The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan – Book Review


A huge thank you to Karen Swan, NetGalley and Pan Macmillan publishing for a copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.

Synopsis (taken from NetGalley)

December 2018, and free-spirited influencers Bo Loxley and her partner Zac are living a life of wanderlust, travelling the globe and sharing their adventures with their millions of fans.

Booked to spend Christmas in the Norwegian fjords, they set up home in a remote farm owned by enigmatic mountain guide Anders and his fierce grandmother Signy. Surrounded by snowy peaks and frozen falls, everything should be perfect. But the camera can lie and with every new post, the ‘perfect’ life Zac and Bo are portraying is diverging from the truth.

Something Bo can’t explain is wrong at the very heart of their lives and Anders is the only person who’ll listen.

June 1936, and fourteen-year old Signy is sent with her sister and village friends to the summer pastures to work as milkmaids, protecting the herd that will sustain the farm through the long, winter months. But miles from home and away from the safety of their families, threat begins to lurk in friendly faces . . .

The mountains keep secrets – Signy knows this better than anyone – and as Bo’s life begins to spiral she is forced, like the old woman before her, to question who is friend and who is foe.



I absolutely loved this book!

Where to start………

The imagery in this book is simply stunning.  I get immersed in most books that I read but I was actually there in Norway with the characters, feeling the cold and then the warmth of the log fires etc.

The dual narrative of the two eras was equally delightful and added an extra layer of depth to the main narrative of Bo and Zac, providing insight and a glimpse into the life of the lady who owns the cabins.

The characters are written really well and the additional bonus of a thriller/suspense storyline really takes this story beyond your everyday romance novel.  Karen Swan does a fantastic job of telling the romance side of the story in a cosy way whilst keeping you addicted and on the edge of your seat with the suspense aspect – two difficult genres to bring together.

I highly recommend this book if you’re a fan of cosy Christmas reads but enjoy an additional surprise.



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