Christmas Every Day by Beth Moran

Having had to leave Edinburgh in a bit of a hurry, Jenny arrives at her late grandmother’s cottage on the edge of Sherwood Forest  to discover it is in a bit of a state. The garden is so overgrown she has to spend the night in the shed. Stubbornly refusing help from her neighbour Mack, she hacks down the bushes and finally gets inside to discover that her grandmother was a bit of a hoarder. You can’t help but admire her fortitude as most people would have run a mile. With little money and nowhere else to go, Jenny gets a job in the café, where she is paid in food, and becomes the nanny to five children, including very mischievous triplets, where she is tested to the limit but does not give up.

Despite appearances to the contrary, this is not a Christmas book. Had I not read an excerpt at the end of another Beth Moran book, Just the Way You Are, I would have given it a wide berth, but I liked Jenny’s voice and wanted to read the rest of her story. In Christmas Every Day we meet a wonderful cast of well-drawn characters, as Jenny finds her feet and gets to know the locals. She is invited to join the book group, where books take a back seat and everyone sets themselves a challenge to complete before the end of the year. There are laugh-out-loud moments, some sadness and a mystery to solve, while Jenny discovers that family are not always those you are related to. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by Beth Moran.