Cover Image: The Christmas Party

The Christmas Party

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Member Reviews

The Christmas Party is set in a small village in Southwest Ireland. It is the story of the Lorne family. When Declan Lorne dies, it is the end of an era. He was the last living knight in Ireland. Having three daughters, and no son, the Knighthood dies with him. Not only that, but 700 year old Lorne Castle is falling apart. With bad investments over the years, the Lorne family does not have the money needed for the costly repairs to the castle. His will leaves the castle to his youngest daughter Willow. She will have to sell the castle to save the family. This is the story of Willow, her sisters Ottie and Pip and her mother Serena. How do they live after Declan's death. Will the problems that have broken this family be solved? Will the sisters follow their hearts and their dreams? Will Serena survive without her beloved Declan?

The Christmas Party is a story of family, heritage and the massive financial burden of keeping an aging castle intact. It also deals with the guilt of not being born a male to inherit the family legacy. This is a character driven novel told through the eyes of the three strong but very different women. Ottie loved Lorne Castle and spent her days helping her father run the estate. She had a secret that caused her to become a recluse as well as give up on her dreams. Pip is the stubborn one, wanting to raise her horses and develop a stable of well-bred horses. This goal almost costs her her life. She also holds a grudge against someone that could cost her her happiness. Willow, the youngest Lorne, fled to Dublin three years earlier upset about something, but we don't know what it is until the end of the story. All three of these woman need to do a self-examination of their lives and feelings to be able to move forward in their lives. I really enjoyed seeing their relationships build with one another as the story progressed. The castle is another major player in this story that affects each of the women in certain ways and has them making various decisions that will change the path their lives take. Overall, this was a great story. It is about facing your past, facing your mistakes, following your dreams, being strong and standing up for yourself and loving and forgiving your family no matter what. All this and Christmas too. I definitely recommend this one.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for an advanced copy of "The Christmas Party" by Karen Swan in exchange for an honest review. 

"When Declan Lorne, the last remaining knight in Ireland, dies suddenly, an ancient title passes with him. But his estate on Ireland’s rugged south-west coast is left to his three daughters. The two eldest, Ottie and Pip, inherit in line with expectations, but to everyone’s surprise – and dismay – it is the errant baby of the family, Willow, who gets the castle."

I really struggled with getting through "The Christmas Party" by Karen Swan and I'm not too sure why. I enjoyed meeting the characters of Ottie, Pip, Willow and those who interact with them. I loved the setting and concept of the story but I think it just felt too long and drawn out. There were a few twists and turns that I didn't see coming. Definitely not my favourite story by Karen Swan, but nevertheless I look forward to what she comes out with next.
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This was a struggle for me.  I found the story long and not captivating.  When I don't remember much of the story and the characters, I consider that not an impressive story.
I really wanted to enjoy it not enough Christmas story line,  Wished for more.
Thanks to Netgalley, Pan Mac Millan and Karen Swan for this early e-arc in exchange of an honest review,
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Another good addition to her list of christmas books. Admittedly I've only read one other but I will definitely check out some more.
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The Christmas Party by Karen Swan is another decadent treat from an author who consistently delivers the sweeping family chronicles that we have come to expect.  This is a story of family, long buried secrets, and the redemptive and healing powers of forgiveness, all wrapped up in a cozy package.

The last knight of Ireland has died unexpectedly, leaving his ancestral home, Lorne Castle, to the stewardship of his three daughters.  Having lived their entire lives believing that they have failed their father by not being born the male heirs required to continue the lineage of the knighthood, Ottie, Pip, and Willow have struggled to find their own identities, and to reconcile their feelings about the ancestral home.  When the bulk of the estate is left to youngest daughter Willow, a trove of family secrets is revealed, and Willow, along with her sisters, must make some difficult decisions about the future, and find a way to honour their father's legacy.

As per usual, Ms Swan has delivered an emotive and involving story of love and family, although I do feel that the Christmas theme was somewhat lacking.  The epilogue, however, did succeed in capturing all of the warmth and sentimentality of the holidays.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for this ARC.
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Thank you NetGalley and Pan Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The 29th Knight of Lorne, the last surviving Knight in all of Ireland, has died of an aneurysm. He has 3 daughters but no son's to carry on the title. Ottie, Pip and Willow have inherited bits of the estate but also the financial problems that come from a holding so large. Willow who left home 3 years prior and lives in Dublin now is tasked with running the castle. In a strange move instead of leaving the castle and contents to his wife Serena. The question remains was this a calculated move on the Knight's part and will this pull the girls together or drive them further apart.

The book starts out very slowly and could have done with a faster pace to grab the reader.
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If you like a book that deals with family secrets, you'll love this one!  Dealing with the death of their beloved father, surprises, secrets and romance are in store for three Irish sisters.  Karen Swan delivers another great Christmas read!
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Superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL			
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			
Globe and Mail bestseller Karen Swan invites you to the party of the year... 

Pip and her two sisters inherit a beautiful but derelict castle in Killarney, on the West coast of Ireland. It has been in the family for hundreds of years but it will need a huge investment to return it to its former glory. With heavy hearts, the estate is carved up - a small piece for each daughter - and made ready for sale. The prospective new owner wants to experience the castle fully before committing to buy. 

The girls agree that he can throw a huge party in time for Christmas: his hello, their goodbye. But which will prove harder: stepping into the future, or letting go of the past? The Christmas Party is a delicious story of family, romance and the ultimate Christmas party by internationally bestselling author Karen Swan.

Karen Swan is responsible for the luggage under my eyes today- I should NOT have started reading it before bed as I ended up staying up and reading it in one fell swoop. (I am a super speed reader after all!!!)  The characters were engaging and I just dreamed of that castle all (what was left of the) night long. The plot was enjoyable and anyone wondering what to give someone who loves to read for Christmas should go no farther than this book. Then, hopefully, they will go back and read all of her other Christmas novels and her stand-alone books as well (those come out in the summer...just in time for the beach!).

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄
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Karen Swan books are romances for people who think they don’t like romance. I say this because I am one of those readers who shunned the romance genre but Swan’s books have won me over to the light side. I am just about the crotchetiest reader you can imagine; I don’t like romance, I don’t like Christmas, I don’t like anything sappy and sweet but I have enjoyed several of her books in the past so I was excited to get my hands on this one. It is true that her books feature burgeoning romantic relationships and always have happy endings but they are also about so much more. For the first few I was surprised by just how engaging and interesting the plots were and how they kept me absorbed to the end. Now I expect to be engaged and entertained. “The Christmas Party” did not disappoint and managed to charm my cranky pants off!

In this book there isn’t just one strong, feisty female protagonist but three sisters who each have their own love interest, which means triple the relationship drama. These romances begin as mutual hate or at least a strong dislike and gradually morph into love. There is a lot of conflict and angst but I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say that everything works out in the end, no matter how unlikely. There are happy endings all around and everything is neatly wrapped up with a bow like an early Christmas present. Swan’s books are feel -good stories and this one fits the bill very nicely.

Initially I didn’t really like two of the sisters. They seemed frivolous and spoiled and made very poor decisions. I guess they did grow up in a castle so spoiled and entitled comes with the territory. I didn’t mind Willow although I did wonder what her secret was. I assumed it was something terrible that was done to her and that she wasn’t at fault. The answer was a bit of a surprise as I didn’t expect what she was hiding. I thought it was something completely different and I was actually glad it wasn’t what I had assumed.

Through all the misunderstandings and disagreements it was a given that the relationships would work out in the end. This was a touch predictable and the path to a happy ending for two of the sisters followed what I suspected was going to happen for them but I was never bored watching it all unfold. Willow’s path was a bit more complicated and shocking and I enjoyed her journey very much. What a surprise her story turned out to be!

The ending is a bit of a tearjerker as the family has a touching moment after being surprised with thoughtful gifts from an unexpected source. If you don’t tear up at that final letter then your heart must be made of stone! This story is all about the unconditional love of family and it will leave you appreciating what you have and holding your loved ones a little closer.

Thank you Pan Macmillan for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
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