The Christmas Spirit – Susan Buchanan

Christmas is beginning to arrive  and so has Natalie in a village north of Glasgow. It is her first time in Scotland. That does not matter she is here to help at The Sugar and Spice Bakery whilst its owner is incapacitated.

Jacob has been to university and is waiting to start his life, his working life. Trouble is he has tried interview after interview, he has no shame and will take any job even if he appears to be overqualified. Working at The Sugar and Spice Bakery will do because at least it is work.

Stanley is missing his wife, Edie so much so that he still makes her a cup of tea every morning and sits and chats to her. They used to enjoy their time in The Sugar and Spice Bakery every week but on his own, it does not feel the same.

Meredith has an all consuming passion: business. It is her life, she eats and breathes it and expects her PA, Sophie to as well. Sophie escapes every day when she visits The Sugar and Spice Bakery to get Meredith’s carrot cake. It is not only the cakes that are warm and welcoming there it is the atmosphere as well.

Rachel, thought she had the man of her dreams and a settled life. She was wrong, he has walked out and she now needs to survive on her own, make her own decisions and stand up for what she believes in. Surely a helping piece of cake at The Sugar and Spice Bakery and a read of a newspaper might change everything?

It is the bakery which is the centre of the world of characters that Susan Buchanan has created. However, from it, their stories all ripple out as if a stone has been dropped into a pond. They are all characters you can love and hate in equal measure, and you only want good for them, even if they are slightly exasperating. The cakes and the history of Christmas around the world which is invoked in the bakery comes across well, it is a book to cuddle up on the sofa with and just simply enjoy (eating cake at the same time would be a bonus). Great Christmas read.

I have never read any of this author before and happened upon this book by chance – the chance being the author responded to a tweet. Not asking me to read her book, far from it, sharing the love of Ali Harris for her short Christmas story for this year A Vintage Christmas. That got me clicking through to Susan’s website and then onto seeing what work she has written and here we are after having read one of her novels. I must go and load my kindle up with some of her others now.