Book Review: Every Time a Bell Rings by Carmel Harrington #EveryTimeABellRings #BookReview #Christmas #MagicalRealism

Title: Every Time a Bell Rings
Author: Carmel Harrington
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Date: November 19th, 2015
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): An angel gets its wings…

Belle has taken all the Christmas decorations down. This year they won’t be celebrating.

As foster parents, Belle and Jim have given many children the chance of a happier start in life. They’ve loved them as if they were their own. They shouldn’t have favourites but little Lauren has touched their hearts. And now her mother is well enough to take her back and Belle can’t bear the loss.

Hence, Christmas is cancelled.

So when Jim crashes his car one icy December night, after an argument about Lauren, Belle can only blame herself. Everything she loves is lost. And Belle finds herself standing on The Ha’Penny Bridge wishing she had never been born.

But what happens to a Christmas wish when an angel is listening…

Will Belle realise, before it’s too late, that her life is the most wonderful life of all?

Inspired by the timeless tale of beloved Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Carmel Harrington’s next book tells the story of Belle, a young woman and foster carer from Dublin who faces the hardest decision of her life this Christmas on The Ha’Penny Bridge.

Full of Irish charm, magic, and the warmth of the festive season this is an emotional, heartwarming story that will stay with you long after you’ve reached ‘The End’. Perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern & Jojo Moyes.

Review:

Trigger warning: This book talks about child loss.

Every Time a Bell Rings was on my wishlist for the longest time, and this year I decided to grant my wish and bought myself a nice paperback to start a festive season. It was my first Christmas read of 2018 and I am so glad I chose this novel to be the one, because I loved it so much.

Fist advice that I’d give to everyone who wants to read it is to avoid synopsis on the back (or on Goodreads, and yeah, I know I am guilty of pasting those here) because they give too much away.

The story follows Belle and Jim from their early age. We get to see their lives trough years, and most of the events we see happen’ around Christmases.

The story talks about fostering and it manly focuses on this topic, showing us what it’s like to be foster child but also what it’s like to be foster parent. Because of that factor, I can say that I learned a lot about something I knew very little about.

From all the serious subjects this story brings, there is one particular that can be triggering (I mentioned it in the trigger warning) and that is just heartbreaking.

After something like two thirds of the book we get to see the heart of the story, as dash of magical realism plays it’s part.
When I reached that part, the Christmas Spirit really hit me hard, filled my heart with joy and made me want to celebrate life.
I understand my words may sound like exaggerating to you, but if you(‘ll) read the story, you(‘ll) probably get them.

The writing style was really good. The novel is written in first person, from Belle’s POV.

The cover is so beautiful and eye catching, and it was the first thing that caught my attention, but after reading the book I do have one comment, a thing I’d like to be different.
Belle represents POC, she is black, so I wish the girl on the cover was black too. I wish they showed her curly hair because it was mentioned more then few times in the story.

As you could conclude from my words, this book represents diversity, because main character is POC and it also talks about fostering.

In the end, I just want to mention that my copy of the novel has an interview with Carmel Harrington in it, and I really enjoyed reading her words, hearing her say she believes in angels and where her idea came from.

I’d recommend this novel to readers who’d like to read something to put them into Christmas Spirit, but don’t hesitate when it comes to books with more serious topics.

6 Comments

  1. This sounds like a different kind of festive read. It’s nice to find a festive read that talks about serious topics but good that it is also heartwarming.
    A little strange about the cover girl, but it is a beautiful cover.
    Amanda xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I agree. And if it wasn’t a beautiful cover, I probably wouldn’t notice it right away, as I did when I joined blogging community.
      The cover is really one of the most important aspects of the product, when we take a book for example. But it could be a beautiful cover if it looked the same but with black girl in the centre.

      Like

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