This is the first review that I have actually sat down and written notes for. At several points in the book I stopped to think about how I felt about things overall and made a little note!
So from the top!
The wonderful homely store called Hardy’s that people have been visiting since the war days, once known as the go to shop for everything and anything. Sadly times have changed and people have forgotten that Hardy’s exists. With a couple of weeks to go before christmas Hardy’s is given a deadline to pull itself out of the slump it is now in and bring in some serious revenue. The question is who will be doing this . . .
Back of the book says:
‘For the past two years, Evie Taylor has lived an invisible existence in London, a city she hoped would bring sparkle to her life. But all that is about to change. For winter has brought a flurry of snow and unexpected possibilities. Hidden away in the basement of Hardy’s – once London’s most elegant department store – Evie manages the stockroom of a shop whose glory days have long since passed.
When Evie overhears that Hardy’s is at risk of being sold, she secretly hatches a plan. If she can reverse the store’s fortunes by December 26th – three weeks away – and transform it into a magical destination once again, she might just be able to save it. But she’s going to need every ounce of talent and determination she has. In fact, she’s going to need a miracle.’
It seems that as soon as Evie takes one step forward without even thinking it she has taken two steps back with the self belief of a wet mop. I finished this book two weeks ago now and had to let my thoughts simmer properly before exploding them in front of your eyes.
One by one there are the people who are closest to Evie and they are as follows:
Sam – The delivery guy (DG) – An obvious match for Evie from the start but as usual the good guys always get overlooked until the very last-minute. Regardless of the efforts Sam puts in to making it clear that Evie is the woman for him he is pushed to the wayside. Sam would be good for her and everyone but the woman herself can see it.
Felix – The security man – A previous Hardy’s employee (Store Manager) in its heyday, with an eye for detail and a fatherly love for Evie. Felix spends his days watching the camera’s, drinking coffee and doing Sudoku. Since his wife died he seems a deflated version of his former self until Evie starts to bring some life back into him and later introduces him to a possible future romance.
Lily Carmichael – Tea room manager – Now i use her full name as it just carries an air of graciousness with it. One character that you read about and instantly take a liking to. A mother figure to Evie at work and once under Lily’s delicate wing blossoms into the flower she really is. Lily – always immaculately dressed with a keen memory of how things used to be, embraces Evie’s ideas with a welcoming smile and helps in every way she can to bring Hardy’s back to life.
The Cleaners: Jan, Justyna and Velna are all bold characters in their own right. From Velna’s love of Eurovision to Jan’s love of Justyna that she just doesn’t know of. Then of course there is Justyna’s dislike of any human that looks at Jan with an endearing eye.
All of the people mentioned above are the people who may remain behind the scenes in Hardy’s but are right by Evie’s side when she needs them most. The characters such as Carly, Joel and various others like Sharon the Store Manager are inconsequential when it comes to the story actually coming together in the end. However I cannot deny they made Evie the character she is.
Definitely a good book to get you into the christmas spirit and when you are feeling a bit weepy there is an excuse to shed a few tears.
From: Simon & Schuster Ltd