Snowflakes On Christmas Street by Ivy Pembroke ~ ‘Take a trip to the most charming street in town’ #BookReview

Author: Ivy Pembroke

Published: October 2017 by Sphere

Category: Contemporary Fiction, Christmas, Romance, Book Review

On a little street in a big city, everything is changing

Bill has lived on Christmas Street since he was a young man. He’s seen families come and go, watched children grow up… Now he wants to be left alone.

Everything seven-year-old Teddy loves is in America. But his widowed father, Sam, has brought them both back to England to be closer to their family. Sam’s one wish is for Teddy to be happy again.

Bill Hammersley has lived on Christmas Street for ever. Bill remembers fondly when it was a friendly street and people knew and understood each other and he doesn’t like the way things have changed. But things have changed and now there’s little to no interaction or sense of community between the neighbours. Bill has become more and more stubborn and solitary, with no visitors apart from Jack.

Jack, known by the residents as the street dog, had been left behind when the previous owners of the house next door to Bill had moved away. So Jack had made the street his home, dividing his time between each of the houses. And now, yet more new people were moving into the street. And right next door to Bill. Single father Sam Bishop has brought his eight year old son, Teddy, home to England after living in America for some time, and Teddy is homesick. He doesn’t understand why he’s been uprooted from his home and transported to a strange place where he doesn’t know anyone, except his aunt and cousins who live nearby. But when he meets Jack things don’t seem quite so bad. 

Teddy reached a hand out cautiously and patted the dog’s head. It wagged its tail more furiously.

Teddy realised he was smiling and admitted, ‘Well. I guess you’re not so bad.’

The dog tipped its head so it could lick Teddy’s hand.

‘Everything else here is stupid, though,’ Teddy said, just to make sure the dog understood that. ‘Like that stupid tree. I don’t even think that tree is big enough for a treehouse. Mom built me such a great treehouse back home. We couldn’t build one in that tree even if Dad wasn’t totally useless when it comes to that stuff.’

Snowflakes on Christmas Street is a character driven story, written in the third person and centring around Sam and Teddy. Short sections making up each chapter, coming from various characters points of view, keep the story moving and gives an insight into each of the residents of the street, as we see how they live and their family situations. It could be a street in any large town or city, the characters are well defined and very true to life, a real mix of nationalities and personalities. 

The story begins with Sam and Teddy’s arrival in Christmas Street during the summer, so not too Christmassy at all, with Bob, their plastic Pink Flamingo, who Teddy plonks down in the rose bed. Bill was less than enthusiastic, he doesn’t approve of Bob or the noise the workmen made during essential renovations. 

It takes Sam’s efforts to put himself out there, in order to make friends and pave the way for his son’s happiness. Aided and abetted in no small way by Jack, they bring about a real change on Christmas Street, despite a shaky start. There’s drama, romance and I enjoyed the peek into the lives and interactions of the neighbours, how they come round to the idea of community, accept and embrace each other regardless of cultural and racial differences. A well developed and enjoyable cast of characters in a very uplifting story.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

I chose to read and review Snowflakes on Christmas Street based on a copy of the book supplied by NetGalley and the author/publisher.

Ivy Pembroke is a law professor who specializes in copyright and trademark law, with a focus on fanfiction. An enthusiastic writer all her life, she loves the backspace button, overuses italics in emails with friends, and thinks there is little better than a story that makes you smile. She splits her time between Mississippi and her home state of Rhode Island.

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