Festive Book Review: A Proper Family Christmas by Chrissie Manby



Imagine This: You are part of London’s Yummy-Mummy nation. Which means you’d definitely be part of London’s affluent. Your house is Downton Abbey standards, your vacations are glamorous and your Christmases are well… very grande.

If only your teenage daughter would realize what class entails and would stop dressing like a ho. If only your teenage daughter’s mind isn’t preoccupied with going to the hottest parties, staying online all the time slagging you off to her followers, and dating boys already in college. Boys with bad reputations.

But that’s fine, you’d do all you can to protect your daughter and keep advising her to stay off drugs and alcohol. Until during once concert, your daughter goes against your advice in the hopes of becoming highly ecstatic.

Now she needs a kidney. And sadly, you and your husband are no match to donate. You have no option but to trace your biological mother who gave you away when you were young.

Turns out, your biological family are huge, loud, and very not… proper not-the-kind-of-people you’d want yourself or your daughter to be associated with. But it’s alright, all you need to do is to convince them you really want to be part of the big, happy, working class picture, so you could nick a kidney.

Meanwhile Christmas is approaching. And although there’s nothing to look up to this year, you are praying for a Christmas miracle. A proper family kidney not a poorer family’s Christmas.

Annabel Buchanan’s sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious and always sensational Christmas summarised for your delight.

I loved, loved this book! There’s certainly no way you should miss reading it this Christmas like I did last year (L)

Chrissie Manby is fab! One thing about family books. You cannot help but put your 
family into situations in the story and see how you would react if it were happening to you. You cannot help but make a running commentary as you read noting who’s being too much of a bitch and who’s just plain crazy. That is to say, the storyline is so relatable! I mean, who wouldn’t want to find themselves hunting for a kidney when they could be making (hectic) Christmas preparations!── ★

You would love the two main women placed side by side. Annabel Buchanan who is uptight, considers herself not-a-snob but within is such a snob, who chairs committees and loves to keep appearances but is so sweet at heart—even if sometimes she’s faking it. Ronnie Benson, who’s proud of her family and wouldn’t want to have them any other way though sometimes she wishes she could have a more upscale kitchen and pay the bills with less working hours, who’s harsh on the outside and is quick to voice her opinions despite them being not sweet at all. A star to these main characters. You’d find yourself judging the two, wishing you had the perfect personality trait that is a merge of both extremes, and just simply siding with one over the other. But mind you, Ronnie isn’t afraid to show you the finger if you do not choose her side.── ★★★

Other characters are just brilliant. There’s Richard, Annabel’s husband who loves to hang out in his own cellar and look forward to weekends alone with his wife when his daughter away. There’s Mark, Ronnie’s husband whose cellar is down at a pub’s and considers the perfect weekend as one away from the family drinking with his wife’s dad and her granddad. There’s Sophie, Ronnie’s Goth daughter who’s at the age where texting boyfriends and finding her family embarrassing are her highlights. There’s Izzy, Annabel’s privileged daughter who’s about to die and has suddenly become a machine for popping out Hallmark stuff and fortune-cookie shit about carpe-diem-ing. There’s Jack the little boy of Ronnie who’s at the age where Doctor Who and Minecraft seem like the best conversation starters during family dinners. There’s Granddad Bill, who burps popular rhymes and songs (and makes you wonder how [crazy] you'd be if senility sets in). Trust me, lots of fun characters I could go on and on about.── ★★★★

You would love the voice in which this novel is told. I loved it. Very Mary-Alice-Desperate-Housewives-y; funny and nice to listen to—in this case, read.── ★★★★★

I see no reason why this book shouldn’t be given a five-star, because it’s amazing (5/5 stars).

You should go purchase Chrissie Manby’s A Proper Family Christmas now because chances are by Christmas she might have released a fab book everyone would be raving about and you’d feel left out.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants something that would remind them of their very happy Desperate Housewives days. Anyone who wants a family read to cosy up to. Anyone who wants something funny. Or anyone looking for something warm and appropriate for the holidays.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

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