16 November 2016
Blog Tour: Book Review: The Christmas Guest by Daisy Bell
Then Teddy is discovered on a snowy doorstep by the Woods family. With their kind hearts and cosy cottage, Claire, Ben and their daughter Emily are the family Teddy is desperate to have. But Emily is ill, her parents are stressed and, with Christmas around the corner, raising and training a well-meaning but unruly puppy is hardly a priority.
Teddy knows he and little Emily have a once-in-a-lifetime bond, and that he can be the best friend she needs in this dark time. If only he can prove to Ben and Claire how much happier he could make them all, Teddy might just find the family of his dreams this Christmas."
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I was thrilled to be sent a review copy of Daisy Bell's Christmas book called The Christmas Guest. I didn't really know anything about this book but began eagerly, sure I would love the story inside. What I didn't expect, however, was for the story to be narrated by a young puppy called Teddy in the run up to Christmas! Nevertheless, I plodded on and I am so pleased that I did because this was an utterly charming story and I loved every single page!
Although Teddy initially has a home with two people, Veronica and Richard, he accidentally runs away from home and finds himself in the middle of the countryside, with no idea how to get back home. When he smells a delicious scent, he decides he has to follow his nose, and it leads him to the home of Emily, Claire and Ben, the Woods family. They are going through their own troubles but find that the puppy is certainly helping Emily, and in a roundabout way, all of them. Teddy is hoping that maybe he has finally found his forever home... as long as his old owners don't manage to find him...
As I said, although I knew this was based around a dog at Christmastime, I genuinely had no idea that it was narrated in the first person from Teddy's perspective. I will confess that I found this a little odd at first but was surprised by how quickly I got into it. I loved the innocence of how he spoke about everything, from Christmas, the snow and even fairy lights. I also loved how he picked up on human emotions so well, much like many dogs do, seemingly knowing when we are happy or sad and need a pick-me-up, you can see why Emily and her parents were so taken with Teddy!
Although this was narrated by a puppy, it still managed to cram in a good storyline by way of Emily and her illness. She's really been through a tough time, and through conversations that her parents Claire and Ben have, and the way Emily speaks to Teddy as if he's human (come on, we've all done it with our pets!), we soon build up a picture of a close family who have been dealt a bad hand lately. I was really hopeful that the Woods family would choose to keep Teddy and he would make them all happy, which is what they deserved!
The festive feeling was certainly here throughout this book, and I found Bell's writing was so easy to read, I found myself ploughing through the book rather speedily. I loved everything about the Christmas celebrated in this book, from their tree and decorations, to the gingerbread we see Emily and Claire make, to the unwrapping of Christmas presents early on Christmas morning. It's exactly what I expect from a festive book, and I truly loved it! This might not be your usual read but I promise you, if you take a chance on this sweet, festive and heart-warming story you really will not be disappointed! I loved it, and hope you will too!