemingly perfect world, she’s forced out of her comfort-zone and must leave her life of luxury behind. Sam had always turned to her older sister for answers and now they’ve hit a role-reversal with Tam needing help with figuring out what to do. Sam’s got her hands full with her son Jacob that’s been having trouble making friends at school, her loving boyfriend Richard that’s ready for a commitment and now she’s got to try to help her sister sort through her issues. Will she be able to manage to sort everything out or will she crumble under the pressure?
Before this whole mess started, Tamsin was obsessed with all things beautiful and surrounded herself with people that shared her love of materialism, money and gossip. Unfortunately, those friendships were mostly phony and they would drop you as soon as you weren’t wealthy. The minute they realized that she was basically homeless and poor, she couldn’t get a single one of her ‘friends’ to pick up her call. ‘She would grasp at things, ideas and people and like a snowflake, she wanted to touch them, possess them, keep them in the moment – but just like when we were children, they always melted in her hand and she was left with nothing.’
Snow Angels, Secrets & Christmas Cake isn’t just a a wonderful holiday novel, it’s a story laced with important issues that people face and work to overcome in life; domestic violence and abuse, loss of a loved one, financial ruin due to a greedy spouse, shifting priorities and ultimately learning to forgive and move on with life to be happy. It’s a compelling read and for anyone that’s read and loved her other novels you will find that Sue Watson delivers her trademark sweet writing beautifully!
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Side note: All quotes have been pulled from a pre-published review copy. I apologize if any excerpts did not make it into the final published novel, however, they will give you a sense of the overall feel of the book and I’m sure that you will absolutely love it!
About the Author
About the Author from Goodreads:
So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote a novel. ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,’ tells the story of Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with a nasty boss at work, the weighing scales and being a mum, wife and daughter.
Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire. When she’s not toiling over her latest novel, Sue bakes (and eats) cake and enjoys very large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream all to herself while watching ‘The Biggest Loser USA.’