Friday, 2 December 2011
Review of Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan
Christmas at Tiffany's begins with loyal, kind main character Cassie who experiences every girls worst nightmare when her marriage falls apart. Luckily for her, it happens just as her three oldest and best friends are visiting - a rare occasion in that they each live in the coolest capitals in the world - New York, Paris and London! Kelly, Anouk and Suzy immediately take charge of Cassie's life. Soon Cassie finds herself being whisked of to New York by Kelly and the plan is in motion. The three friends decide that, for the following year, they will each take Cassie under their wing in a year long trial. Four months in each capital where Cassie will have the chance to transform her life each time.
I loved this book from start to finish. At first I wondered if perhaps it would be too in-your-face inspiring with the main character constantly jetting off to different world famous locations, starting anew constantly each time. But, Karen Swan tackled this issue perfectly to make sure it wasn't too overwhelming. This book had a very strong storyline and I was unable to stop reading. I was constantly interested in discovering the twists and turns to Cassie's new life(s) as the book progressed. I was fascinated at how honest and realistic this book was though. It definitely gave the message that its definitely fun to take charge and start anew - moving city, changing jobs, getting a new haircut - but if you do it too often, it takes its toll on you! It was in supporting character Henry that Cassie found the voice of reason - it was his character that explained that it's not just about transforming your life, its about trying new things and finding out what does and what certainly doesn't work. In short, the message behind this book was inspiring and obvious. It was delightfully honest, simply explaining that whatever you change on the outside doesn't always necessary change what's on the inside - but it's always fun to try!
I loved all of the characters in this book as well. With three best friends as supporting characters, it would have been easy to get confused. However, each character was introduced so well in the first chapter that the differences between them all - which made them work well as a group - were obvious. As well with Cassie staying with each friend individually it meant that it was rare that as a group all four of them overlapped which meant it wasn't confusing or overwhelming at all. As you read you get to learn more about each character in turn as does Cassie. Just like Cassie - although they are her closest friends - she feels like she has been out of sync with them for so long so it is almost like she is getting to know them all over again.
I would say that I got a bit confused in some parts of the story where dinner parties were held as these parts obviously involved a lot of chapters. I did find myself going back and re-reading pages a few times. However I think this does depend on how you are reading the book. In most instances I was reading the book curled up in bed at home but also during short breaks at work which meant that in some of these chapters I was putting the book down half way through and coming back to it which meant I was easily distracted. I did find that when I took some time to myself and read said parts where there were quite a few characters, as long as I took my time (I tend to speed through books!) I was fine.
The character of Cassie was really lovable - she was very kind and loyal but was also very open minded and fun. It was really easy to like her character. I adored the love interest too - the way their relationship developed throughout the book was really interesting. It happened so slow that you almost didn't realize it was happening and the build up was really great.
I was also really happy at the size of this book. This book was almost a good 600 pages long which meant it really lasted. I loved that, I am so used to reading books that are smaller. It was a pleasant change to really take my time with this book and knowing that no matter how eager I was to know how it ended, I took my time.
I would recommend this book to anyone this Christmas. I don't feel it's a particularly Christmas book - although some parts of the story take place at Christmas - the story takes place over a full year so I would say you can read this at any point without feeling guilty about reading what seems to be a Christmas book not at Christmas! However, who can beat reading a book snuggled up in the warmth at Christmas anyway? Finally I really loved all the messages behind the book about going for what you want and not being afraid and the realistic suggestion that transforming yourself is always fun but it only works if you work to change the problems that are on the inside too.
I give this book 5/5 stars!