Keeping a Christmas Promise – Jo Thomas

Iceland is on my bucket list and seeing the Northern Lights even more so, but until that day I can make do with the wonderful new book from Jo Thomas.

Laura, Freya, Meg, Joanne all created their own bucket list when they were much younger and now they are here in Iceland eventually to tick one off. Expect, they are all much older and Laura is no longer with them, her dying wish was for them to still carry on without her. And whilst they have, life it seems has got in the way. Getting them to Iceland was the first challenge.

And it seems there is more to face.

Poor food, weather warnings, no lights and then an avalanche mean this short sojourn is about to be a lot longer. Trapped in an Icelandic village, the three women have to embrace the weather, village life and their own shortcomings.

However this unexpected turn of events leaves them reflecting on what they have lost and what they have to look forward to. It seems the magic of the village, the community and the wonder and beauty of nature have healing properties for them all.

Starting to know Thomas writing, there is a wealth of descriptive food to make your mouth water, that I could have rushed out and ate copious amounts of smoked salmon! The landscape and the environment is very much a feature and the effect that progress can have on such a thing is also brought into sharp relief when the village nearly loses one of it’s own.

Whilst a festive read, this book tackles issues of grief, blending families, moving on and living your best life for yourself and no one else. As always so much packed into the pages, that the book is a wonderful escape and a great example of strong women’s fiction that is almost always overlooked.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Keeping a Christmas Promise is out now.

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