Title: The Christmas Postcards
Author: Karen Swan
Published: October 25th 2022
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
It had been a make-or-break holiday for their marriage, but Natasha and Rob’s rekindled romance is short-lived when their daughter’s beloved soft toy, Moola, disappears on the journey home.
As Natasha comforts a distraught Mabel, she turns to social media to help locate the toy. Miraculously, Moola is found. But her new guardian, Duffy, is thousands of miles away, trekking the Himalayas with Moola as his lucky mascot.
When Duffy promises to keep Natasha updated with pictures of Moola on her travels, the pair begin a daily correspondence that soon becomes more meaningful to both of them. Sometimes, Natasha feels this stranger understands her more than the man lying next to her.
But as the weeks pass and Duffy heads deeper into the mountains, Natasha begins to notice a change in him. Then one day, the messages stop.
Is Moola lost forever? Is Duffy?
Karen Swan’s last twenty-three novels have all sold around the world. I have no doubt that this Sunday Times bestselling writer will experience the same success with her latest festive release. The Christmas Postcards is a heart-warming, atmospheric and wholesome read this merry season.
Karen Swan’s annual Christmas themed release follows Natasha, a woman who is experiencing problems in her marriage. As a solution to her failing relationship, Natasha and her husband Rob have decided to take a much-needed romantic holiday. But this ends rather sadly when their daughter’s special toy vanishes during the trip home. In an act of desperation, Natasha takes drastic measures to recover this beloved family toy. Natasha posts on special media, in the dim hope that someone might have found the treasured toy. Miraculously, the toy is found to be in the possession of a man called Duffy. But Duffy is now on the other side of the world, on a mountain trek deep in the Himalayas. Duffy makes it his mission to ensure that he keeps Natasha in the loop with his travels with his special mascot. Over time, this unique communication channel creates an unforgettable bond between the two of them. It also makes Natasha see that she has grown further apart from her husband. But suddenly the correspondence grinds to a halt, leaving Natasha lost and confused. What has happened to Duffy and his good luck charm?
Karen Swan’s traditional festive release this year is The Christmas Postcards, which also marks her twenty-fourth published novel. A story set in the picturesque south west region of the UK and stunning Nepal, this yuletide communication tale has plenty of feel-good vibes thanks to Swan’s easy going writing style. I enjoyed the two featured settings in this one but I wasn’t overly taken with the storyline featured in The Christmas Postcards, it wasn’t as festive infused as I would have liked.
Swan’s initial set-up involving a precious lost toy was an interesting plot frame. This sweet and heartfelt plot complication draws in any kind of reader, as it is quite embracing. I felt sorry for Natasha and her daughter, I could also sympathise with the marriage in crisis situation faced by the lead protagonist. Swan is able to convey the feelings and high emotions involved in a relationship divide. I was interested to see how Natasha and Rob’s marriage would fare by the close of the novel and if dear Moola would eventually be returned. Set across three points of view and vastly different location sites, The Christmas Postcards is a mostly entertaining tale. The correspondence that strikes up between Duffy and Natasha was fun to follow and I enjoyed Duffy’s Himalayan climb. This area of The Christmas Postcards really allows the queen of destination fiction to show us why she has gained this special title. The Nepal scenes were very vivid and even encouraged me to one day take a trip to this amazing part of the world. This was the highlight of the book for me. Karen Swan’s latest is a sweet and comforting novel, that is all wrapped up with a fulfilling conclusion.
A little light on the full festive treatment with some predictable coincidences, The Christmas Postcards is a nice title to mull over this holiday season.
The Christmas Postcards by Karen Swan was published on 25th October 2022 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Christmas Postcards, Karen Swan, visit here.
*I wish to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.