Editorial Review from The Historical Fiction Company:
Watching snowflakes as they soundlessly drifted down from an endless sky of white was one of Ginger’s favorite pleasures. At first impression, one might form the opinion that such gentle mildness would have a shy disposition. But not so. Dancing and swirling in the wintry December air, the flakes landed anywhere without reservation or even invitation.
Heidi Eljarbo's latest novel, "Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies," is a heartwarming holiday romance that not only warms the cockles of your heart but also infuses your spirit with the enchanting magic of Christmas.
From the first lines, we’re pulled into an immersive, expressive world. Set in a backdrop of historical opulence, this story serves as a delightful reminder of what the festive season is truly about—love, happiness, and the simple joys of being with those who matter most.
Right at the start, it effortlessly pull you into the tale. It's like stepping into a cozy room aglow with Christmas lights and the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting in the air. You immediately feel at home, and the story that unfolds feels like it has been waiting just for you.
The compelling story revolves around Miss Gingifer Mitford, affectionately known as Ginger, and Bertran Stanton, the heir to a grand estate. Each encumbered by familial expectations and the weight of societal norms, their annual Christmas gathering becomes a turning point in their lives. The narrative is both charming and captivating, adorned with the twinkling lights of yuletide festivities and seasoned with the spice of a romance unfolding against all odds.
When she returns to the country and Dewdrop House for the annual cousin capers during the Christmas holidays, little does she know that this December, everything will change.
This is a delightful and witty Christmas novella set against a backdrop of family, holiday whimsy, and a reminder to stop and make those magical memories.
In addition to Ginger’s POV, we also get a peek into the life and mind of Bert.
Bert had been beyond himself with worry when he’d arrived at the stables to hear Ginger had ridden off on the chestnut mare two hours previous and never returned. What was she thinking, riding into the woods during winter and without a companion or chaperone? Something must have upset her. He knew that young woman more than she understood. Whenever she felt cornered or uncomfortable, her first inclination was to make a dash for it.
With each detail that emerges, we learn more about Ginger and Bert, how they know each other, and what kinds of thoughts they have about each other. Set in a historical fiction past, we see how the weight of society pressed down on both of them as well. The author also does a good job of writing to the times and keeping it historically accurate, while also not pulling us out of the story. Every piece fits perfectly into place to craft the heartwarming novella.
The book is meticulously edited and formatted, offering readers a smooth and pleasurable reading experience. The pacing is impeccable, ensuring that each chapter unravels like the layers of a sumptuous Christmas feast, leaving you sated yet craving more.
Heidi Eljarbo does an excellent job of creating characters that are relatable and endearing. Ginger, as the spirited woman frustrated with societal expectations, becomes a symbol for the universal struggle between tradition and individual desire. Bert, on the other hand, is a beautifully etched character who evolves as he comes to terms with his feelings.
How Bert wished he’d handled the situation better, then Ginger would not be in danger. Lately, everything had been against him and his wish to be with her. The duchess openly told him she’d been asked to report if she thought him attentive to Lady Charlotte during the ball. Uncle Conrad had given Bert a good life, an education, and appointed him the heir to the estate. He could not be rude and needed to at least try to see if a future with Lady Charlotte was possible. It had not worked. The whole evening, all he could think of was Ginger.
The story flows with an unforced naturalness that testifies to the author’s skill in storytelling. Events and details from the characters' past are weaved into the present narrative in a way that enriches the reader's understanding without disrupting the pacing of the story.
The climax of the book leaves readers with a sense of completion and satisfaction that only a well-crafted holiday romance can provide. It is a slice-of-life, feel-good holiday novella that will brighten your own spirits, no matter what time of year you read it. Whether you're a romantic at heart or a cynic, the ending will surely make you believe in the power of love, if only for a fleeting moment.
"Could it be that the love of his life has been right in front of him all this time?"
The historical romance and holiday parties are a well-known motif, but Eljarbo's story distinguishes out for its emotional depth and complex characters. This book is more than just another Christmas romance because the author examines the complexities of familial ties and the bravery required to challenge social expectations in pursuit of personal pleasure.
The writing is excellent, with careful attention to every detail and an atmosphere that takes you back in time. The language is realistic and funny, and the descriptions are vivid without ever becoming overpowering.
The story's progression from the beginning conflict through the escalating action to the rewarding conclusion is skillfully planned. Each turn is carefully planned, adding to the coherence and interest of the story.
Heidi Eljarbo's "Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies" is a treasure to be found and loved. It is a lovely story that captures the spirit of Christmas and highlights the difficulties of love and tradition. Anyone looking for a holiday book that is both enthralling and meaningful comes highly recommended.
“Christmas Parties, Snow, and Other Follies” by Heidi Eljarbo receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company