From Shetland with Love at Christmas by Erin Green

From Shetland With Love at Christmas

From Shetland with Love at Christmas by Erin Green is the second of her books with a Shetland setting, it is not my usual reading fare, but I was drawn by the setting of Shetland and that the storyline features a community of crafters who are struggling to turn their wares into a viable and profitable business.

Verity Kendal is a mother of three grown ‘boys’ the youngest being just 18. Verity is 43 and she has decided to have a bit of a gap year. It’s about time that she did something for herself instead of putting everyone else first. Harmony Cottage is her destination, it sits on top of a cliff overlooking the North Sea. Verity hasn’t even talked over her move with her family and she knows that her twin sister Avril is going to be furious with her, but Verity has filled her chest freezer with food for her boys so she isn’t really worried about them.

The story is told by various characters, actually too many characters, but apart from that I was disappointed by the lack of any feel for Shetland, it really could have been set just about anywhere apart from one brief mention of the Northern Lights. It should have been easy to conjure up the atmosphere of such a northerly setting, one where there are only a few hours of daylight during the winter, but that sort of detail was missing. It didn’t even feel like the north of Scotland to me, never mind half-way to Scandinavia, but possibly most readers wouldn’t realise what was missing. I gather that the author did visit Shetland but that doesn’t come across in the book. If you just want a bit of romance and the company of some crafters then you will probably be very happy with the book.

Thank you to Headline and NetGalley who sent me a digital copy of the book.

4 thoughts on “From Shetland with Love at Christmas by Erin Green

  1. I know just what you mean. I have read books set in Cornwall but really they could be anywhere. I’m never sure why the location is used to push a book when it’s secondary to the story. I would happily read a Christmas story like this set in the Shetlands but I’d be disappointed if I came away with no sense of the place.

    • Sandra,
      It is just a marketing ploy I suppose, but as you say it ends up being a disappointment to the reader, and means that I am unlikely to give anything similar a go in the future.

  2. I think too often either the author or the editor are looking for a hook but they don’t realize this kind of bait and switch will just annoy or disappoint the reader!

    My library had a big Christmas-themed display the other day and I picked up a few but the first one (by Jenny Colgan) had a sense of place but a weak story. I’ll have to see if the others merit attention.

    • Constance,

      I think they probably bank on few people knowing the area that the book is supposed to be set in. That’s interesting that the Jenny Colgan book has a sense of place as she is of course Scottish and the landscape and sense of place is supposed to be a feature of Scottish writing.

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