Title: A Winter Beneath the Stars
Author: Jo Thomas
Publisher: Headline Review
Date: November 29th, 2018
Format: Physical ARC
Source: from Publisher for a review
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Escape to snowy Sweden in the gorgeous new novel from the author of Late Summer in the Vineyard and Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard. Fans of Jill Mansell and Milly Johnson will love this unforgettable winter story from Jo Thomas.
Halley has been running from her problems for years.
On a courier trip to Tallfors, deep in Swedish Lapland, everything is going to plan. Halley has her bag, with two precious wedding rings inside for delivery… until she doesn’t.
The only way to save the wedding is to team up with mysterious reindeer herder Bjorn, the one person who can lead her across the snowy tundra to be reunited with her bag.
On a journey of a lifetime beneath the stars, with only the reindeer and a bad-tempered stranger for company beside the fire, Halley realises that she will need to confront her past heartaches in order to let the warmth of love in once more…
If you follow me for a while, you know that year 2018 will be remembered in my reading life as a year I discovered Jo Thomas. So far I read three of her books and loved them all. Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard made me fall in love with Thomas’ writing and made me want to read everything she wrote, while The Olive Branch won my heart completely and is now one of my all time favorite books.
I can’t even tell you how happy I was when I got A Winter Beneath the Stars unsolicited in my mailbox (thanks to wonderful Becky Hunter). I read it immediately because I didn’t want to wait, but I’m writing my review 1,5 months after finishing the book, so please forgive me if it’s not the best one.
The most important thing is that I really, really liked (loved it actually) it and that if you love funny chick lit stories, you will too.
The story follows Halley who has a job to deliver important wedding rings in Sweden. Things get complicated when her bag is switched in the airport, and now she has to find a guy who’s bag she got with hope that the rings are still in the bag and that her job will be successfully completed.
When I say I really, really liked the book, I mean that I loved it, but I wasn’t in love with it. I appreciate the story and it is obvious that the author put so much effort into researching.
However, I feel like I have never clicked with our main character Halley on the level that I’d like, nor did I like our male character Bjorn. Somehow he was dislikeable.
Other than that, Winter Beneath the Stars was really fun to read. I liked getting to know Swedish Lapland and the (few) people who live in that side of the world, as I have never been there nor do I know anyone from there.
Some parts were filled with so much snow and the only thing that was happening was our main characters talking or thinking something to themselves, while sleigh riding and coordinating dogs.
So if I’m being honest, at some point I lose my orientation and forgot for how long we were riding with our characters.
There were two twists or surprises in the story, but I figured them out before they were revealed. I can’t tell you if the reason for that is because the plot was predictable or maybe I would write the story the same way if I was a writer.
Whatever it is, I just want to stress out that I didn’t mind the predictability.
The story is written in first person, from Halley’s POV, but it also has some (small) parts written in third person.
A Winter Beneath the Stars is Jo Thomas’ first winter novel but I hope it won’t be the last, because it brightened my mood when I was reading it, and I am really looking forward to read her other work.
I feel like this author is the one I’ll always like to come back to.
If you’re looking for a light and fun novel to read during winter, look no further: A Winter Beneath the Stars is the one for you!