#Blogmas Review of The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews

Published: 7th August 2014
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 448

Blurb:

Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she’s grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can’t keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn’t have time for is romance – until she meets the company’s rising star, Josh Wallace.

Louise usually says no to evenings out but she’s decided to let her hair down tonight. It’s the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she’s looking forward to some champagne and fun. She’s completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party – until she’s pulled into those games herself…

Review:

Thank you to Little Brown for kindly sending me a review copy.

Before I began reading the book, I noticed that the blurb was extremely captivating and quite possibly, the best one I’ve ever read. The narrative begins on the day of the party (23rd December) when everyone is at work. Louise is attempting to decorate her office whilst discussing her creepy boss, Tyler with a colleague. I was instantly drawn into the plot and was excited to see where it would lead.

“She’s accumulated so much Christmas stuff over the years, there’s barely room for the humans once she gets it all out.”

Early on, we hear of the struggles which Louise faced as a single mother and I did hope that readers would have the chance to be invited into that part of her life and thankfully, we were. Reading about how excited Mia was for Christmas put a smile on my face. The dramatic dynamics of the plot really were the best part. It built up and up and up throughout the party and I was on the edge of my seat whilst reading. The outcome of it all was what I expected, but nevertheless, I still enjoyed it very much.

I only found one tiny fault with the book and that was the point of view narratives. Louise, the main character, had all of her chapters in first person so it was “I did this, I did that” whereas the other chapters about the other characters were “he did this, she did that.” For me personally, I’m not a big fan of narrative change within tenses but to my surprise, it didn’t really put me off. Every now and then, I noticed it yet wasn’t affected.

The Christmas Party ended in fear, sadness, new beginnings and hope. I found that with Lance’s narrative, the ending was cut really short – what happened to him? You’ll know what I mean when you’ve read the book.

“All things considered, that was one hell of a Christmas party.”

Twitter: @carolemattews
Website: www.carolematthews.com

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