Today’s Team Review is from Jessie she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com
Jessie has been reading An Off-Piste Christmas by Julie Houston
Lets just start off with a definition of “off-piste” because I’ll admit I had no idea what the title of this book (novella really) was referring to.
Google to the rescue!
away from prepared ski runs.“challenging expanses of off-piste skiing”
so as to deviate from what is conventional, usual, or expected.“on this occasion I went off-piste and booked in at The Griffin, a place none of us had ever visited before.”
I know there are people out there who always want their books to be really realistic and not all convenient with enough happily ever afters to go around.
I’m totally not that person.
I like happy endings, I like Christmas, I like this book (err- novella).
Actually, I love Christmas but it is also the part of the year that we spend lots of time with our family. Time where you look around and think that they are all crazy and you wonder how anything, much less everything is going to work out. (Sorry family.)
But then! Then, you read a book like this fine novella and think- “Well, her daughter is dating her best friend’s previous lover and father of her baby and they are all going on a fancy schmancy Christmas skiing trip in Italy together, even though she hates skiing and it all works out for them,” my totally normal family will be fine.
Would I recommend it? It’s goofy and funny and crazy and scandalous and *spoiler alert* ends happily. While I know there are scrooges out there who don’t approve of such things, I thought it was an excellent quick (Did I mention it was a novella? You can totally fit in in your reading schedule this month!) Christmas read!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!
The last thing Harriet Westmoreland wants is Christmas away from home, particularly when skiing, snow, heights and freezing her backside off are on the menu. While her own family, together with her best friend Grace’s, are soon whizzing down ridiculously high and scary mountains in the fashionable Italian resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Harriet is stuck in the remedial class on the nursery slopes unable, it seems, to remain vertical.
Tired of trying to stay upright in the dunces’ class, Harriet decides to overcome her fear of heights and take her bruised body off to explore the refugios in the magnificent Dolomites above Cortina. And maybe catch a glance of George Clooney, rumoured to be in town… But what happens next triggers a totally unexpected avalanche of events which proves that, for friends Harriet and Grace and all their families, Christmas really is a time for little miracles…
About the author
Julie Houston is Yorkshire born and bred. She lives in Huddersfield where her novels are set and her only claims to fame are that she taught at ‘Bridget Jones’ author Helen Fielding’s old school and she was rescued by Frank Bough when, many years ago, she was ‘working as a waitress in a cocktail bar’ at the Kensington Hilton in London.
After University, where she studied Education and English Literature, she taught for many years as a junior school teacher. As a newly qualified teacher, broke and paying off her first mortgage, she would spend every long summer holiday working on different Kibbutzim in Israel. After teaching for a few years she decided to go to New Zealand to work and taught in Auckland for a year before coming back to this country.
She now teaches just a couple of days a week but still loves the buzz of teaching junior-aged children. She has been a magistrate for the last fifteen years, and, when not distracted by ebay, genealogy (so time consuming but so interesting – she recently discovered her husband is descended from the poet Shelley and the Duke of Milan!!) and crosswords, she spends much of her time writing.
Julie is married, has a twenty-one-year-old son and eighteen-year-old daughter and a mad cockatoo called Lincoln. She runs and swims because she’s been told it’s good for her, but would really prefer a glass of wine, a sun lounger and a jolly good book.