However in the those few short days - all sorts of things change. Enormous arguments erupt - sparked by a duplicated gift - among the children, and the play begins to seem as if it will never happen. Old wounds are reopened downstairs amongst the adults too again over a seemingly small thing. Then Ted arrives - and gently starts to smooth out some of the hurts just with his presence and enthusiasm.
It is in the minutiae of how people think, act, react and suffer over small invisible hurts, that makes this lovely novel. The characters are faithfully drawn, their resentments and secrets laid bare with brilliant accuracy - was all too believable. It is a rare thing - to discover a well written, deeply charming, Christmas novel, that is not overly sentimental. So glad I chose to read it over the Christmas period. It would certainly be a novel that I can imagine being re-published by Persephone books. I do think those characters would rest nicely between soft dove grey covers.