December's Book Reviews!

We've got three wonderful books lined up for you this December - all perfect for curling up with for a cosy evening in as we reach the coldest and darkest point of the year. You can find all three in this month's Bookish Treat Subscription Box or order as a one-off treat for yourself or a fellow book-lover.

Local Voices: The Queen of Dirt Island, by Donal Ryan

The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan - our Irish author book choice for this month's book and chocolate subscription box.

What's the craic?

This is a story about family, about all of the things it should be - and sometimes isn't. In Nenagh, County Tipperary, four generations of Aylward women live and love. The head of the family, Nana, is a woman who has buried two sons and whose life has been the family farm.

Her daughter-in-law, Eileen, is estranged from her own parents, having 'shamed' them and given birth to Saoirse. And then there's Saoirse herself, eavesdropping on lives she cannot comprehend. It is only when they must battle for the inheritance of Dirt Island - a narrow strip of land adjacent to Eileen's childhood home - that they truly understand the roots that bind their lives together.

Paperback Down says...

A beautiful intergenerational story celebrating the strength and resilience of three remarkable women as they fight back against small-town prejudice and find their voice in the world. Set largely in 1980s Ireland, Donal Ryan's beautiful and flowing prose makes this book completely unputdownable - each short chapter feels like sitting around a kitchen table listening to your granny or aunt telling stories and exchanging news over pots of steaming tea. Filled with gentle humour, compassion, empathy and moments so heart-breaking they'll take your breath away, we can't recommend this one highly enough.

Science Fiction & Fantasy: Midnight in Everwood, by M.A Kuzniar

Midnight in Everwood by M.A Kuzniar - our fantasy pick for this month's Book & Chocolate Subscription Box

What's the craic?

In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you'll never forget what you find here...

Nottingham, 1906. Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but, as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered - she must marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But, when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in Marietta's life.

After Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own - a magic darker than anyone could imagine. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself transported from her family's ballroom to a frozen sugar palace, silent with secrets, in a forest of snow-topped fir trees. She must find a way to return home before she's trapped in Everwood's enchanting grip forever.

Paperback Down says...

Inspired by The Nutcracker, this historical fantasy re-telling for adults is a sheer, glittery, frothy delight - like being immersed in a cloud of candy floss under the soft light of a sky full of sherbet stars. Follow Marietta as she seeks to escape the enchantments of Everwood, the societal pressures of her family and the sinister attentions of Dr Drosselmeier. It's the perfect festive fantasy tale and we can think of no better book to dive into this Christmas!

Bucket List Books: Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett

The Hogfather by Terry Practchett - our classic book choice for this month's book and chocolate subscription box.

What's the craic?

'Twas the night before Hogswatch and all through the house…something was missing.

The stockings are hanging ready, the sherry and pies are waiting by the fireplace – but where is the jolly fat man with his sack? It’s not right to find Death creeping down chimneys and trying to say Ho Ho Ho – but someone’s got to bring the little kiddies their presents. Or else they might stop believing. Belief is important in Discworld, particularly on the last night of the year when the time is turning. If the real man in the red suit isn’t found by morning, there won’t be a morning. Ever again…

A festive feast of darkness, jolly robins and tinsel. As they say: ‘You’d better watch out…’

Paperback Down says...

Enjoy a festive twist on Christmas story-telling with a new favourite book you'll want to come back to year after year. It's hard to believe it's been over a quarter of a century since this was first published but that's the joy of Terry Pratchett's writing - it's utterly timeless, always relevant and always engaging.

It's a joy to be able to share this with you as our Bucket List Book choice for December - as well as being a personal favourite, this is a genuine Christmas classic, loved by readers of all generations across the world.

And if you're new to the Discworld, don't worry - this is the perfect standalone introduction to the unforgettable magic of Terry Pratchett's unique and wonderful creation.

Which will you choose?

Subscribe today to guarantee you get first dibs each month on our featured picks, along with locally-made gifts and treats all carefully chosen to help you relax and unwind with your new favourite book - just click here to get started.

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