This is the second book in the Carrington series and although we had a little bit of a taster in a short story that bridges the gap, we are essentially back with Georgie as she serves the locals at Mulberry On Sea women’s accessories, luxury handbags to be exact in a full length novel.
It all seems to be going well with Georgie and her romance with Tom. They are learning a lot about each other and it seems that this Christmas is going to be the best yet for Georgie.
That is until she sees herself on television. In fact everyone sees a lot of her on television! It seems that the department store is going to be featured in a television programme and that the well known retail guru Kelly Cooper is going to save Carrington’s.
Georgie had no idea that she was going to be featured and even more that Carrington’s needed saving from itself.
There is much confusion as she wonders why she has been kept in the dark about the project and even more so when they want her to be one of the major ‘stars’ of the show.
Reluctantly Georgie gets onboard, but not before she has fallen out with Tom and it seems that Christmas is going to be spent eating the amassed food she has bought in her freezer on her own. As she is trying to deal with all these mixed emotions and also explain to Tom everything, she gets sucked into the world of ‘fame’.
Not everything is as it seems. Georgie is not fake. But it seems that television is and there seems to be an ulterior motive. The ‘documentary’ part of the book was well described by the author and I really felt that she has looked at the whole process with a rather cynical eye but one which I totally agree with. Everything is not always as it seems.
This is how Kelly Cooper and her annoying daughter come to be portrayed. There is obviously more going on that actually turning round a store. And whilst it might be predictable, it was still a readable plot.
For me this was not as good as the first novel. I was not drawn to Georgie’s character, in fact she annoyed me more than anything, it all seemed a bit too false. Eddie, Tom’s BA(Boy Assistant as opposed to a Personal one!) is larger than life and his character develops throughout the book. He stole many of the moments in the book that where perhaps Georgie should have character that shone through more? Georgie did show strength when she was helping her friend Sam, who run’s the cafe at Carrington’s and I was really touched by the way the sadness was handled.
Regardless of me being grumpy about the characters, it fundamentally achieves being a second book in a series set in a department store. It has that right mix of getting a glimpse of everyone’s lives and also somehow it manages to comment on a very current and ‘now’ concept that of what happens when a television programme takes over your life not just at work, but how it moves into your personal life as well.
A good read, and even if you haven’t read the first one I think you can soon find yourself amongst the shelves of Carrington’s.
I think this might be classed as second book syndrome. (Although I have read many author’s second books and thought they were amazing – so the rule does not always apply?) Especially as her new series The Great Christmas Knit Off was fabulous.
What I am not sure of is where the story is going to go in the third book, but there is only one way to find out. It might be December, but perhaps I should be thinking about Ice Creams at Carrington’s?