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Publisher's Summary

Seven stories to span the Christmas holidays:

'A Faraway Smell of Lemon': The school term has ended. It is almost Christmas, but Binny, out last-minute shopping, couldn't feel less like wishing glad tidings to all men. Ducking out of the rain, she finds herself in the sort of shop she would never normally visit.

'The Marriage Manual': Christmas Eve. Two parents endeavour to construct their son's Christmas present from a DIY kit and in the process find themselves deconstructing their marriage.

'Christmas Day at the Airport': A glitch in the system, travellers stranded and all sorts of lives colliding in the face of a sudden birth....

'The Boxing Day Ball': Maureen has never been out with the local girls before. Who knew that a disco in the village hall could be life changing?

'A Snow Garden': Two little boys, dumped with their divorced father for his share of the Christmas holidays and none of them with a clue how to enjoy it.

'I'll Be Home for Christmas': The most famous boy in the world comes home hoping to escape the madness with a normal family Christmas.

'Trees': As if Christmas wasn't wearing enough, now his elderly parent is asking for a hole in the ground.... Father and son break old habits and plant a tree to mark the start of the new year.

Seven stories as funny, joyous, poignant and memorable as Christmas should be.

©2015 Rachel Joyce (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks

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  • Shoeless
  • 01-11-16

Great Seasonal Read

Fabulous, clever stories. Sometimes sad and moving, sometimes funny. I love the references of characters crossing the stories.
I chose this for its seasonal theme but am now going to explore this author's other works.
Super narration. Lovely.

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  • mollyeyre
  • 12-05-19

SO, SO disappointing!

I am such a fan of Rachel Joyce, having read Harold Fry, Queenie Hennessy and the Music Shop, I found these really delightful and loved the characters.

This book of short stories is absolutely awful, mainly centred on mean and nasty characters, so much so that I really don't care what happens to any of them!

The boys visiting their father for Christmas are plain nasty and rude to the man who is trying to give them a happy time! The mother waiting for a visit from her famous son is enough to make the reader scream! She is only concerned about 'what about ME'

I cannot understand the reviews with their praise!

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  • barbara
  • 04-01-18

Stories fo Christmas

I’ve never listened to short stories before but I loved each one of these. They were all so meaningful and were just the kind of story to listen to for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The narrators were excellent.Thank you Rachel Joyce for writing them!

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  • nixiethepixie
  • 08-28-21

A woven tapestry of stories

A brilliantly written of artistically interwoven narratives, with poetic and vivid images. I loved this book!