Author: Kiley Dunbar
Published: September 2019 by Hera
Category: Festive, Romance, Contemporary, Fiction, Book Review
Sylvie Magnusson is going to be lonely this Christmas. Instead of jetting off for her honeymoon, she’s freezing at home in Cheshire. Guess that’s what happens when your fiancé dumps you a week before your wedding…
I reckon Sylvie had a lucky escape when Cole dumped her a week before their wedding. I’m not sure how she stuck with him during their ten year engagement, to be honest, especially given his behaviour and with what would have been the mother-in-law from hell. But still, Sylvie didn’t relish the prospect of a miserable Christmas alone instead of honeymooning in newly wedded bliss on Mauritius.
Unable to get a refund after leaving it until the last minute, best friend Nari saves the day with the idea of a transfer to ‘Santa’s Enchanted Lapland.’ Sylvie chooses the resort of Saariselkä, not altogether unselfishly as she remembered Stellan, her first boyfriend who she had thought was ‘The One’, and knowing he lived there. When Stellan left her and went back home without a word, Sylvie always wondered why. Perhaps now, at last, she could find out…
He left early, at the beginning of December, right in the middle of the winter exams, and I carried on at uni alone, without him. I missed him so much. I just couldn’t understand why he’d disappeared like that.
The story is told mostly from Sylvie’s first person perspective, interspersed with other third person points of view, giving a greater understanding of each well drawn character’s thoughts and feelings. There’s obviously been a lot of research undertaken and I appreciated how Kiley Dunbar worked Finnish and Sámi traditions and culture into the narrative.
Sylvie is easy to identify with, the knock backs she’s had making her doubt herself but buoyed up by Nari, a confident, independent and seasoned travel blogger who loves her lifestyle. The friendship between the two is lovely. Stellan and Niilo, the reindeer herdsman at the resort and Stellan’s business partner as well as best friend, are perfect for the male leads and couldn’t be more different.
After reading this, I really want to spend a Christmas in Lapland, specifically at Frozen Falls (please don’t tell me it’s a fictional place!) The descriptions are magical—the snow, the modes of travel, the guest cabins and glass bedrooms with an unobstructed view of the night sky, hot chocolate in front of a roaring fire, sleigh rides…not forgetting the gorgeous husky pups, one in particular.
A lovely story of self discovery and second chances in a wonderfully vivid and Chrismassy setting.
I chose to read and review Christmas at Frozen Falls based on an advanced reader ecopy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
About the Author
Kiley is Scottish and lives in England with her husband, two kids and Amos the Bedlington Terrier. She writes around her work at a University in the North of England where she lectures in English Literature and creative writing. She is proud to be a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a graduate of their New Writers’ Scheme.