On the First Day of Christmas
the most gorgeous and emotional festive read of 2022
by Faith Hogan
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Pub Date 13 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 13 Oct 2022
Head of Zeus, Aria
This Christmas, everything will change...
When Liv Latimer says goodbye to her fellow nurses and finishes work for the holidays, she's looking forward to a Christmas to remember with her boyfriend Eddie.
But as she leaves the hospital, tragedy strikes and Liv is faced with a choice. Will she ignore her instincts and go home as planned? Or will she stay, and potentially change the course of her life as she knows it?
Whatever choice she makes, Liv is about to discover that fate finds a way...
From the bestselling Irish author of The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club comes an emotional and uplifting festive story about love, family and how a split-second decision can change your life.
Praise for Faith Hogan:
'Moving, gripping and as unputdownable as a box of Christmas chocolates.' – Samantha Tonge
'All the festive glitter, warmth and comfort you could want from a Christmas novel, I loved it.' – Josie Silver
'A captivating and uplifting read with all the joys of the festive season.' – Suzanne Snow
'A fine festive "sliding doors" read, scattered with surprises.' – Roisin Meaney
'Joyful, life-affirming and inspirational.' – Heidi Swain
'Heartwarming and emotional.' – Liz Fenwick
'A heart-rending, uplifting and beautifully written journey of female friendship... I loved being transported to Ireland's wild Atlantic coast.' – Phillipa Ashley
'Faith Hogan navigates beautifully between the community and the individual, forensically investigating moral issues and loyalties with an unflinching, yet humane eye. She is one of the most original and exciting writers to emerge from Ireland in recent times.' – Afric McGlinchey
'An intricately woven story of love, jealousy and misunderstanding.' – Diney Costeloe
'A cracking good story... An ideal beach read.' – Connaught Telegraph
'A fantastic summer read.' – Irish Daily Star
'A heart-warming story of love, loss, family and friendship.' – The Bookseller
'Spanning several decades and generations, Secrets We Keep is a hugely ambitious novel... with its engaging storyline and sense of place this is an absorbing and entertaining read.' – Sunday Independent (Dublin)
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 174 members
I have to be honest not sure how to review this book. A gripping story set in Dublin and . a village . The main character had lost her twin and was in a dead end relationship and the story was told in a dream part and a real part over the Christmas holidays . You couldn’t put it down . Just have to read it.
I wasn’t sure when I first started reading this book, I got confused on the two scenarios running parallel. - , it reminded me of the film Sliding Doors. However, I stuck with it and really enjoyed the book especially how it ended so beautifully.
When Liv loses her twin sister she gets stuck in a bad relationship and loses herself in work. I liked her character and wanted something good to happen to her, she has a loving family and a good friend to help her. This is a book well worth reading, a good holiday read
Lovely. Beautiful uplifting seasonal book. I just got lost in this book. It was lovely to read. Got to love a festive plot. Nice characters. The book was well written and flowed well.
An accident and later on a betrayal, leave A&E Dublin nurse Liv Latimer in an emotional whirlwind in this
carefully woven mix of two rings in two intertwining stories.
An addictive page-turner during Christmas and the New Year..
A story full of love, exploitation, family, and hope. A great read.
A really lovely well written book. Full to the brim with Christmas cheer and Christmas spirit. It has a really lovely heartwarming storyline and a lovely romantic element running throughout.
Another lovely read from this author - very much a Sliding doors style book but one that kept me interested until the end.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me an early review copy in return for an honest review.
Wow what a book! I’ll admit that it left me a little confused to begin with but as I got to know the story and the characters it all came together into a beautiful and thought provoking book.
Absolutely amazing I highly recommend
If you love Christmas movies like The Holiday and The Christmas Prince, this is the read to warm your heart with this December. The queen of feel-good fiction, and this Yuletide yarn certainly ticks all our boxes. A seasonal romance as warm and welcome as a mug of mulled wine. You’ll want to curl up with a hot choc to read this warm hug of a festive book.
This was a really interesting 'what if' story showing the two lives that originate from a choice in time.
Watching both versions of Liv come to see the truth of her life and what happens after that revelation made for an interesting read. The ending was lovely and gave the characters the closure that they probably weren't aware they needed in their life.
To begin with, as many others have said, I found the 'Sliding Doors' theme quite difficult to get used to. But once I'd read more, it began to make sense. The story centres round Liv, an A & E nurse, with very dozy boyfriend, Eddie. Frankly I did wonder why she put up with him. On her way home at Christmas, her life is chamged at the scene of an accident. It's very readable, but I didnt find it terribly Christmassy!
Thanks to NetGalley for a review copy, which I enjoyed.
This is one book that will really stay with me for ever, Loved ever page, not sure I can do it justice it was just brilliant from start to finish, would ve amazing to be turned into a movie. Its very different from the authors other books, it really makes you think life really is for living grab all the chances you can,while you can.
A FULL-THROTTLE TRUMPET TOOTING EXTRAVAGANZA .
What a fantastic read. This was a different Christmas novel ,but it was amazing and beautifully written by Faith Hogan. When Liv who is a nurse leaves hospital after her last shift on Christmas eve she is thinking about going home for the holidays and spending time with her family and long term boyfriend Eddie but something happens and she returns to the hospital and eventually everything changes. It's a story of friendships, family and relationships and most of all love at the heart of the story and how the story is woven together and the emotional ending when it all comes together is breathtaking .A must read and highly recommended it's a masterpiece
Liv is an A&E nurse in Dublin. She has lived with her boyfriend Eddie since her sister died six years ago. As she leaves the hospital on Christmas eve to join him and her family at her parent's house she is nearly involved in an accident. Liv now has a decision to make.
Dies she go home to Eddie for Christmas or does she stay at the hospital?
We then see the two different scenarios played out before us and don't yet know which one Liv really chooses.
Wow! I don't know how to review this. I don't think the blurb about the story is accurate. I dont remember Liv getting a phone call and being called back to work but maybe I missed it.
As for the story ......it was hard at the start to get used to the two different tiers but once I did I loved it.
The book had a few more characters playing their part in the story but I'm not giving away any more spoilers.
The last chapter had me captivated while at the same time I didnt understand or really know what was happening.
I had to just go with the flow and believe, but boy do I have a lot of questions. I would love to talk to someone who has read this book too.
The Epilogue was lovely and had me in tears and then I couldn't get to sleep and it stayed in my mind for days.
I'm going to have to read the last few chapters again just to try to get my mind around it.
So Faith Hogan, you have made me laugh ( at Barbara)
and kept me guessing ( at what was real and what wasn't) and wondering and believing and at the end crying, so you've done your job well.
A page turning family love story set around Christmas. Well worth a read as are all the books by thus author.
Have enjoyed previous books by Faith Hogan, so knew I would love this. Seemed strange reading a tale about Christmas during an English heatwave, but I soon got lost in it, beautiful characters, lovely plot
I have loved reading Faith Hogan's books in the past, but my utter favourite is 'What Happened To Us?', which was set at Christmas, so I was pretty delighted to see another festive read from her.
This is a sliding-doors, festive romance about how your life could change if you decided to do something slightly differently.
A sparkly, warm, hug-of-a-book; absolute trademark Faith Hogan. Loved it.
Wow! This story really got under my skin and I was galloping to read faster to get to the end to find out what happened. Very rarely read in daytime hours, but I didn't want to put this book down. Loved the “Sliding Doors” element and couldn’t imagine how the author could conclude the strands of the story, but she did! Thought-provoking, poignant and emotional. I have loved Faith Hogan’s other novels and this one was superb too.
This is a beautiful book and it is so amazing, the story is so lovely and very enjoyable to read. i loved everything about this book and i would recommend to anyone who loves reading to give this book a go. it is a lovely book and i will read other books from this author.
Reminiscent of the film Sliding Doors - the same story running simultaneously in different ways but ending up together. Enjoyable and well thought out.
A very cleverly written tale!
As Liv Latimer finishes her shift at the hospital, bidding farewell to her fellow nurses, she is looking forward to returning home for the holidays. But life isn’t always straightforward, and Liv is left with decisions to make – at every turn, it seems. So, what happens next?
Firstly I have to say that I am a great admirer of this author’s work; I have read and loved each one of her novels. As always, this is beautifully written and it definitely tugs at the heartstrings. However, I found it a strange one to follow. With nothing to indicate whether I was following scenario A or scenario B, I found that as soon as I got really into the storyline, the direction changed and I was confused all over again. Either version would have pleased and delighted me, I just wasn’t keen on the merging of the two. Kudos to the author for keeping it all straight in her head – it’s more than I managed! I think a few headings would have made it easier and, while I’m full of admiration for the successful creation of this novel, I have to admit it’s not my favourite. 4*.
My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
Publication Date - 13th October 2022
On The First Day Of Christmas by @faithhoganauthor
I have just discovered @netgalley and it's a reader's dream if you love to read and read alot.
I was absolutely delighted when @netgalley approved me for this read. I love Christmas and I love Christmas books to get this elf in the Christmas spirit.
Faith Hogan is an author I have heard of but have never read any of her previous books until now.
This book follows the story of Liv who is a nurse in a busy Dublin hospital. She is preparing for her Christmas plans and the excitement of a proposal from her long term boyfriend. She's previously found the ring and it's everything she could have hoped for.
When an incident occurs on her way home she has a decision to make should she continue with her plans as normal or should she go and be with the man who just saved her life and is in a critical condition?
Luckily for the reader we get to see Liv explore both options as a sliding doors style then follows. I enjoyed this element of the book and there are some really likable characters in this book but also some really awful and unlikeable ones.
Although, I wouldn't say the book is overly Christmassy, the writer does well to remind you that it is set at Christmas time. The book tugs at the heart strings with a range of emotions following and I think the main heart of this story is relationships.
It was a great read and I feel very privileged to have gotten to read this book ahead of the publication date. I will also be looking to check out this authors other work as I really enjoyed her writing style.
#netgalley #firstnetgalleybook #kindleread #slidingdoorsstyle #beautifullywritten #christmasnovel #greatread #enjoyed #newauthortome #bookreview #bookstagram #lovetoread #lovereading #readingismyescape #escapingintoastory
Having read other Faith Hogan novels I found this one to be a bit of a surprise.
A decision made by nurse Liv as she finishes work for Christmas will determine the rest of her life and this novel splits into a sliding doors style format at this point where you see the impact of both choices.
Unlike other reviewers I didn't find the style confusing, I actually enjoyed it as it made you think and focus again.
As ever Hogan's characters are complex and extremely real.
I didn't anticipate the ending.
Don't pick this up expecting a Christmas hug in a book story as you will be disappointed however if you want a well written, thought proving and interesting read I highly recommend it.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Liv Latimer has just finished work as a nurse for the Christmas holidays when she is almost mowed down by a motorbike. The man who pushes her to safety, Finn, is badly hurt and Liv has a choice to make. Does she carry on with her planned Christmas and go to her parents to meet up with her boyfriend, Eddie, or does she stay and ensure that Finn is alright.
The story takes you through the next few days of Liv's life depending on which option she takes. Can Liv find the happiness she craves or does fate have something else in store for her.
It's funny, compelling and at times deeply moving.
Pe4fect Christmas read. An unusual story where each chapter has parallel stories until the 2 merge near the end.
I enjoyed this. It took a little bit of patience to get into the rhythm of the book. I initially made some lazy comparisons with Sliding Doors and I think that's inevitable in some ways.
I enjoyed the interactions between the main characters and in both versions of the timeline, I wasn't entirely sure who the right character was for the main character to be with. More time and interactions with those characters would have been interesting. The resolution was unexpected and I reflected upon it for a while before posting this review. I can't think of a more satisfying resolution so ultimately it worked.
An enjoyable and straightforward Christmas romance with a character finding strength within herself to be herself.
Inventive concept and a lovely story.
Liv is going home from work after a long shift at her Dublin hospital. She is pushed out of the way of an oncoming motorcycle by Finn who is severely injured. After getting him back to the hospital for treatment, things get a little bizarre. Liv's story divides into 2 stories - one where she continues with her plans and returns home for the Christmas holidays in Ballycove, and another where she stays in Dublin to work and keep tabs on Finn's progress. The stories run parallel to each other and in the beginning, it was a bit confusing. It probably would have been better if there was some way to subtly indicate that the story's direction had switched (like a different font or italics...I can think of several ways to do it without interrupting the flow.). The other characters - her twin sister Rachel (who died of cancer a few years before); her best friend, Pete, and even current live-in boyfriend Eddie - are well written and add to the enjoyment of the tale. For me, the ending was sweet, but I think it did not go far enough to suit me. I think I expected more...more explanation of the diverging tales, but the author basically leaves it up to the reader. This time it comes off as a little lazy. When you've invested the time to read, you should get more than a little woo-woo and the expected HEA. I enjoyed this one, but found myself slightly let down by the ending.
Thanks to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for this ARC.
She wanted to pull down a shutter on this moment and keep them here and safe forever, but...There's no stopping the progress of some things. Rachel's cancer diagnosis: its uncontainable march to the inevitable terrible end, was as unstoppable to her as the Northern Lights playing out over their heads.
On The First Day of Christmas is told from two parallel views.
Liv is heading home for Christmas after a busy late shift at the hospital.
Fate intervenes and a stranger saves her from being critically hurt and he is not so lucky.
She stays in Dublin.
In the other parallel Liv does go home to Ballycove and her story is different yet some aspects the same,
Two paths which is the one for Liv and how will it end for her and her family.
The characters are well written and you cant help feel for Liv and yet wonder how she can be so blind to those around her.
Which will be the story of her life keeps those pages turning.
No matter which one On The First Day of Christmas it is a holiday book that is uplifting and yet sad.
Well worth the read and very intriguing.
Thanks to NetGalley and Head of Zeus, Aria for a page turning read.
This wasn't a Christmas story like I am used to reading, but it is a Christmas story, that is intriguing. Liv Latimer is a nurse, who lost her twin, and as she is leaving the hospital to go back home for Christmas with her family. In an instant she meets a stranger, and there is an accident. She has to decide to go to the hospital with the stranger or leaving him to the medics and leave to go home.
The decision she makes seems to change the course she has been on. She follows the path she is on, and we will see how her life changes, the things she discovers, and the choices she will have to make.
I received an ARC from Aria through NetGalley. It was an intriguing Christmas story, with love, kindness, being a nurse in a hospital during the Christmas holiday, the feelings that come over people during the holidays.
This is a real Christmas novel and full of charm and with plenty of emotions. I did wonder if this was going to be the book for me as the first few pages seemed confusing but I am glad that I continued to read. Lovely characters and well written and am giving this 4 stars. Only because it took those firstr pages to get into this otherwise it would have been 5.
Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for this ARC
What a lovely and heartwarming novel from Faith Hogan.
I’ll begin by saying that I didn’t realise the book was set in Ireland, although perhaps the name Ballycove did give my brain a little nudge! And once I realised the characters were Irish, I admit that the dialogue made a lot more sense to me! I absolutely love the charm of the Irish language and imagining Ballycove was magical. I can’t wait to read more from this series which is set here- although in saying that, reading this as a stand-alone novel really worked!
I found the plot intriguing and I wasn’t expecting it whatsoever. At first I was a little dubious, but the style actually worked very well and I found it easy to switch between ‘realities’. I was absolutely rooting for the main character and I only wish she had stuck up for herself more!!
The ending was somewhat ambiguous and I still don’t know if I fully understand it… in saying that, I really enjoyed the novel on a whole. A love story with magic!
A lovely Christmas read. I was a tad confused with this book, but after a few chapters you realize what’s going on. Each chapter has two different accounts of what happened, one if Liv stayed in Dublin and the other if she went home to her family in Ballycove.
Liv is a nurse and has just finished her shift before Christmas, she running for the bus when a man pulls her out of the way of a motorcycle. Sadly the man Finn ended up in hospital and Liv feels guilty. I personally didn’t take to Eddie (boyfriend), I think the author wants you to not like him though. He’s a man that never grew up and thinks Liv should do everything for him. Pete is lovely and so is all the other characters.
A great book for a cold, snowy afternoon. It made me feel happy and sad at times, but did read most with a smile on my face.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a copy for an honest review.
Lovely book. Haven't read this author before but will look out for more books. Liiv leaves work at hospital but then a tragedy happens.
This book was described in terms of 'Sliding Doors' and when I got into it I understood why. It's set in Eire and follows the main character Liv on two separate story arcs, however, the ending had an interesting twist. I enjoyed it so much, I finished it very quickly - always a good sign!
This is my fourth book by Faith Hogan and every one of them was a four-star read for me. This book was such a joy, think of it as a yuletide Sliding Doors in Ireland and I so loved that premise. There are two parallel storylines and Faith Hogan managed to keep them running side by side very smoothly. They were easy to decipher from each other because they were written in different fonts and the author used dinkus between each change.
I so enjoyed reading both versions of Liv and getting to know her. Seeing what happens during the two different roads she takes made for such an interesting read. I was really happy to see her come into her own in both versions, even if she takes different ways to get to the same conclusion. There are many surprises in this one but what I took from reading it is the fact that life is what you make it no matter the road you’re on.
Don’t be fooled by the title and lovely cover, this is not a light-hearted Christmas read but it is an intelligently written, thought-provoking book, with well-thought-out characters and a beautiful if a bit fantastical ending.
A beautiful story where Faith has written two outcomes alongside each other- excellent. I really enjoyed the way she told the story, wanting to read it in one sitting! It tells of Liv who’s twin has died leaving a big hole in her heart and their friend Pete. Looking forward to reading more novels by Faith.
This was an interesting concept for a novel - sort of like a Sliding Doors type of scenario. I liked the characters and the dual storyline was beautifully woven together to an emotional ending.
I enjoyed seeing Liv growing as a person throughout and i was rooting for her happing ending all throughout the book.
The settings sound idyllic and, with the wonderful character set, it made for a delightfully festive story.
Sliding doors theme. Parallel universes, one person, one decision changes Christmas for Liv.
Liv is a nurse and she lost her identical twin a number of years ago to cancer. Christmas Eve and Liv has just finished a late shift at the hospital, a stranger saves her from being hit by a motorcycle and he ends up in intensive care. In one life, Liv sees him safely into the hospital and then goes home from Dublin to Ballycove to spend Christmas with her family and waste of space boyfriend! In the other life she feels compelled to check that this guy who has saved her life is ok, so she picks up extra shifts at the hospital and visits him when she can.
Each chapter starts with the Liv who went back for her family Christmas, and then moves to the Liv who stayed in Dublin - a change in font shows the different parallel life.
Liv uncovers plots and schemes slightly differently in each life, but ends with similar conclusions. The book ends with the two worlds colliding in a dramatic way.
Really easy and engaging read, I loved it.
Why only four stars - I loved the ending but it felt a bit tangled and a number of story strands felt unfinished. But would highly recommend.
Very cleverly written, I have to admit that I was very confused at first but then realised it was a 'sliding doors' story, so essentially 2 different stories based on a decision the lead character made at a point in time. But the way the author brought together the two stories at the end was truly magical.
My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy.
As Liv finishes her shift at the hospital she’s looking forward to going home for the holidays.
But, she’s finding that she has to decide what to do all the time, decisions need to be made. What are these decisions and what will happen when she makes them?
The story was a bit confusing at times, with it told in two different ways. The author has done a fabulous job in writing the book and keeping to both storylines as she wrote the book, not something I managed that well.
A great 4 /5 star book. I did find it a bit confusing in places hence the 4/5 star rating. as the story gives 2 timeframes which after a while grows on you but you do need to focus. Liv is a nurse in Ireland who in one story doesn’t get home for Christmas because of an accident but in the other story does. In both the relationship with her boyfriend Eddie and best friend Pete plays out until the end when one plot is focussed on. The end I struggled with for a few pages as it was different and not what I was expecting. Thanks to Faith and her publishers. I would highly recommend this book. Thanks also to NetGalley.
The perfect novel for the festive season! Such a treat to read, wrapped in a blanket! I loved the story and characters, it truly warmed me!
This book warmed my heart ❤
At first wasn't sure what was going on confused me with the duo timelines.
But once you figure that out it's easy to read and get drawn into all the characters.
What I thought was going to happen didn't, but ended in such a heartfelt way that I don't think this book could have ended any better.
Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.
What a beautiful book!
Reminiscent of the poem The Road Not Taken, this book is told in two viewpoints representing a different path Liv could have taken. After being saved in a random street accident, Liv could decide to carry on with her holiday plans to visit her family, or stay near the person who saved her life, who was currently a patient in the same hospital where she works; the path she chooses determines how her life moves on. The two paths are published in different fonts to make them stand out from each other, although the first change was a little disconcerting, I quickly figured it out.
I enjoyed the books references to Ballycove, a location that the author has written about in prior books. Readers of those books will also recognize some names of Ballycove's residents. The description of the location, Liv's family, the sheep they raise and the quiet seaside life sounds perfect.
I appreciated Liv's growth throughout the book, in both paths. She finally comes to realizations about her life and makes good decisions. Even though the book happens around Christmas time I didn't feel this was really a Christmas book, despite the title.
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book, but my opinions are my own.
I am a big fan of Faith Hogan’s work, I have loved everyone I have read and was incredibly excited to read her latest, which also happens to be a Christmas book, and I am incredibly pleased to say that as always Faith has not disappointed this reader I am in awe of her intelligent and incredibly clever writing.
This is slightly different to what we have come to expect from the author, it’s pretty ingenious really. The story is two different parallel stories which run side by side, it does take a while to get used to how it’s written especially as the two parallel stories aren’t labelled or given separate chapters, but once I got used to jumping from one life into another I soon picked up the pattern and I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I think it would have been a little easier if the two ‘lives’ were either labelled or each had a separate chapter.
The two stories (or should that be; story?) are all about one woman; Liv, who on Christmas Eve saves a man’s life; Finn who is injured in a motorbike accident and this is where the story takes a very unique turn. Instead of going along the usual route of her going home, and getting up the next day for another long shift at the hospital her life is torn in two. Literally, in an unnerving chain of events, Liv is split in two. Not literally torn apart! But, we now witness as for some unknown reason is living two parallel lives; one where she goes about her day as she does every single day leaves work forgets about the man she saved and plods along in the usual routine. In the other life she stays to watch over the man, there is something about him that a part of her is drawn towards him, is that why her life has been split in two? This is all about the choices we make and have to make in life, Liv has to decide which route she is going to take.
I must give a wee warning, if you are reaching for this book in the hopes of it being a cheerful festive romance, then you may be a little disappointed as this is so much more than that. It’s got far more meat on the bone to be classed as light-hearted or a stereotypical whimsical Christmas story. This has raw emotion, a cleverly entwined story which will make the reader go through a whole mill of emotions, it’s thought-provoking, it’s surprising and tender but most of all it’s beautifully written.
I do think parts could be a little clearer as some readers may find the overall concept a little confusing especially, but I loved it. It’s such a unique and quite sentimental story of life uncertainties and I hope people do give this one a go!
An interesting idea for a story and one that once I’d got my head around the two simultaneous storylines I really enjoyed.
Liv’s story was an emotional one - the Sliding Doors concept always an intriguing idea to show the frailties in relationships and the truth about people you think you know.
Liv’s family were wonderfully supportive and her home on the farm sounded the perfect place to spend Christmas with the family.
What a beautiful, beautiful story, I enjoyed every single moment of this 'sliding doors' wonderful book, love, loss and new beginnings, more please!
The format of the book, with two scenarios in each chapter, had me confused at first. When I realised what was happening the book had me hooked. The premise keeps you racing to the end to find out what happens, an ending that was both happy and sad. I would recommend this book.
Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for the advance read of this book.
This is the second book ive read by Faith Hogan. It is set around Christmas time but its not necessarily a Christmas book. Two scenarios are set out in each chapter, If she had stayed in Dublin for Christmas and if she had gone home to Ballycove.I liked the way it was written, once I got used of looking out for the second scenario so it takes a bit of concentration. I look forward to reading more from this author. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Beautiful Christmas story with a magical twist. The ending…!
No problem with the formatting or getting into the alternate chapters. Happy to recommend to anyone . In fact, I already have.
Review will appear in my newspaper book column.
I have just this minute finished this wonderful story and had to write all my thoughts and feelings about it down while it was still fresh in my thoughts. I loved it, it was such a well-written story and quite an original. "sliding doors" storyline, where the same character has two different lives due to one decision and it takes her on two different paths, which merge at the end. I didn't find it hard to follow the two separate lives, although, I think some people might. The story caught my attention and kept it all the way through, it made me smile and become a little emotional at the end. This is such a sweet story with plenty of emotion and warmth on its page.
Liv is an A&E nurse and a chance encounter with Finn, who saves her from an accident changes her futures. I loved Liv and thought she was really stoic in both lives, dealing with everything that happened. The characters in this book are very well developed and believable.
The storylines are complex and do take some concentration to know which of Liv's lives you are reading about but it wasn't hard and didn't deflect from my enjoyment of the story at all. I would happily read this story again. The ending is unexpected and heartwarming. I would highly recommend this story and will now be looking out for more of this author's books to read.
Liv is hoping to spend Christmas in Ireland, with her family and boyfriend Eddie. However, when someone rescues her from a car accident and he needs treatment in hospital, she wants to be there to make sure he is alright.
I found the first chapters of the book slightly confusing as Liv goes between what she actually does at Christmas and a dream sequence. However, as the story unfolds, all becomes clear. Liv is a warm, friendly character, and this is a lovely, entertaining Christmas story about family, love, and relationships.
However, not very keen on the parallel story lines; they flip between what Liz actually did at Christmas, and what she wanted to do. It became confusing at times.
Two stories running in parallel, in one Liv makes it home for Christmas and in the other she doesn’t, the characters are the same, we dislike the boring and mean boyfriend with the infernal mother, we love the best friend and the sexy potential attraction! There is a little of the whimsical in the plot as the loss of Liv’s twin comes and goes. The ending is then out of the blue full of action, trauma and apparitions which comes across very oddly. A great story till the last ten pages that seem to be form another book with the rush to tie the whole thing with a bow.
I love Faith Hogan's books and this one did not disappoint! This isn't your typical Christmas story like other Christmas books, it is an intriguing read and keeps you interested through out as it features two parallel stories , giving me very sliding door vibes but based around Christmas time. This book does have elements of romance and loss but would have liked more Christmas elements. I finished this book very quickly which is always a good sign and would recommend if your interested in a different style Christmas book this year.
Huge thanks to netgalley and head of Zeus for sending me a copy of this arc in exchange for my honest review.
A great story with the 2 dimensions to it keeping you hooked and fighting for Liv and the right outsome. Heartbreaking at points but so beautiful.
It took me a little bit to get used to the way this was written, it's a sliding doors type read which is a little confusing at first but you soon get used to it, I really enjoyed this book, it got be into the festive spirit and it was beautifully written, I loved the unique story telling by the end and it was very uplifting and I was so invested in the characters. Highly recommend.
The most innovative,imaginative and thought provoking book I've read in a long time. It makes one question faith,spirituality and fate. Our lives spin on a moment's decision. .one second either way, one choice ,and we get a totally different outcome. It examines the cords that inextricably bind these loving twins; lifelong friendship and love and lifts the veil in this world to give us a peep into the next. The perfect Christmas read .
Ever wonder what would have happened if you had done something different?
Liv leaves work ready for her Christmas break with her long time boyfriend.
She is then involved in an accident and which ever way she turns it will have a life changing consequence for her.
I really enjoyed this. A lovely beautiful easy read. Written as two parallel storylines running side by side which are easy to decipher from each other due to being written in different fonts.
I liked reading both versions of Liv and getting to know her. All the characters are well written and add enjoyment to the story. You are easily drawn into all the characters lives in both scenarios. I couldn’t put it down.
It’s a emotional heartwarming story at Christmas time. Definitely recommend.
Thanks to NetGallery, Faith Hogan and Head of Zeus /Aria for a arc in exchange for an honest review.
This was a really different and very interesting read a book with a sliding doors theme so Liv who is main character is an A&E Nurse who has a life in Dublin and a life in a country town with her family and her boyfriend Eddie
Her two lives revolve around an accident that happens on Christmas Eve when a man pushes her out of the way and he ends up run over and in her hospital ward
Her whole life comes under the microscope her twins life Rachel before she died and how she would have wanted Liv to have enjoyed her life her best friend Pete who loved Rachel
It is a beautiful book to read and comes together wonderfully at the end left me with tears in my eyes
Faith Hogan is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. Her books are always so well written with really heartwarming and enjoyable stories that keep me engaged.
I loved the two paths we watch our main character Liv take after she is involved in an accident on Christmas Eve. It was a brilliant sliding doors story that explores how different decisions can impact the direction of our lives. I went through a range of emotions when reading this book and could not put it down. A thoroughly enjoyable, unique story that is quietly thought provoking and memorable!
All things Ballycove are becoming my guilty secret. If you asked if I read these books I’d say no! I like crime, but I loved this and I couldn’t put it down, nor other books set here by the author.
This is a clever read. It’s a sliding doors scenario about what happens after an accident when Liv leaves work on Christmas Eve. Told in alternating chapters, in one Liv goes home for Christmas to Ballycove in the other she stays in Dublin. In both her life is at a crossroads though she’s not really aware just how much. The different scenarios are cleverly marked by different fonts but I must admit I was glad I knew it was a sliding doors type of read from the off so I didn’t get confused.
It’s a lovely read with believable characters who I became very invested in and the perfect juxtaposition to my crime reads. I’m already looking forward to the next book so I can catch up with the going’s on in Ballycove
When Liv Latimer says goodbye to her fellow nurses and finishes work for the holidays, she's looking forward to a Christmas to remember with her boyfriend Eddie.
But as she leaves the hospital, tragedy strikes and Liv is faced with a choice. Will she ignore her instincts and go home as planned? Or will she stay, and potentially change the course of her life as she knows it?
Whatever choice she makes, Liv is about to discover that fate finds a way...
Just lovely, everything a Christmas book should be! 🎄🎄🎄
Liv's identical twin sister Rachel dies & she tries to get on with her life. The story is based around events at Christmas with two different paths taken by Liv, which one is the real one & which one is fantasy?
A wonderful look at Liv's life & how it could work out from both scenarios.
I liked Liv, I wanted the best for her.
I seem to be going through a bit of an Irish phase at the moment. This is my second consecutive book set there and I'm currently watching the very unpredictable Bad Sisters on Apple TV. You may have read Faith's earlier bestseller - The Ladies' Midnight Swimming Club - and if you enjoyed that you are in for a real treat here. I love a good Christmas story and every October as soon as the nights start drawing in I give myself permission to seek out the festive fiction. The best way to describe On the First Day of Christmas is to say that it has a bit of a Sliding Doors vibe, if you remember the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie there are two versions of the story running in tandem that vary because of one decision at the start.
Liv Latimer finishes her shift in the Emergency Department of a busy Dublin hospital. It is Christmas Eve and she is looking forward to going home to her family in Ballycove. She has a feeling that her longtime boyfriend Eddie is going to propose to her so it feels like it is going to be a special Christmas. As she waits to cross the road at the traffic lights she reaches out to press the button at the same time as the man next to her. Their fingers touch and she gets an electric shock. As she starts to cross the road a motorbike appears out of nowhere at high speed. She feels the man push her out of the way and then there is a sickening screech of metal on the road. Dazed, she climbs to her feet and stares at the the broken biker in the road and the man who had saved her life.
Later, back at the hospital, the timeline splits out into a version where Liv sees that her rescuer is safe in hospital and decides to go home for Christmas as planned and another where she stays on in Dublin to make sure that the man who has saved her life is out of danger. Whatever choice that she makes Liv is about to find out that fate will intervene and change her world forever.
I really enjoyed reading this story about family and love and friendships. It can be quite an emotional read as it deals extensively with grief but it is a real life-affirming tale filled with joy as well. My only criticism is that the book has more days between Christmas and New Year than actually exist but its a small price to pay! Suspend your disbelief and allow yourself to be drawn into this Irish family Christmas, you won't regret it!
Supplied by Net Galley, Aria and Head Of Zeus in exchange for an honest review.
Well, I think the fact that I finished this book in one day says it all, I couldn't put it down! It was a real page turner, with two 'what if' storylines running together, as people have said like the film 'Sliding Doors'.
Liv is a nurse who is about to go home for Christmas, but after a close call with a motorcycle where a stranger next to her saves her by throwing himself in front of her, things split into the two stories. One where Liv stays with Finn in the hospital and in Dublin, and the other where she sees Finn settled in the hospital but then goes back to her family for Christmas in Ballycove (the scene of other Faith Hogan books).
There are various dramas going on throughout the book. Liv lost her twin sister, Rachel, to cancer a few years ago, but is still best friends with Rachel's best friend, Pete, and they are very close. Liv also has a boyfriend, Eddie, that she feels may be about to propose. So she's sort of looking forward to the proposal, but also isn't sure why she has a niggling feeling about it.
You do have to concentrate a bit as it flips between both stories, but in completely different segments. I did get slightly confused towards the end where both stories finally intersected, but I figured it out! I really didn't know what was going to happen until right at the end, and admittedly I did shed a few tears. I can't ruin the story and say what happened, but it's sad and happy... and I still didn't really expect it! You will definitely have to read the book to find out what happened... another 5-star read for me by Faith Hogan.
Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher. Although I am not a Xmas person at all I actually really enjoyed this book. I liked the characters and the storyline.
I always enjoy a touch of serendipity and a twist of the unexpected, and this story set at Christmas time has both. Liv, an A&E nurse, is looking forward to going home for Christmas when she is saved from death by a stranger. She can follow two paths; this book charts them with deft characterisation, emotion and twists.
Immersed in both stories, I enjoyed them, and the ending is magical.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Another delightful book by Faith. This has been a refreshing and enjoyable read, which I found emotional in some parts.
A love story , set around Christmas. Certainly an entertaining read, though the realms of reality are stretched slightly at times ( nurses working hours ) . Liv's story is told in two different ways, stemming from the decision to return home to her parents for Christmas or not. Often both sides told within a chapter so I found I had to reset that particular version in my head... not sure either when they came together or if they do ?
The baddies were nasty, the friends nice, as it should be. LOts of typos in my version, which was irritating, but a light and fairly enjoyable read.
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review
An interesting and gripping story, the book begins with 2 different versions of events. We are left wondering which is the actual turn of events and which one is happening in the alternative universe.
A 'Sliding Doors' theme as the story follows Liv, a nurse, through 2 different outcomes of her life following an accident just before her festive holiday. This Christmas story had me feeling so much emotion throughout.
Liv has an adorable relationship with her best friend, Pete and a very close relationship with her parents giving all the feels required of a Christmas story.
There is a theme of love and loss, sprinkled with humour throughout. The author has written very cleverly and created the most spellbinding ending, capturing the love of twins, and wrapped a warm blanket around my heart.
It was lovely to return to Ireland, to Ballycove and to Dublin. Although this is set around Christmas, with references to many of the festive touches, it is not all sparkle and tinsel in the story. It has a definite 'sliding doors' feeling, with two stories running in parallel, both centred around Liv and her friends and family. Liv's twin sister has died some time in the past and she has struggled to carry on, at times, going through the motions. As the two stories develop, you see her working through her present situation and there emerges a definite feeling of hope for the future and grasping every opportunity.
There is quite a range of characters in both stories. Not all of them are likeable and at times, you want to shake Liv and urge her to wise up. Desperate for her own happy, family life, she has been in danger of settling for second best. Liv's family in Ballycove are well aware of this and you can sense their frustration with her. However, you can see how such a kind and caring person has come about, when you see her family. I did find the parallel stories quite confusing at times and had to keep checking which story thread the chapter belonged to. However, for the most part, they stayed distinct and I appreciated how the final events came about.
In short: your future is in the stars
It is Christmas Eve and nurse Liv Latimer is looking forward to heading home to Ballycove, on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, to spend some time with her family for the holiday. She is sure that this will be a very special one too, as she is convinced that her boyfriend Eddie will finally be asking her to marry him.
But as Liv leaves the hospital, she is involved in an incident that leaves her with a choice. Should she head home as planned, or stay behind in Dublin and follow the pull of destiny that is tugging at her?
What could be nicer that a story that takes you back to glorious Ballycove, where it is always like being among old friends? Well, how about a story that takes place in Ballycove at Christmas? Now you are talking! But this is also an unusual Ballycove story, because in On the First Day of Christmas Faith Hogan works the cleverest of Christmas magic, making it a Dublin tale in equal measure by following the Sliding Doors principle, with two parallel story lines that diverge at a fateful moment in time.
When nurse Liv Latimer leaves work on Christmas Eve, with her head full thoughts of a comforting break with her family, and the flutter of excitement at the prospect of a hoped-for marriage proposal, something happens that splits the potential course of her life into two paths. In one she continues on to Ballycove and the family reunion she has been looking forward to, and in the other she follows her instincts and stays in Dublin. It is really difficult to talk about either of the timelines without giving the game away, which I really do not want to do, but suffice to say that both offer Liv a chance to reflect on where life has brought her, but in different ways. In true Sliding Doors style, things are not always as they appear at first sight, and it is hard to tell which timeline will ultimately prove to be the one that offers Liv the happiness she has been looking for since the tragic death of her twin sister Rachel - although in both the prospect of marriage to her hopeless boyfriend Eddie, and the resulting horror of a mother-in-law, is not something to be wished for.
It is surprisingly easy to keep track of the parallel stories in the text as they are helpfully printed in different fonts, and they swap back and forth to build up a picture of what fate holds for Liv in each one. Many of the same characters crop up in both - notably Eddie and his awful mother Barbara, Liv's parents and younger sister Maya, and Liv's best friend Pete with his deceitful girlfriend Anya in tow, with name drops for some familiar faces you might know if you have spent any time in Ballycove too. As each separate storyline unfurls, they flip back and forth more frequently, which builds pace, and this ratchets up the suspense until they come crashing together in the most unexpected manner.
There are so many things I love about this book, including the delicious way Hogan keeps where her real intentions lie hidden until the climax of the story. As in all her books, this one revolves around the trials and tribulations, the hopes and dreams, that we can all relate to about family, friendship, loss, and the pivotal decisions that we make. She has such a talent for working these themes through to heart-warming, bittersweet conclusions, so it is not a surprise that the same is true of this story. But there is also an extra dimension here that makes the absolute best of the magic that comes with a tale set at Christmas, by weaving in the enchanting whisper of a supernatural guiding hand from Liv's late sister Rachel to ensure everything works out the way it should.
I adored this book. The way Hogan uses the idea of 'the road not taken' is so moving, and I was really struck with her use of green and gold to tie Liv and Rachel together. This story made me laugh, it made me cry, and it even made me angry at times (Eddie, Barbara and Anya I am looking pointedly at you here!). I ran the gauntlet of emotions very much as I expected from one of Hogan's books, finishing with a heart that was full, and many tears shed - and I would not have changed a thing. What an excellent book to get the festive reading season underway!
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