Cover Image: It's That Time of Year

It's That Time of Year

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Lovely warmhearted read.   Annie is a great character and with three of her foster children coming back to her wedding you can see how much difference she has made to other people's lives.... but can they all move on from their damaged childhoods?  I always live Roisin Meaney books and this is no exception, full of great characters and a warm Irish feeling to make you invest in the story
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A comforting festive read for fans of writers such as Marian Keyes. It revolves around the wedding of a sixty year old woman Annie in Ireland, which is a pleasant change in romantic fiction normally depicting twenty somethings. Three of her foster children return for the occasion and we are shown how much her influence has changed their lives. It really is heart warming. I would recommend it to anybody who feels like a bit of feel good escapism. Thanks to Netgalley for the APC.
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It's That Time Of Year Roisin Meaney 
After reading some books that were heavy going, I was looking for a lighter read, and thats excellent what this book was, a breath of fresh air. 
I loved Annie as a character,  and loved the storyline and how all the characters fit together.  
This book just touched my heart with every page.
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This fabulous story will appeal to fans of Marian Keyes. There’s something about it that sets it apart from  Roisin Meaney’s other books. It’s sweet and a funny, but also very sad, dealing as it does with adults whose broken childhoods were somewhat healed by their time in foster care. It builds to a conclusion with an ending for each character - but are they all happy? Read it and see!
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It’s That Time of Year by Roisín Meaney is such a lovely read. I waited until Christmas time to read it because of the cover and blurb. It’s a feel good story, an easy read that will cause even the coldest hearts to shed a year. It was well written, well edited, well planned out. Each character has a worthwhile tale to tell and while it did come together predictably well, it’s a story that will remain with me. Who couldn’t love Annie & Matt, Eddie & Julia. And whose heart wouldn’t go out to Steph. It’s was a lovely easy read, not my usual genre at all but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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The wonderful Roisin Meaney had already brought us the brilliant The Restaurant in the Summer of 2020 and towards the tail end of the year she published It’s That Time of Year. It was a real treat of a read, perfect to curl up on the couch with on a cold winter’s day. It’s not a Christmas book as such although it does take place in the days preceding the big day. It’s a warm and cosy read following Annie as she prepares for her wedding. It is to be a small event, just the way she wants it, but she has asked several of her foster children to return to the small village in Clare where she lives so they can join in the celebrations. But the three people out of the many she fostered over the years are all battling with their own demons and emotions. Will there be unity and cause for joy and happiness or will what they are grappling with threaten to ruin the big day alongside a snowstorm?

It’s That Time of Year is a slow and comforting read and I definitely felt it was giving off Maeve Binchy vibes as it reminded me so much of her novels. Maeve was an author beloved by so many so to get that same feeling from Roisin’s book was amazing. I felt the story had a lovely, natural, engaging flow to it and that the characters were allowed to just share their stories at the most perfect pace. There was a sense that Annie was a very wise woman. One who offered comfort, hope and support to those who needed it the most. She never put pressure or unnecessary force on people to share their burdens but would always be there at just the right time when someone felt the need to let go and share their troubles and issues. Annie was the matriarch of the story, although not connected by blood to the three people who she has asked specifically to come to her big day, still she was their mother figure in the absence of one.

Annie is a doer and a helper. She always helps people out be it driving the meals on wheels van, reading in the church or aiding any community endeavour. You can sure count on Annie. She is 60 and this milestone birthday sees her facing big changes in her life as she is going to have to sell the farmhouse where she fostered so many and where endless special memories were created. It’s too big for her and for another reason alluded to throughout the story she will have to move in with her new husband Matt. Annie was a wonderful character written with such empathy and simple understanding. We see the decisions she is silently wrestling with but yet pushes these to one side as Julia, Eddie and Steph return to their safety net but will it remain intact for them or will their concerns, anxieties and difficulties prove to be too much?

Julia is 40 and has spent the past 25 years living in Paris. She is a singer who has had success but is now struggling to write new material. She has been having an affair with Jean Luc and wishes that it could come out in the open and their love can be shared for all to see. Julia shares a real emotional connection with Annie as she lost her parents when she was 3. Annie stepped in and was there for her until she chose to leave the nest. Yet she can always rely on Annie for words of wisdom and a shoulder to cry on. The reader can sense that at this point in time Julia is not truly happy in her own skin, it’s like there is a shadow hanging over her. She is not comfortable with the amount of fame she has attracted and she feels an enormous pressure to conform to what a celebrity should be. She wears a haunted look and is worn out from being in the spotlight and despite such acclaim she is desperately lonely. Will returning for Annie’s wedding help her to feel protected and safe and finally aid her in confronting what is tormenting her? Can she just be plain old Julia Murphy instead of a famous singer and a mistress?

Steph was the most messed up out of the three Annie has invited. She was a tearaway as a teenager and caused endless trouble for her foster mother. This will be the first time she has returned to see Annie since she left. There’s is a fractured history as Steph has been an absolute horror with truancy disappearances and just a general standoffish mood full of defiance. She seemed to have a huge chip on her shoulder in relation to her family history but Annie could see she was suffering. She kept asking her to do something which could see Steph have some sort of resolution and acceptance but she firmly resolved not to do this. Steph is a wanderer but for some time she has settled on a Greek island with an author and they run writing retreats but from the way she talks and the experiences she describes the reader can tell she is not living a contented life in the sun. 

It was easy to see what Steph needed to do with her life but she comes back just the same as ever and appears not to have grown and changed. Did she just endlessly move about her problems from one place to another not seeing any way out or what direction she should go in? Honestly, I couldn’t warm to Steph. Yes, I could see that she was damaged but she just seemed too woe is me and there was no get up and go about her. She was just miserable and yes I know she was experiencing a tough time but Annie was always on her side she just never chose to fully let her in.

Eddie is the final person chosen to come to Annie’s wedding. He has been living in London for the last 8 years and makes out he has the best chef job in the world and has worked in top quality restaurants. He allows this illusion to keep going when in reality he works in a normal run of the mill restaurant. He is no closer to realising his dreams. He spent a brief time with Annie as he returned to his family aged 5 but yet a huge gulf still exists between Eddie and his family members. Are the demons of the past just that too difficult too quash one and for all.? For me Eddie was the most under developed character, I wanted to know more about him. His inner workings, thoughts and opinions. I felt we barely scratched the surface of him whereas I felt more of a pull to Annie, Julia and Steph.

As well as getting to know the three foster children returning as adults, every few chapters or so we get a glimpse into Annie’s past life and I loved these sections of the book. It really helped to gain such a deeper understanding of Annie as to what really motivated her in spending so much of her life helping children in need. I loved how we saw her life long friendship with Cora begin, develop and mature and you just wish that you yourself could have such a lasting and solid friendship to see you through life. Delving into Annie’s past gave us such a deep and special insight into all aspects of her character and this also allowed me to appreciate her even more. It showed she was a special and unique person who always saw the bigger picture when others could not and she knew just what they needed when they couldn’t see the wood for the trees in the darkest of times. I hoped she would have the special and most memorable day that she deserved but there were numerous obstacles in her path not to mention all the soul searching and angst that each and every character was experiencing.

It’s That Time of Year was a gorgeous, comforting read and it was an absolute delight to have a second new book from Roisin in the space of a few months. This book was special and I loved how the threads all wove together coming towards the end. I’m already looking forward to The Book Club which is due to be published in June.
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This was a light, festive holiday read that I feel many would enjoy, as it has many high ratings. However, I struggled to connect with this as I had hoped. I didn’t care for it quite as much as I would have liked.
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I hate to say it, but I just didn't get along with this book at all. I desperately wanted to, as it sounded exactly like the sort of book I would normally love, but I just couldn't get into it, and I really struggled to engage with either the characters or the plot. It's hard to describe, as there's nothing wrong with the book itself. It's a lovely story, but I just couldn't connect with it, and it was only the fact that I was provided with an advance copy from the publisher that stopped me from bailing out and adding it to the DNF pile.

So yeah, sadly this one wasn't for me. However, like I said, there's nothing wrong with the book itself, and instead it's likely just a case of me being the wrong reader, if that makes sense? After all, it has overwhelmingly positive reviews, so I think if you're already a fan of the author, you'll likely love it. If you've never read her before (like me), I would maybe recommend looking for another of her books with slightly quicker pacing to help you get into it and connect with the story. 

Disclaimer - I was fortunate enough to be provided with an advance reading copy of this book by NetGalley. This has not affected my review in any way, and all opinions are my own.
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With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the arc, which I have enjoyed reading.
It’s That Time of Year by Roisin Meaney is a delightful book to read, it’s a hot chocolate drink with marshmallows or a cosy blanket to wrap yourself up in,  it makes you feel warm and cosy. It is the story of Annie, Matt, Cora and Dan and then Julia, Steph and Eddie whom Annie looked after. The storyline is of people growing up, the love and laughter, sadness and tears  which are all part and parcel of life.
The story begins with the wedding of Annie and Matt on the day of Annie’s 60th birthday and the life and times that began before that day.
Highly recommended.
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It is the eve of two important days for Annie. Her 60th birthday, and her wedding day. She has invited three of her past foster children to share the excitement. 

Out of hundreds of children she has fostered over the years, why has she chosen these three? Well in the beautiful interwoven story we find out. 

This was a dream to read. I loved every word and didn’t want the story to end.
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This book was enjoyable but I found it confusing to switch back and forth so much between characters.  I did like that the narrator was an older woman finding love and getting married.  Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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It’s That Time of Year by Roisin Meaney takes readers to Ireland where a special wedding will take place.  Annie will be turning sixty years old and marrying her longtime friend, Matt on the same day. I enjoy reading stories where the characters find love later in their life (it gives me hope). It’s That Time of Year gives us Annie’s story along with that of Steph, Julia, and Eddie.  It switches between Annie’s present life and what led up to her wedding to Matt.  It takes us back to when Annie went off to college to become a teacher and how her journey toward that goal got diverted.  We also get the story from Steph, Eddie, and Julia’s point-of-view.  We learn how each of them came to live with Annie and what happened to them after they left her house.  With the switching around of POV and time-period, I found it difficult to get into this book.  I read the book, but I never became immersed in the story.  There are some longwinded descriptions (like those regarding food) that were unneeded, and the pacing is varied. While I found the story lacking in some areas, there were some good sections.   I enjoyed the depictions of Ireland as well as the humor interspersed throughout the tale.  I like how Annie rolled with the punches on her wedding day.  There is fun and festive celebrating while everyone rejoices in Annie and Matt’s nuptials.   It’s That Time of Year is a sweet, heartwarming story about love, secrets, and second chances.
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Even if it's set at Christmas time this isn't the usual Christmas story.
It's more complex and the author delivers a fascinating and intriguing story, full of great characters. A story that kept me hooked till the end.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't surely be the last.
I loved it and it's strongly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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A very well written and entertaining book.  Good plot and character development.  Loved the setting.  I highly recommend this book.  I received an advance ebook from the publisher and this is my unbiased review.
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Loved it!!! Love Annie. She is the heart of the book. She was so sweet and a wonderful mother to all the children she fostered. I was sad to see the book end. I wanted to keep reading about Annie, Julia, Steph and Eddie and see what they were up to. My favorite part of the book was reading about Annie in the past and how she ended up fostering so many children. She had such a wonderful friendship with Cora. They would do anything for each other. It was a beautiful story. The wedding ended up being perfect, even though it wasn't what they expected or planned for. 

Definitely recommend the book. Loved the story, characters (even though Steph was really hard to like) and the writing style. The book was full of love, friendship, forgiveness and so much more. Look forward to reading more books by the author. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hachette Books Ireland through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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If you are looking for a book to make you feel good, this is the one for you. With the election, the virus and the fires I just needed something bright and hopeful and found it in this book of cheer by famed Irish author. I simply devoured this book because I needed something to remind me there was goodness in the world and I found it.

  Annie is at age 60 marrying her childhood friend, Matt. For years Annie has been taking in foster kids and giving them a home, love and security. Three of her very her favorites are making the trip to Ireland as they remember nothing but good about her. There's Julie M, famed international singer, Eddie, a chef in London and Steph living in a remote Greek island running a writers retreat with her lover and working in a pottery shop.

  The three come together to celebrate the woman who gave them stability. Everything that could go wrong with this wedding does but yet Annie and Matt's love shines through. What happens to these characters just makes you feel good. 

  This is the perfect book for when you need something special to get you through the day. It's easy to read and reminds you just how wonderful humans can be. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
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Love Roisin books and this one was just as good if not better. Nice book set in Ireland, nice little cosy read
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Christmas is coming, an exciting time every year but this December Annie is turning sixty and she's getting married to her beloved Matt. In the past Annie was a foster parent, over 100 children needing some love and safety crossed her threshold as she welcomed them into her home.

Three of them were extra special and it is they who have been invited to join Annie, Matt and their other guests. Her first foster child, Julia, has become a famous singer and lives in Paris but doesn't hesitate to head to Ireland for the weekend.  Eddie is a chef now, well known in London, and making a name for himself elsewhere, while working in a top city restaurant. Steph on the other hand lives a more remote life on a Greek island with her partner helping with his writing retreats.

So, everyone is happy, everyone is content, and excited to be part of such a wonderful occasion, well, not exactly. Cracks appear, old resentments rear their ugly heads and the season of goodwill may not live up to its hype.

This is a lovely book, it will make you laugh and cry, just like real life. The characterisation was excellent and I am so glad I read it. This is the first novel I have tried by this author, I am certain it won't be the last. 

I was able to read an advanced copy of this thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a slightly different seasonal tale, it is definitely worth reading.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.   Although it is autumn and early (for me) to read books about Xmas but saying that  I really enjoyed this nice easy cosy read.   Great storyline and nice characters.
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Annie is getting married on her 60th birthday to Matt. She has fostered over   one hundred children . Three are asked to the wedding. They are Julia, Eddie and Steph.  There are reasons  these three are picked which are slowly revealed. 
This book will make you laugh out loud as well as nearly cry.
Roisin Meaney  tell a great story with  a loving and witty feeling. Plenty of seasonal atmosphere . To be read by the fire!!
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