Published: 20th October 2016
Thirty-eight year old Emily has a satisfying job, fab friends and, most importantly, a wonderful flat, exactly 411 miles away from the judgemental, crazy, interfering family she reluctantly sees twice a year. In fact, the only minor stress in her life is her twenty-something neighbour Evan and his penchant for flirting, loud music and even louder sex… but he’s nothing she can’t handle.Emily also has a boyfriend called Robert and it’s going really well. So well, in fact, that this year Emily is hoping to take him home for Christmas to meet her family. Finally she won’t be subject to five days of nosy questions from her parents and pity looks from her younger married siblings.But when Robert breaks up with her a week before Christmas, Emily is gutted. How on earth is she going to face her family now? Enlisting the help of party boy Evan (in exchange for one month’s rent and the use of her convertible) Emily is determined to take Robert home for Christmas come hell or high water, even if it isn’t the real Robert…
Thank you to Quercus for kindly sending me a review copy.
The amusing narrative begins with Emily, a Scottish thirty-something high school teacher in London, informing her Mum that she has finally found a boyfriend and to her utter shock, her Mum would like to meet him: over Christmas. Despite Robert (the boyfriend) agreeing to Emily’s festive idea, a spanner is soon thrown into the works and it certainly was a plot twist. Oh how I’d hate to be in Emily’s shoes..
“And then I hear him. I hear him and it hits me like a freight train, knocking the breath from my body and the heart from my chest. It takes me a moment to find the words I need.”
With Robert out of the picture, Emily and Evan come to some sort of arrangement for operation ‘pretend to be my boyfriend for four days.’ I really liked these two characters simply because they immediately made me laugh with their banter and the constant need to wind one another up. As they settled down into Christmas in Scotland, I found myself to be completely absorbed in the narrative and the funny parts of the book really did make me chuckle. Despite Evan and Emily pretending to be a couple, they were very well suited and Joanna wrote their partnership rather brilliantly – if these two don’t get together, I won’t eat pigs in blankets on Christmas Day..
“I’m glad someone has finally invented a bowl of tea; it’s been long overdue.”
The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year was absolutely brilliant. From start to finish, I felt highly invested in Emily’s life and how she managed to go from feeling like an old flump to enjoying life no matter the age gap. The plot itself was hilarious; Joanna never fails to make me laugh with her classic one liners. If you’re looking for an amusing book to read before Christmas, grab a tub of chocolates and a big mug of tea as this is the one for you.