Title: The Christmas Party
Author: Karen Swan
Published: October 29th 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
When Declan Lorne, the last remaining knight in Ireland, dies suddenly, an ancient title passes with him. But his estate on Ireland’s rugged south-west coast is left to his three daughters. The two eldest, Ottie and Pip, inherit in line with expectations, but to everyone’s surprise – and dismay – it is the errant baby of the family, Willow, who gets the castle.
Why her? Something unknown – something terrible – made her turn her back on her family three years earlier, escaping to Dublin and vowing never to return. So when Willow quickly announces she is selling up, her revenge seems sweet and the once-close sisters are pushed to breaking point: in desperation, Pip risks everything to secure her own future, and Ottie makes a decision that will ruin lives. It’s each woman for herself.
Before moving in, Connor Shaye, the prospective new owner, negotiates throwing a lavish party at the castle just days before Christmas – his hello, their goodbye. But as their secrets begin to catch up with them, Ottie, Willow and Pip are forced to ask themselves which is harder: stepping into the future, or letting go of the past?
‘The last knight of Ireland may be dead. But his legacy was his love.’
The Sunday Times bestselling author of sixteen novels, Karen Swan, has released her annual festive holiday themed novel, The Christmas Party. A story of the bonds of family, sibling relations, loss, long held secrets, the past and the future, The Christmas Party is an engaging new novel from the queen of holiday fiction.
The Christmas Party begins on a sad note, the last knight of Ireland passes away, leaving his family, his title and estate behind. Following this shock loss, the Lorne family contends with succession rights, inheritance distribution and changed responsibilities. When the last in line to inherit the Lorne family title is issued with the estate, it comes as quite the shock. The three Lorne sisters must face up to new challenges and past hurts if they are to move on with their lives. When an opportunity arises to send off their beloved family castle with the ultimate Christmas party celebration, the Lornes cannot resist. But in the lead up to this massive celebration, long held secrets and the past rises to the surface, causing plenty of tension. The Lorne family are confronted with a difficult bind, they must say goodbye to the past, in order to embrace the future.
The Christmas period just wouldn’t be the same without a new Karen Swan festive themed release. True to tradition, Karen Swan has released The Christmas Party, just in time for the 2019 yuletide period. For those who are looking for the perfect holiday read to be enjoyed over the extended Christmas break, look no further than The Christmas Party – or any of Karen Swan’s backlist titles, such as Christmas at Tiffany’s, The Christmas Lights and The Christmas Secret.
Swan takes her readers to the green hills of Ireland for her latest holiday sojourn. We meet the Lorne family, who have recently suffered from the shock loss of the patriarch of their family, who is also the last knight of Ireland. As the family works through their grief in different ways, each must confront personal challenges and overcome setbacks in their lives. The most difficult of all being the destruction of their family estate and inheritance rights of the remaining Lorne offspring. This causes surprise, shocks, revenge, despair, burden, guilt and division within the family fold. There is a rich interplay between the characters as this situation unfolds.
The Christmas Party is heavily focused on the characters of the story, their revelations and the fallout from the death of the head of the Lorne family. How the death of this family head changes each member of the Lorne clan is explored within The Christmas Party. The accompanying dialogue is engaging and rich in sentiment. The plot focus was personal, full of heart, dramatic moments, mystery and a touch of romance. At its core, I feel The Christmas Party presents an intimate portrait of a family placed under the stress of the loss of a much loved family member. It is an emotional family drama.
The Christmas Party is a pensive and thoughtful novel. Karen Swan’s latest considers the strain and burden placed on those left behind when a beloved family member passes away. It provides plenty to consider in terms of family ties, accepting responsibility, burying the past, forgiveness, redemption and embracing the future. I liked elements of The Christmas Party, but it isn’t one of my favourite books by Swan. However, I would send this one in the way of women’s fiction, or contemporary romance fans.
The Christmas Party by Karen Swan was published on 29th October 2019 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Christmas Party, Karen Swan, visit here.
*I wish to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.