17 December 2012
Book Review: Christmas Magic by Cathy Kelly
Lose yourself in a warm and wonderful collection of short stories from bestselling Irish storyteller Cathy Kelly.
From Dolores and Genevieve, two spinster sisters who must finally break free from their mother’s powerful personality, to Alice, who is facing having to open her home and her heart to the one visitor that she doesn’t want this Christmas; from a captivating family story triggered by a letter to Lily’s disastrous arrival at her best friend’s wedding, these are stories to make you laugh, cry and nod in recognition.
Relax and unwind this holiday season and indulge yourself in these warm and uplifting tales. Remember that Christmas comes but once a year, so curl up by a roaring fire and let the magic reel you in . . ."
I tend not to read many short stories, it isn't because I don't like them exactly, it's because I find them too short and end up getting a little frustrated because I want to find out more, and inevitably we only get a few pages to read about the characters! I was however intrigued to read Cathy Kelly's new short story anthology entitled Christmas Magic which was originally released back in 2011, but has been released in paperback for this Christmas. I love the cover, although I don't think it's especially festive, which is must like the book if I can say that! Don't pick this up expecting a book packed with festive stories or you'll end up quite disappointed much like I was!
Please don't get me wrong, I did enjoy parts of this book, and there were quite a few short stories which I felt would make good full length novels and wished there was more about in the book. The stories range in length from the very short, to the slightly longer Letters from Chicago which was possibly my favourite story in the book. However, even this was too short for me and I just found it hard to get involved in them because I just wanted more from it. Kelly created the stories and characters very well, and I found it easy to flit between the stories, not getting confused at all because they were all so different.
As I mentioned though, there were not many festive stories in the book which was very disappointing for me. From the title of the book, you'd expect there to be a fair few, but there was only a couple that actually centred around Christmas. I wonder then if the title was a ploy to get people to buy the book for the festive season, because it really would have benefitted from having a more generic title that was more befitting for the content of the book. There were a couple of stories in there that I didn't like at all, and I found myself skipping those because they were only short stories, and I didn't really want to waste time on stories that didn't immediately hook me in, something I feel should happen quite quickly for a short story.
Overall, this was a nice enough short story anthology, but it just wasn't anything amazing and I don't think there was anything particularly memorable about it. I wish there had been more festive themed tales about it, because I really did enjoy these stories. There were a few that I would have loved to be a bit longer because I felt that there was enough in them to expand on them, but there were others that I didn't enjoy at all, so I am sure that means there is something in there for everyone. Christmas Magic unfortunately won't make it onto my Christmas keepers shelf, but that's because there isn't enough of the festive feeling in there for me, and I wasn't a huge fan of all of the stories. Cathy Kelly fans I am sure will enjoy this read.
You can buy Christmas Magic as a paperback or an eBook now.